April 30, 2021, Chicago, IL – Staff from Blocks Together presented workshops on the community-based organizations trauma-responsive work at the Be The Healing conference. The keynote for both days was Dr. Joy Degruy, author of “Post Traumatic Slavery Syndrome.” BT staff was instrumental in the planning of the conference that was a collaboration of multiple organizations including: Organic Oneness, UCAN, the West Humboldt Park/Garfield Park Community Action Council, the University of Chicago’s Education Lab, and the Chicago Public Schools.
The Be the Healing Conference addressed topics of systemic racism derived from Anti-Blackness, inter-generational and historical trauma, structural violence, mental health and COVID-19, sexism and xenophobia. This conference provided improvement strategies through an inspirational and solution-oriented lens. This year’s conference convened online via Zoom.
The session shared the origins of this innovative project that provides students and community members with training and resources to address trauma and resolve conflicts within their homes, schools, and communities. The discussion with panelists: Carolina Gaete (Executive Dir.), Lolanda Mills (Office Manage), Keith Muhammad (SCS Resources Coordinator), and Troy Withers (Trauma Services Coordinator) was moderated by Keith Kelley (Restorative Practices Coordinator). Troy Withers also presented also workshop on the relationship between trauma and nutrition. Keith Muhammad and Keith Kelley co-facilitated one of the intergenerational “community conversations” for West Humboldt Park, Garfield Park, and North Lawndale with two youth from UCAN on the second day of the conference.
Unlike most conferences, Be The Healing intentionally built follow-up into its structure. The next “community conversation” around trauma and healing for West Humboldt Park, Garfield Park, and North Lawndale will be on (or around) May 30, 2021. For more information, visit the Organic Oneness site for more information on Be The Healing.
Blocks Together has been hard at work this month! We’d like to send a huge shout out to our friends and partners for pulling together and bringing in valuable resources for our community. With the second round of shut downs coming it is imperative now more than ever for us to cooperate with one another and take care of all our neighbors in the community. Here are some the highlights from November and upcoming events in December!
Blocks Together Coat Drive We were delighted to partner with Cradle 2 Crayons & Youth Guidance to distribute 180 coats, hats, scarves and gloves to community families.
People’s Budget Training We have had the pleasure of hosting a second round of training the community on how the city budget is allocated. In these uncertain political times it is important for residents to know and understand how the city budget operates and where funds for resources come from as well as how the city decides who gets the funds. The community was equipped with the tools necessary to go to their political leaders and demand more resources be allocated back into their community. If you are interested in learning more please feel free to contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org We look forward to equipping more residents with these vital tools.
We could use your help! We will be accepting donations of new and clean gently used coats, hats, scarves, and gloves of ALL sizes for male and female. November 30th – December 4th 10am – 4pm
Healthy Food Hub Farmers Market Trolley Our partners at Healthy Food Hub will be on our lot located at 3711 W Chicago Ave on December 1, 2020 from 11 am – 2 pm. Come support local farmers and get delicious produce at discounted prices with their unique matching program!
Lawrence’s Fish & Shrimp Fundraiser Our friends at Lawrence’s Fish & Shrimp at the 2120 S. Canal St location will be hosting a fundraiser for Blocks Together on December 3, 2020 from 11 am – 8 pm. They will be donating 15% of your food purchase to support Youth & Volunteer programming. We appreciate your support!
Blocks Together is responding to the needs of the West Humboldt Park and Garfield Park communities by focusing on Community Health, Prevention, Protection, and Planning/Organizing for the long term impact this will have on the families and communities we are working with and supporting. Please click the download button below to get our Covid Test Sites list.
“Ant societies function through individual ants acting collectively in accord with simple, local information to carry on all of their survival activities. Every ant relies on the work of others in producing their own work. Cooperative work. Collective Sustainability.” ~ Adrienne Maree Brown, Emergent Strategy
Blocks Together (BT) is a non-profit, grassroots, community-based organization made up of residents of the West Humboldt Park and Garfield Park communities on Chicago’s West Side. The Blocks Together mission is to build a grassroots community infrastructure governed from the bottom up by providing the resources, leadership development, and sustained efforts to achieve widespread improvements for their community and advance economic and social justice.
Social justice principles and practices guide the development and implementation of campaigns focusing on education, housing, and protecting the rights of people who have been underserved and marginalized by “the system” including: women, youth and the formerly incarcerated.
Since the hit of the pandemic in March 2020 Blocks Together has been focusing their work on the ground bringing valuable vital resources to the underserved community on the West Side of Chicago. Our Community Health Promoters have the understanding that some of the biggest threats that would have a detrimental impact on our community were going to be the lack of healthcare and access to healthy foods. BT worked with community friends and partners to bring immune boosting produce, prepared meals, and our specially formulated Mojo Juice; which is a prime component of our Village Keepers Peace Diet, to the residents.
Fresh Food Market
BT has collaborated with friends to bring a Fresh Farmers Market to the West Side community. Community members can take advantage of the large selection of produce at discounted prices. The Fresh Farmers Market will take place October 28th from 11 am- 1 pm at 3711 W Chicago Ave.
Torrance Shorter Legal Clinic
The Torrance Shorter Legal Clinic is now taking appointments to provide FREE legal services to the community. The legal clinic takes place every other Tuesday from 4pm-7pm. To set up your appointment please contact email@example.com
October 27th; November 10th; November 24th; December 8th
Coat Drive We are currently seeking donations to provide the community with warm winter coats, hats, gloves, and scarves to brace the harsh bitter winters of Chicago. To arrange donation drop off please contact Blocks Together
Boxing and Boot Camp Conditioning
Come work out with BT! Join us every Wednesday @ 3:30 pm 3711 W Chicago Ave for FREE Boxing Boot Camp Conditioning with a professional boxer. Please wear comfortable workout gear and a mask.
Community Parents Breakfast
Join Blocks Together for breakfast! Come learn about our upcoming projects and campaigns and how you can participate and benefit from them. Come prepared to discuss any community issues you all have experienced. November 5, 2020 @ 9:30 am 3711 W Chicago Ave.
Lawrence Fish & Shrimp on 2120 S Canal St will be donating 15% of food sales on December 3, 2020 to Blocks Together to support BT Youth and Volunteer programming. To support the cause please register here!
Village Keepers Project
Blocks Together Village Keepers project (VKP) combines leadership development and conflict resolution to reduce violence by addressing the root causes of violence. Through training and leadership development, young people, and adults from the community gain an understanding of trauma and its impact, ways to address trauma, and mental health support through training, organizing events and initiatives with those trained leaders at local schools, and other community spaces. To join the Village Keepers please contact firstname.lastname@example.org