The Chicago Sports Alliance, a collaboration between the Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox that began in 2017, has announced it will move forward for a fourth year to combine reach and iconic franchise resources supported by hard-hitting evidence. solutions based on gun violence in the city.
As part of its ongoing efforts, the Chicago Sports Alliance and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation will provide a total of $ 1.5 million in grants to support READI Chicago (Rapid Employment and Development Initiative) and the University of Chicago Crime Lab.
READI Chicago, which has been supported by the Alliance for three years, is a gun violence reduction initiative that engages those most at risk of being shot or someone else and has donated for hundreds of men the opportunity to participate in 18 months of transitional vocational training and cognitive-behavioral interventions. With locations serving Austin, Englewood, North Lawndale, Greater Englewood, and West Garfield Park, READI Chicago is the first program of its scope, scale and participant population to be implemented. They have connected more than 800 men with services since their launch in 2017. Preliminary analysis by the Crime Lab shows that participation in READI can reduce shootings and homicides – the costliest forms of violence – by 32%.
“Our partnership with the Chicago Sports Alliance truly epitomizes the collaborative, city-wide approach we need to address gun violence in our city,” said Eddie Bocanegra, senior director of READI Chicago. “The support of the Sports Alliance helps us continue to deliver strong programming to some of our most marginalized Chicagoans, but more importantly, it underscores the men we work with that they are precious and that they have the support of the Chicago community behind them. “
Since the Alliance’s inception, the Crime Lab has worked closely with the five teams to identify promising data-driven approaches to reducing gun violence with the aim of measuring the impact of investments and generating evidence, which could then be used to encourage other donors to support these programs. Thanks to the Alliance’s investment in Choose to Change (C2C) in 2017, the Crime Lab was able to generate evidence demonstrating that participation in the program reduced violent crime arrests by 48% and increased school engagement. 6% (which equals seven extra days of school). In response to these findings, the City of Chicago and Chicago Public Schools announced a multi-year investment in 2020 to evolve C2C to serve more than 2,000 students most exposed to gun violence over three years.
“The Chicago Sports Alliance is setting a powerful example by investing directly in some of the most promising approaches to reducing tragic gun violence in our hometown and doing so in a way that generates information about what works,” University of Chicago said. Crime Lab. Executive Director Roseanna Ander. “While they may wear different uniforms in the field, they are part of the same team when it comes to doing something to help make a measurable difference on the most urgent and pressing challenge of our time. city.”
Working collectively as the Chicago Sports Alliance, $ 4 million in grants has since been invested in innovative solutions informed by Crime Lab research and analysis; Additional matching grants of $ 1.5 million from the McCormick Foundation have also been provided since 2019, for a total funding of $ 5.5 million. Grants supported C2C, Little Village Prevention and Intervention Initiative, READI Chicago, University of Chicago Crime Lab, and Crime Lab analyst training for Chicago Police Department Strategic Decision Support Centers.
“We are excited to support the Chicago Sports Alliance’s commitment to addressing gun violence in the city,” said Anna LauBach, program manager for the McCormick Foundation. “This investment, in which McCormick will provide a matching $ 500,000, aligns with the McCormick Foundation’s goal of helping make Chicago a city where people are safe and treated fairly. We fully support the investment. in direct support to those at high risk or being victims or perpetuating violence.
The teams will continue to assess the impact of the Chicago Sports Alliance on an annual basis. Decisions on which programs will receive future funding will be made as efforts progress.