Our Impact

Throughout its history, CU has engaged more than 20,000 individuals and families through its campaigns and initiatives. Among CU’s accomplishments are:

  • Creating the nation’s most comprehensive statewide reform of school discipline policy (SB100), which ended zero-tolerance practices at all publicly-funded state schools, placed stronger limits on the use of exclusionary discipline, and laid the foundation for the expansion of restorative justice. This sweeping change was led by Voices of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE), a core youth-organizing initiative of CU that is led by young people of color.

  • Building political will to expand resources for mental health counselors, restorative justice, and other trauma-informed supports for students in schools/districts of highest need to further dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline through the Rethinking Safety campaign, which was adopted as an initiative of the same name by the Illinois legislature in May 2019.

  • Effecting groundbreaking policy change at the city level through the Keep Chicago Renting coalition, which increased rights for tenants living in foreclosed properties by requiring foreclosing owners to either renew a tenant's rental agreement or provide $10,600 in relocation assistance

  • Preserving affordable housing (over 400 units are in the pipeline to date) and protecting the rights of renters in foreclosed buildings through successful organizing efforts. This resulted in the City of Chicago creating the Preserving Existing Affordable Rentals (PEAR)) program, modeled after ROOTS, and pledging an initial $10 million in funding over 5 years to support.

  • Working with other groups to inform Chicago’s consent decree on policing to ensure that the needs of people of color with disabilities, including survivors of gun violence, were included.

  • Co-convening Healthy Communities in Cook County (HC3) coalition to increase access to healthcare through the county-level policy change that created a direct-access program for the uninsured, including the undocumented. This was done through an alliance-building approach in which we engaged 40 organizations and over 1,000 residents and provided access to healthcare to over 10,000 uninsured people across Cook County.



Your donation will help support the next generation of young people to advance healing and justice in our communities.

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Communities United is a 501(c)3 non-profit. All donations are tax-deductible