WHAT WE'RE WORKING FOR
campaigns & programs
United We EAT aims to improve food security by providing fresh food to families living in food apartheids, or communities that lack access to healthy, affordable food due to systemic disinvestment. This year, EAT partnered with River Walk Homes to create a community garden and distribute the garden’s fresh produce to over 500 individuals in Joliet.
Over the past year and a half, the internal failures of the Joliet Police Department have become public knowledge. Joliet police officers have assaulted protestors, prayer vigil attendees, and other community members, all with no measures of accountability. In 2020, Eric Lurry died in police custody, resulting in community outrage and cries for accountability. This year, the EAT Joliet Chapter and other community leaders have been working to dismantle the closed circle of protection between the city council, mayor, states attorney, and police unions that hides officer and elected official misconduct. The Joliet Police Reform Campaign is committed to replacing this abusive power block with a transparent checks and balances system that prioritizes the concerns of community members.
Since the statewide legalization of cannabis in 2020, Illinois has failed to uphold its promises of HB 1438 to fully address cannabis-related racial disparities. EAT’s Cannabis Equity Campaign utilizes a holistic, multi-layer approach to address these disparities, knowing that the War on Drugs has conducted extensive harm to marginalized communities.
The goals of this campaign are:
Reverse the harms created by the War on Drugs to communities of color;
Provide access to the cannabis industry for people of color (POC) and address financial barriers to market entry; and
Invest into communities harmed by the War on.
Activities of EAT’s Cannabis Equity Campaign include:
Since 2019, EAT has held multiple in-person and virtual Chronic Conversations to address relevant issues around legalization and inclusion in the cannabis industry.
Partnership with Cannabis Equity Illinois:
EAT joined Cannabis Equity Illinois as a supporting partner to spread awareness on cannabis-related issues. This year, EAT helped organize Rap Sheet Days, community gatherings focused on increasing access to expungement services.
Since its inception, EAT has provided mutual aid for community members in need. This year, EAT gave rental support, groceries, gift cards, and small business assistance for individuals on the West and South Sides, totaling $12,540 in mutual aid. EAT also began disbursements for the Chicago Future Fund in November, providing direct cash payments of $500/month to 30 residents of West Garfield Park. The Chicago Future Fund will continue to support these individuals until 2023.
Breathe Act Illinois—the Illinois extension of the Breathe Act—provides for state-level reforms in the areas of policing, criminal justice, sentencing, drug policy, and incarceration. With support from the Movement 4 Black Lives, EAT will present this policy during the November 2020 session of the state legislature.
Support the Breathe Act Illinois and help us reform policing, criminal justice, sentencing, drug policy, and prison.
Tell Illinois legislators that you support the Breathe Act Illinois.
Learn more about the Illinois Breathe Act.
With the support of the Movement For Black Lives, more than 190 fellows across eight states organized to build capacity and infrastructure with Black-led organizations, working on campaigns to defund the police and jails and to invest in Black communities.
Fellows conduct community outreach on Chicago’s West Side and in Joliet. Our fellows include:
Read what our fellows are up to.
Will R. Wright
BLACK WELLNESS INITIATIVE
The Black Wellness Initiative seeks to enhance physical endurance, build character, and develop self-discipline while promoting the physical health and mental wellness of the Black community. EAT, in partnership with the MATCCH Foundation, hosted various Black wellness-focused community events, such as Boxing, Black Yoga, Healing-Centered Training, Mental Health, and more
On August 23, EAT and the B.E.A.R. Initiative hosted Chicago’s Night Out for Safety And Liberation (NOSL) at The Sankofa Center. NOSL is an annual event where cities across the country meet to redefine and reimagine what public safety means for their communities. Chicago’s NOSL included discussions on community safety practices, performances from local artists, and more. 2021 was the third consecutive year that EAT hosted Chicago’s NOSL, and we witnessed significant growth in attendance and participation.
NIGHT OUT FOR SAFETY & LIBERATION
From October 26-November 3rd 2021, EAT collaborated with the Black Visions Collective in Minneapolis for a national throwdown to galvanize voters toward a new future. We joined the campaign effort to make sure every voter in the community has an opportunity to vote on a new future for public safety.
On September 25, EAT participated in the Third Annual Basic Income March. The Income Movement Foundation selected EAT to host Chicago’s Basic Income March event because of our work with the Chicago Future Fund, EAT’s guaranteed income pilot program. We combined the event with our annual Malcolm Day Celebration, named after one of EAT’s original members. EAT held the joint event as a Community BBQ in the Garfield Park Community Plaza. EAT got the opportunity to discuss the many benefits of guaranteed income with over 100 community members, various local news media outlets, and more.
National Basic Income March & Malcolm Day Celebration
EAT has partnered with Headcount to register voters in our home communities.
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