Chicago Ideas Launches First-ever 'Ideas Day' Event in Partnership with Chicago Cares

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 General News
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The first-of-its-kind-program will provide hands-on community activations during Chicago Ideas Week

CHICAGO, Sept. 18, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Chicago Ideas today announced the launch of Ideas Day in partnership with Chicago

Cares during Chicago Ideas Week. The day-long event will include a dynamic onstage program followed by an opportunity to experience hands-on community activations, including creating digital media projects with teens, engaging in jobs skills workshops, and maintaining local community gardens.

Ideas Day will be held on Friday, October 19th and will combine both ideas and action, giving participants a day to focus on how they can be individual drivers of positive change in Chicago. In the morning, participants will have the opportunity to take part in an inspiring program featuring visionaries including Co-founder of Campaign Zero & DeRay McKesson, CEO of The Bail Project Robin Steinberg, Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist C.J. Chivers, and founder and CEO of Dear World, Robert X. Fogarty, and see ground-breaking performances that will activate the senses, creating ideas the audience can feel.

"The power of Ideas Day is that it so deeply aligns with the mission of Chicago Ideas," said CEO of Chicago Ideas Jessica Malkin. "As a participant you will experience inspiring stories, an opportunity to connect with people across Chicago meaningfully and a chance to work on initiatives inside of those neighborhoods that will inspire future action."

During the afternoon session, participants will have the opportunity to act on their inspiration with help from Chicago Cares. Attendees will go to a community welcome site in Englewood, Bronzeville or North Lawndale, eat lunch with community members and hear from local leaders about the history and future of their neighborhoods. Then, they'll meet with local community organizations and participate in an activation with the goal of creating connections and building long-lasting relationships.

"Chicago Cares is thrilled to be partnering with Chicago Ideas Week, since volunteering is one of the best ways to bring people together around a common cause, break down barriers, and discover that there is much more that unites us than divides us. It is our intent that Ideas Day will challenge pre-conceived notions, influence how people think and feel about the city, and inspire their action," said Jenné Myers, CEO of Chicago Cares.

General tickets to Chicago Ideas Week, including Ideas Day, are on sale now. Participating community organizations include:

In Bronzeville, Urban Juncture Foundation, an organization that contributes to the sustainable development of urban communities by combining community assets with other public, foundation and private sector resources to address issues related to entrepreneurship and jobs, food access and wellness, and the environment;

Chicago Youth Programs, which improves the health and life opportunities of at-risk youth using a comprehensive approach aimed at developing their capabilities; and

The DuSable Museum of African American History–also a community welcome site–is the first museum of its kind to promote understanding and inspire appreciation of the achievements, contributions and experiences of African Americans through programs, exhibits and activities;

In Englewood,Teamwork Englewood, formed in 2003 to unite the many organizations serving Englewood residents and work toward the common goal of building a stronger community;

Quality of Life Plan Housing & Public Spaces Taskforce, which works to aid in the development of Englewood to become a safe, thriving, economically and culturally diverse community with well-maintained housing, access to world class services and transportation, and filled with residents who take pride and ownership in its upkeep and preserve its cultural integrity; and

Quality of Life Plan Jobs and Economic Development Taskforce, which works to increase business investment in Englewood via growth of existing businesses, support for entrepreneurs, new business attraction, and connect residents to living wage jobs and career pathways; and

In North Lawndale,North Lawndale Coordinating Council, a group of North Lawndale stakeholders, including community-based organizations, business owners, elected officials and individuals that have come together to guide comprehensive planning and implementation in North Lawndale;

BBF Family Services, a comprehensive human services organization that aims to improve the quality of life for North Lawndale youth and their families by providing safe, stable, and nurturing experiences that enhance social, emotional, academic, and career development;

Gardeneers, which cultivates customized school garden programs to ensure that each space and the students and communities who care for it connect with healthy food and grow to their full potential; and

Free Spirit Media, which provides teens and young adults in communities of color on Chicago's West and South sides with a comprehensive foundation in media literacy and hands-on media production experience.

Additional welcome sites include:Kennedy-King College, one of the seven City Colleges of Chicago that embodies the commitment to academic excellence and civic responsibility espoused by its namesakes, Robert F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; and

Lofts on Arthington, a project of Mercy Housing, a national nonprofit working to build a more humane world where poverty is alleviated, communities are healthy, and all people can develop their full potential.

At the welcome sites, participants will hear from Reverend Chris Harris in Bronzeville, Community Strategist Asiaha Butler in Englewood, and Commissioner Dennis Deer in North Lawndale.

Ideas Day is made possible in part by the support of The Chicago Community Trust, Cushman & Wakefield, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

About Chicago Ideas:Chicago Ideas is a nonprofit platform built on one core belief: When audiences of every background have access to thought leaders and innovative ideas, people have the power to spark change in the world. Chicago Ideas hosts Chicago Ideas Week (CIW) October 16-22, which is one of the largest affordable ideas festivals in the world, connecting attendees to more than 150 world-renowned speakers—but Chicago Ideas' efforts extend much further. Whether it's year-round programs, over 100 Labs that offer exclusive looks into Chicago-based businesses and cultural institutions, a year-round YOU(th) program that promotes leadership and personal development among under-represented Chicago high school students or a digital news platform that highlights innovative people and organizations, Chicago Ideas is helping make visionary ideas accessible to everyone. Chicago Ideas is a 501(c)(3) organization. Learn more about becoming a member at

About Chicago CaresChicago Cares mobilizes volunteers to build a stronger, more unified Chicago. In the last 27 years, Chicago Cares has engaged more than 600,000 volunteers through 200 monthly programs, corporate programming and annual events.  Learn more about Chicago Cares and get involved any day of the year at  

Contact: Maggie Shepherd,


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