University of Chicago Community Programs Accelerator welcomes South Side nonprofit organizations into 2022 Cohort

south side strong summit
Announcement made at South Side Strong Summit which brought local nonprofit and civic leaders together for a day-long program

On May 18, the Community Programs Accelerator at the University of Chicago hosted its inaugural South Side Strong Summit for local nonprofit professionals and welcomed South Side nonprofit organizations into its 2022 cohort, bringing the total number of organizations to be served in the coming year to 32.

Launched in 2014, the Accelerator, an initiative of the Office of Civic Engagement, aims to equip both established and emerging community-based nonprofits and leaders with tools and resources to fulfill their unique missions. The program has helped develop and strengthen the capacity of more than 175 community-focused nonprofit organizations to date that are based in or serve the University’s nine neighborhood focus area on the South Side which includes Douglas, Grand Boulevard, Greater Grand Crossing, Hyde Park, Kenwood, Oakland, South Shore, Washington Park, and Woodlawn. Organizations at the Accelerator’s Core level of support additionally receive $50,000 in grant funding.

The organizations that will join or shift to a different support level in the Accelerator’s program this year include:

Core Program Level

south side strong summit
2022 Community Programs Accelerator Core Level

·      Deeply Rooted Dance Theater (serves Grand Boulevard, Bronzeville, Hyde Park, and South Shore)

·      Ladies of Virtue (based in Woodlawn)


Associates Program Level

south side strong summit

2022 Community Programs Accelerator Associates Level

·      Praize Productions, Inc. (based in Grand Boulevard)

·      Southside Blooms (based in Washington Park)

·      New Community Outreach (based in Grand Boulevard)

·      Music Box Foundation (based in Woodlawn)

·      The Simple Good (serves Hyde Park and Kenwood)

·      Plan4Success (based in Hyde Park)


Core level organizations receive funding along with intense, focused, and customized support for up to three years. Associates level organizations receive individualized organizational and technical support from consultants and Accelerator staff-supervised University graduate students over the course of a year. The Accelerator will additionally support 22 organizations designated as Special Projects in 2022. These groups will receive discrete technical assistance from staff and students to address specific issues or projects over the course of three to six months.

Nine nonprofit professionals who have completed the Certificate in Nonprofit Management program, a joint initiative of the Office of Civic Engagement and the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice, were also awarded their certificates during the Summit.

south side strong summit
Certificate in Nonprofit Management Program

Launched in 2019, the free, two-year program equips early to mid-stage nonprofit professionals working on Chicago’s South Side to create, grow, and operate sustainable, effective community-based organizations and develop a strong network of peers who are engaged in improving the quality of life in Chicago’s neighborhoods.

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