Our work is dedicated to creating a democratic society in which Black Chicagoans engaged in the informal economy—activities, enterprises, and jobs not protected by the state—have the resources to change the social and economic conditions affecting their lives.
Chicago currently has one of the highest rates of Black unemployment in the nation.
The current per capita income in the Austin community is $16,962; in the Englewood community it is $12,756; and in the Garfield Park community, it is $10,951. In each of these neighborhoods, the per capita income is nearly $20,000 below Chicago’s average per capita income of $34,689.
The populations in each of these neighborhoods are approximately 80% Black.
$16,962 per capita income
$10,951 per capita income
$12,756 per capita income
"Don't compete with me, EAT with me."
What We Do
Our research program supports policy development, advocacy, and community organizing campaigns.
We develop, endorse, or support policies that change public perception of the informal economy, decriminalize participation, and remove barriers to employment for those seeking careers in the formal economy.
Our Bridging Labor Access to Community strategy fosters nonexploitive exchanges between community members and EAT organizers.
We amplify the voices of participants in the informal economy, shape public policy at the local and national levels, and change the narrative and stigma attached to individuals engaged in the informal economy.
The Corner Podcast
The Corner is a platform for informal workers to address barriers to economic justice and define their vision of safety and equity for Chicago.