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Teamwork Englewood a Year in Review : 2016- 2017

Teamwork Englewood over the year of 2016 has had many highs engaging residents, elected official, developers as wells as other stakeholders in a vision of “Development without Displacement” in Englewood.This was communicated by out Executive Director Perry Gunn:


Teamwork truly believe in the power of community engaged planning. The entire year of 2016 was encapsulated in the community wide planning effort of the Englewood Quality of Life Plan.The Englewood Quality of Life Plan started with a kick, a Kick-off to be exact. Everyday community members were invited to sit at the table with non-for-profit business leaders, local school administrators, alderman, and foundation representatives.

 “This journey began on a beautiful day in January gathering more than 200 community members at Kennedy King College to decide on areas of interest gleaned from a community survey. Five areas were chosen; Housing and Public Spaces, Public Safety, Health and Wellness, Education and Youth, Job and Economic Development. Each of these areas has a dedicated Taskforce made up of community members that have been meeting  for over 8 months consecutively  to envision and hash out strategies that would move the community forward. “ - 

 The Quality of Life Plan has initiated a cascade of innovative development prototypes and strategies. One such project was the Englewood Quality of Life Plan Business Competition. A partnership between the Quality of Life Economic Development taskforce and  Whole Foods Englewood Market supported by Teamwork Englewood aimed at catalyzing local business development in Englewood.  

Teamwork presented $40,000 in seed capital to entrepreneurs such as Lesley Roth & Steve Marchese pitched “Englewood Brews” a micro-brewery. Eddie E. Downs, FBG Cookies and Company came in second with his plan for a cookie company and Andrea NaTay Drane secured the third top spot with Forever Fitness Chicago, LLC, healthy food vending machines.

 The community continued to lead the way seeking to improve Police Youth relations through the expansion of the Englewood Police Youth Baseball League.

 “Funded by Get IN Chicago, Englewood Police/Youth Baseball League was established in 2015 to strengthen relationships between Chicago Police Department and youth of the Englewood community through baseball. Chicago Police Officers volunteer as coaches and mentors to Englewood Police/Youth Baseball League.”Its mission is to reduce negative attitudes, hostilities, and opposition of youth and their families to law enforcement; increase understanding of the experiences of inner-city youth among police officers; and create leadership opportunities for youth and their parents in community policing planning and implementation in the Englewood community.

Another youth centered community building program was Hoops In The Hood,an initive developed by LISC/Chicago's Neighborhood Sports Chicago. It's was a summer-long basketball program where athletes, parents and community members take back the streets of their neighborhood, by engaging in a safe and fun sport. Hoop in the Hood celebrates more than decade of service through out the city of Chicago.

LISC Chicago's Hoops in the Hood from Tu Multimedia on Vimeo.

Englewood is not just a place for recreational development it is also a place where the mind of the next generations innovators and dreams are being nurtured. “Teamwork Englewood launched Englewood Codes with the belief that the best way for Chicago to stay competitive in the new economy is to build a broad base of tech talent throughout the entire city.

Englewood Codes provided the opportunity for  two cohorts of 25 Englewood teens to learn the basic of computer coding. The program culminated in Demo Day where students displayed their projects to the community.



Large Lot and Creative Place Making Beyond that of youth development Teamwork Englewood sees that a key aspect in improving the lives of young people is also an improvement to their built Environment. This is one of the impetuses for the City of Chicago’s large Lot program, originally piloted in Englewood. The city is providing an opportunity for residents to claim and transform empty vacant lots that can sometimes be a magnate for undesired elements.” There are over 1,000 lots available for purchase in Englewood in the open lottery and priority is given to adjacent lot applicant.

Previous resident participants of the Large Lot Program joined Teamwork Englewood and Latent Design for a Creative Placemaking workshop to ideate and develop actions plans for redeveloping there newly acquired properties

“ Teamwork Englewood formed a selection committee of placemaking experts from within and outside of the community and coordinated an application and training process, 16 lot owners received small grants of $1,600-$2,500. Sammiria Malcone, Linda Maalik and Delece Williams are long-time residents who decided to take part in the creative placemaking program. They spent their funds on prepping their properties for a comeback. Though varying in vision, all share a common goal: To create something beautiful and useful for their community.”

In conjunction to revitalizing vacant spaces Teamwork Englewood is active in contributing to the vibrant life going on all around Englewood. On Saturday August 27, 2016, Teamwork staff participated in the Annual Englewood Back to School Parade as it celebrated its 54th anniversary Each year the parade has continued to set the bar for a family fun peaceful celebration in the community.

 Englewood Back to School Parade

The parade is not just an ordinary gathering, it is a grandiose celebration of the community, leaders and supporters of Greater Englewood… The history of the parade dates back to 1963 when the honorable Willie Pittman formed The Central Englewood Drum and Bugle Core at 65th Green Street.

The parade formed shortly after was to galvanize hope and to encourage the youth to stay in school and pursue education, thus developing the theme, “Education Is The Key To The Future.” The City of Chicago under the leadership of Mayor Rahm Emanuel also has invested in the dedicated efforts of transformation sweeping through Englewood recently announcing the creation of the Southwest Corridor Collaborative.

DNAInfo Chicago  reported, “Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined aldermen and community leaders Thursday Nov. 3rd  to announce a partnership aimed at bringing more businesses and jobs to the South Side.This effort will focus on economic development along 63rd Street from Cottage Grove to Pulaski, and along Halsted and 79th Street. The SWCC will produce community-led strategies at targeted intersections along the corridor that will leverage investments in real estate, housing, small businesses, transit and employment opportunities, officials said. The non-profit Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) will provide $500,000 to cover building capacity in local businesses and supporting the neighborhood groups and an additional $50 million over the next 10 years in lending for investments in real estate and local neighborhood businesses.”

 Lastly we would like to end our year-in-review how we began, looking at the contributions and leadership of residents. The year of 2016 was anchored by the Englewood Quality of Life effort. The initial phase of planning culminated in the Quality of Life Summit where residents, stakeholders, community based workers and elected officials reviewed the vision and goals that grew out of the year long planning process.

 The Quality of life Summit was the site of an announcement of a brand new apparatus for funding future projects by guest speaker Asiaha Butler of the Resident Assocaiton of Greater Englewood for next phases of  implementation and development. After the announcement  of The Englewood Quality of Life Fund a fundraiser was launched raising %130 of it’s goal from invested residents as well receiving two matching grants from private foundations culminating in more than $35,000 is seed funding toward the vision of Englewood that aligns with the neighborhood hopes and dreams. 

After an amazing year walking in step with residents leaders and visionary business partners we are eager to enter into this new year and begin implementing the future of the good, the great and the future of Englewood. Teamwork Englewood would like to thank all of our partners for this past year but a special thans to the community of Englewood for it’s resilience and promise.







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