YWCA Metropolitan Chicago gratefully acknowledges 32 corporate partners who have collectively donated more than $2 Million to the organization’s Economic Empowerment Institute over the past year. This support has allowed the YWCA to sustain and expand programs and services that include financial education, workforce development, computer and skills training, small business development and home ownership education.
As under-resourced communities, particularly Black and Brown communities, cope with the severe economic challenges and disparities exacerbated by the pandemic, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, through its generous donors, has mounted a comprehensive response. The Economic Empowerment Institute’s programs are designed to close the racial wealth gap by helping individuals and families with securing new jobs, becoming entrepreneurs and realizing the dream of homeownership.
“These generous corporate citizens are demonstrating their alignment to our mission of eliminating racism and empowering women. Their investments in our communities will yield a healthy return in the form of community resilience, greater participation in the economy and the building of generational wealth,” said Nicole Robinson, chief executive officer, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago.
“We are beyond grateful to these partners for their leadership and look forward to our continued collective efforts to build the economic equity necessary for communities to thrive,” she added.
The following corporate partners have contributed to YWCA Metropolitan Chicago’s Economic Empowerment Institute in the past twelve months:
– Allstate Insurance Company.
– Amazon Web Services.
– Baird & Warner.
– Bank of America.
– Black and Decker.
– Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois.
– BMO Harris Bank.
– CTS Impact.
– Comcast / NBC Universal.
– Fifth Third Bank.
– Horizon Therapeutics.
– Huntington Bank.
– Michael Jordan and Jordan Brand.
– Kirkland and Ellis.
– Mars Food North America.
– Molina Healthcare.
– Molson Coors.
– Nicor Gas.
– Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas.
– Ulta Beauty.
– U.S. Bank.
– William Blair & Company.
Their contributions have enabled a number of YWCA program expansions and milestones:
– Partnered with BlackFem on a series of financial education workshops to assist the BIPOC community in “Moving From Fear to Financial Security.”
– Supported more than 500 Illinois households in applying for rental assistance and mortgage assistance programs so they remain stably housed.
– Conducted outreach to 250 Cook County residents to inform them of free legal services through a partnership with Cook County Legal Aid for Housing and Debt.
– Launched the Respect Bank Account and Respect Debit Mastercard, in partnership with Black-owned FinTech company Mobility Capital Finance (www.respectcard.com) to provide banking, credit building and wealth coaching services for Chicagoans living on the economic margins.
– Provided training and technical assistance to 15 Black women-owned businesses through the YWCA’s Breedlove Entrepreneurship Center. One entrepreneur was profiled in the Washington Post and featured on the NBC Nightly News. Now accepting nominations for the third Breedlove cohort in fall 2022.
– Supported more than 100 small business owners through our Small Business Development Center.
– Served 150 individuals across various workforce development programs including CONSTRUCT, Transportation Distribution and Logistics and our Innovation and Technology Institute.
“While we are grateful for our corporate partners’ support, we are reminded that more is needed to help attain the goals of the Economic Empowerment Institute and our Thrive 2025 Initiative,” said Robert Johnson, chief economic inclusion officer and general counsel for YWCA Metropolitan Chicago.
“We continue to seek new partners to allow the organization to bring financial stability to more individuals and families, while uplifting local communities,” he added.
The Economic Empowerment Institute’s Thrive 2025 Initiative aims to accomplish the following, by 2025.
– Bring the dream of homeownership in appreciating neighborhoods to 1,000 Black Chicago men, women and families.
– Launch 1,000 salable, scalable Black-owned businesses in underserved communities.
– Train and place 1,000 career-seekers into high-paying jobs in high-demand industries.
To learn more about the Economic Empowerment Institute, please visit: https://ywcachicago.org/our-work/economic-empowerment/.
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