In Chicago, all of the Partnership’s investments flow through Elevated Chicago, a Convergence Partnership Steering Committee member. Elevated Chicago is a coalition of BIPOC-led community-based organizations, CDFIs, civic partners, and other institutions advancing Equitable Transit-Oriented Development (ETOD) in communities across Chicago. Founded in 2017 through a grant from the Strong, Prosperous, and Resilient Communities Challenge (SPARCC), the Elevated Chicago collaborative invests in, advocates for, and changes narratives about ETOD in Chicago and nationally. Elevated started its work by investing in eHubs, areas within the half-mile radius of seven Chicago Transit Authority stations and is now expanding its reach to stations and bus routes citywide in close collaboration with the City of Chicago.
Elevated is guided by a Steering Committee comprised of representatives from 17 organizations that work in and across neighborhoods, and throughout the Chicago region on issues of equity, opportunity, affordability, and culture and climate resilience. Additionally, each eHub is represented by a Community Table which is made up of Steering Committee members, community-based partners with projects and programs in the eHub, and other neighborhood stakeholders.
2021 Regional Investment
Convergence Partnership funding is providing additional support to Elevated Chicago’s general operations, including their Community Tables, collaborative infrastructure, and a learning and culture change cohort for local government workers focused on Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI). Elevated’s Community Tables will develop model equitable transit-oriented development (ETOD) projects in and with BIPOC communities exemplifying what equitable development near transit should look like and changing narratives about neighborhood development in BIPOC communities. These BIPOC-led Community Tables will also continue growing and serving as bridges and connectors between local community residents and stakeholders, and policymakers and institutional partners. The JEDI cohort will train 12-15 City government leaders and influencers and result in advancing equitable policy and narrative changes within the City of Chicago, increasing funding of BIPOC-led ETOD, and making funding sources and programs more flexible, responsive, and collaborative.
2020 Covid Response Grant
With support from Convergence Partnership, Elevated Chicago leveraged a matching grant from the Strong, Prosperous, and Resilient Communities Challenge (SPARCC), a national multi-funder initiative working to reduce racial disparities, build a culture of health, and prepare for a changing climate. With this combined support, Elevated funded five of their Community Tables (Emerald South Economic Development Collaborative; Foundation for Homan Square; Garfield Park Community Council; Logan Square Neighborhood Association; Latinos Progresando) to work towards an equitable recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. The Community Tables collaborated across their communities for the first time, developing multiple public arts and culture projects across various transit hubs. Elevated also developed a resident-driven affordable housing plan for one neighborhood, establishing a model for the other Elevated Community Tables.