LIVE FREE CHICAGO’s mission is to rebuild black communities through the power of the black church.
Our vision is to create communities in Chicago where Black people are free from all forms of violence.
Our goal is to help create thriving Black communities through building economic and political power, and by combating all forms of violence against the black Community. Through our model; the Body, the Ballot, and the Buck, we believe that communities can be transformed, lives can be saved, and black people will live free.
LIVE FREE CHICAGO is a local chapter of LIVE FREE USA, a national faith based organization created to organize people of color against mass incarceration and violence.
The Body: Addressing Gun Violence
Gun violence exist as a lingering problem, predominantly in black communities on the south and west sides of Chicago. We acknowledge that gun violence is a symptom of poverty and oppression. Therefore, as we work to eradicate the root causes of violence in our communities, our priority is to execute strategies that will help to drastically reduce gun violence in the most effected areas of Chicago. This strategy includes:
Strengthening Relationships with the Church and Community
Hosting Block Club Parties
Block by Block Organizing
Strategic and Relational Night Walks
Partnering with Local Service Providers
We believe in an intensive community approach that calls for community members at risk to be shooters or victims to be in relationship with multiple providers. This supports our belief in promoting a communal reconciliation and healing approach.
Community Listening and Connection to Resources
Clergy will build relationships with shooting victims, “labeled shooters”, and potential targets of violence. These people will be identified thorough community listening and partnerships. Clergy will work with other agencies to assist individuals with complete wrap around services.
The Ballot: Combating Structural Violence
We believe that our churches are the legacy institutions in our communities, with a unique platform, that has historically brought communities together for healing and justice. Through the teaching of resistance theology, our goal is to “organize the church” to combat institutional and systemic racism.
LIVE FREE CHICAGO Congregations will mobilize voters—particularly low-propensity voters—to influence policies, practices, and programs that have a direct impact on our most vulnerable communities. LIVE FREE CHICAGO pays attention to local election cycles which often have the biggest impact on issues of safety, incarceration, and criminal justice. To help educate the public, the LIVE FREE campaign produces reports and sample legislation that exemplify the types of policies and programs that will help to decriminalize people of color.
Our organizing includes:
Organizing Training for the Church and Community
Issue based campaigns led by the congregations and communities
Clusters hosting monthly community meetings
Non-violent civil disobedience and protest
The Buck: Addressing Economic Violence
“Building Healthy Communities”
LIVE FREE CHICAGO congregations use their financial resources to invest in programs and initiatives that build better access to jobs, entrepreneurship, and the alleviation of poverty and discrimination; they also divest resources from companies and programs that discriminate against vulnerable communities or help to perpetuate racial and economic injustice throughout our society. Our goals are to:
Increase the circulation of the dollar in the communities that we serve.
Partner with churches to create black businesses in the communities served.
Train entrepreneurs and assist with the creation of their business from start to finish.
Help to build the capacity of existing black businesses.
By the end of the summer, we plan to have the start-up in motion for two franchises.
Accountability: We are accountable to the community we serve, ourselves and our churches. Moreover we are accountable to challenge institutions, systems and people in power when necessary.
Integrity: Adhering to the principles of honesty, truthfulness, and ethical behavior when engaging in the organizing work.
Grassroots: We prioritize and organize marginalized voices empowering them to lead as we challenge systems of racism, domination and exclusion.
Culture: We are an unapologetically Black, faith based, organization committed to uplifting and loving of our people, communities and institutions.
Faith: As faith based organizers our grounding principles is live. Through the power of love we are moved to:
Wrestle with powers and principalities
Love justice do mercy, and walk humbly before God
Bring about the Kingdom of God on Earth
Activate Faith Communities through the power of the Holy Spirit