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August 14, 2020
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Chicago Urban League News
League to Host Back-to-School Drive-up/Walk-up Fest
To help minimize the spread of COVID-19, the Chicago Urban League is taking measures to ensure that our 2020 Back-to-School Festival is safe for everyone! This year, we will be handing out learning supplies in a drive-by event!

In addition to school supplies, COVID-19 information and protective items will be distributed to youth in grades K-12, including masks and hand sanitizer -- while supplies last!

A walk-up option will also be in place, and we will practice social distancing. We look forward to seeing you tomorrow! Masks must be worn, and proper distancing will be enforced.
Chicago Urban League to Provide $100,000 in Emergency Grants and Technical Assistance to Black Small Business Owners Through Ford Initiative
New program will launch in Chicago on August 17

In partnership with Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, the Chicago Urban League is launching the Emergency Capital Access Program (ECAP) to provide small grants, technical assistance, and advisory services to Black-owned small businesses that have been negatively affected by COVID-19. The League’s Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation will deliver the program and expects to provide grants up to $5,000 to about 20 businesses.

The program is part of the League’s COVID-19 Community Help Center, launched in April. Business owners will be able to apply for the program through the Help Center website beginning August 17.

“Over the past few months, our Help Center has worked with hundreds of small business owners to assist them in recovering from interruption caused by the pandemic, and the need is still great,” said Chicago Urban League President & CEO Karen Freeman-Wilson. “This new initiative and support from Ford will help us make a difference for more local, Black-owned businesses and the communities they serve.”

Ford created ECAP as a pilot program with the National Urban League to offer crucial economic support to businesses that provide a stabilizing influence for communities hard hit by the pandemic.

Chicago was one of six National Urban League affiliates to receive $100,000 from Ford to deliver the program.
Read more about the grant
Learn  About the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation
CUL Project Ready Youth Enjoy Virtual and
In-Person Trunk Party Activities
For the past six years, the League, in partnership with Skadden, Arps, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates, has hosted an annual Trunk Party for college-bound students from our Project Ready youth program. Students gathered at Skadden's downtown offices to hear advice and insights about going off to college and then received trunks filled with supplies in preparation for dorm life. As with most other activities, the Covid-19 pandemic forced an adjustment this year.

On Thursday, Aug. 6, 30 students participated in virtual workshops where current college students, college counselors, and League staff provided information and answered their questions about what to expect in college. On Aug. 7, students stopped by our offices to pick up trunks stuffed with comforters, pillows, sheets, device chargers and other items to help in their transition to life away from home. The plastic storage trunks also included protective items such as masks and hand sanitizers.

Our partners from Skadden again sponsored the celebration and gifts. Brian W. Duwe, a partner at the law firm and a Chicago Urban League board member, participated in the virtual discussions and shared his experience as the first in his family to graduate from college.

"I never took college for granted or thought it was something that everyone just did automatically. It's really something you have to work at and strive for," Duwe told the students. "We have a huge appreciation for this first step that all of you are taking, and we wish you all the best."

Thank you, Brian and Skadden for your partnership!
Barilla Provides Scholarships to CUL Youth
Thanks to a generous donation of $50,000 from Barilla, 10 Urban League youth received $5,000 scholarships. On Aug. 7, representatives from Barilla stopped by our office to meet some of the recipients while gifting them with college supplies, branded gear and, of course, pasta products.

"We are so grateful to Barilla for stepping up and allowing us to assist 10 additional Project Ready students with meeting college expenses," said Jimi Orange, Director of the Center for Youth Development. "We look forward to building on this partnership as more of our youth set their sights on higher education."
Chicago Urban League in the News
Gov. Pritzker Announces Deployment Of $46 Million In Aid For Small Businesses

CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker on Wednesday announced the deployment of the first $46 million in the state’s Business Interruption Grant program to help small businesses that have hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first round of grants will help more than 2,600 businesses in more than 400 cities and towns – spread out over 78 of 102 Illinois counties.

Karen Freeman-Wilson of the Chicago Urban League said the state program amounts to the difference between a business getting through the pandemic and a business shutting down. Read more
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