Speak United Blog

Bronzeville Builds Pipeline for Youth Employment

Despite its great cultural and economic contributions to Chicago, Bronzeville is still recovering from decades of divestment. To address the existing inequities, a local non-profit is making long-term plans to revitalize the community through its workforce. To spur lasting change, Bright Star Community Outreach invests in Bronzeville’s future —  its youth. By expanding… Read more »

International Women’s Day 2019

Year-round, women in our community and the United Way network empower others and inspire change. Some create pathways to leadership in their companies, while others organize their neighbors to build stronger neighborhoods. No matter their contribution, all do so in the service of their community. Today, on International Women's Day, we celebrate… Read more »

Pre-K Students Craft Healthy Behaviors Through Arts Education

When Jan Ellenstein teaches Evanston youth to paint ocean scenes with acrylics or draw cityscapes with pastels, she isn’t hoping for masterpieces. She’s hoping the young learners will acquire the confidence to see themselves as artists, no matter their skill level.Jan, the lead children and youth facilitator at Open Studio Project… Read more »

Tax Assistance Gives Workers Ladder Up to a Brighter Future

Our partners are currently recruiting volunteers to assist with the 2019 tax season. Help your neighbors pocket their hard-earned money! While we all hope that the worst of the winter weather will soon dissipate, another, often more dreaded, season of the year is upon us -- tax season.For most people, the process… Read more »

La Casa Norte Gives Unhoused Youth a Place to Call Home

As temperatures across the region plunged to lethal levels last week, most Chicagoans retreated to the safety of their homes. But for many across the region, such an option is a luxury.In Cook County, it’s estimated that 80,000 to 125,000 individuals are homeless, including thousands of youth and young adults who live… Read more »

The Advocates: Cultivating a Culture of Corporate Philanthropy 

In his lifetime, Charles Matthews’ career has taken him and his family around the United States and beyond. Though his title and coordinates have changed, his commitment to serving as a philanthropic leader in the workplace hasn’t.Serving as president and chief executive officer of Peoples Energy, Charles oversees the daily operations, strategy,… Read more »

Austin Teens Build Sisterhood of Support

A few days before their Christmas celebrations began, a group of teen girls from Chicago’s Austin neighborhood gathered around a table, sipping hot chocolate and decorating canvases.  The “Paint & Sip” night organized by BUILD, Inc., one of Chicago’s leading gang intervention, violence prevention and youth development organizations, served as a “mixer” to… Read more »

Cooking & Conversations: Health Promoters Host Nutrition Chats

In a small classroom in Little Village, Gloria Hernandez passed around recipes to a handful of women clad in hairnets and aprons. On this December morning, parfait de fruta y yogurt, or fruit and yogurt parfaits, were on the menu.As the women peeled and chopped bananas, strawberries, apples and papayas, Gloria guided… Read more »