A Night to Remember!
By Frank Latin, Senior Advisor, Communications
For me, the Goldin Institute’s 2019 Chicago Peace Fellows graduation ceremony was an inspiring event. The ceremony marked the completion of a six-month fellowship in which myself and 18 other committed community leaders collaborated to complete an engaging, community-focused curriculum and attend other scheduled workshops. The Chicago Peace Fellow program, with the use of its GATHER platform, is designed to share new social change tools and concepts that can assist in creating safer and more peaceful communities with individuals who already working in high-need areas on the South and West sides of Chicago.
The event attracted close to 100 people, including family, friends, colleagues and civic leaders who showed up to acknowledge the collective work of the CPF graduates. The group is comprised of individuals who lead small organizations and do not allow our even smaller budgets to deter us from doing the work that our communities so desperately need.
Our budgets and our organizations are small, but our work has a huge impact in the communities we serve.
To be honest, it was a pleasant surprise to see so many people come out to honor the work of a small group of people whose work often goes unnoticed by the mainstream. The evening came full circle for me when I ran into an old colleague at the event, Susana Vasquez, who I hadn’t seen in a while. Susana volunteered to conduct our first strategic planning session over 12 years ago. The mission and vision we crafted back then has helped guide me to this point…And here we are, the Westside Media Project is now in its 14th year of engaging and empowering community residents to utilize digital media to tell their own stories.
In the end, the ceremony not only celebrated the work of the 2019 Chicago Peace Fellows, it also highlighted one of the core beliefs at the Goldin Institute that is not universally shared throughout the philanthropic community: Leaders of color who live in the communities in which they serve are more than capable of providing solutions to problems that exist in their communities.
The Goldin Institute thanks the Conant Family Foundation, the Polk Bros. Foundation, Chase Bank, the Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities and our generous network of champions for community driven social change for supporting the Chicago Peace Fellows