Our largest initiative, #EverybodyEats food justice program distributes food to combat hunger in our communities and support local community events, public actions, and citywide mutual aid efforts. Led by Chef Kwamena Jackson, we have built a team of farmers, culinary artists, and volunteer gardeners that responsibly steward 1 acre of land and cook nourishing meals for the community. Through this program, we seek to build power, food sovereignty, and Black liberatory models of sustainability in our communities.
#BreathingRoom Event Series
The #BreathingRoom event series blends performance and political education to build coalitions, raise consciousness, and support healing amongst artists, activists, and neighbors most directly impacted by mass incarceration. #BreathingRoom events feature activists, poets, rappers, political scholars, community organizers, comedians, musicians, burlesque artists, and many other performance genres. We also open our space to community programs to operate healing events, such as Chicago Torture Justice Center and in care of Black women.
Since 2020, the Collective has partnered with the Chicago Park District to provide arts programming to community youth through the ArtSeed program. Park District Teaching Artists meet with participants ages 6-15 in the Collective’s community garden 1-2 times per week. Youth participate in storytelling, music, movement, and nature play with the goal of connecting to and establishing a reciprocal relationship with local land. In 2021, youth created sustainable bird feeders, garden signage, murals, and more.
Soul Service is a summer abolitionist healing clinic for Black and Indigenous folks that offers free community programming that builds strength, resilience, relationships, and community through functional and intentional movement, including massage, reiki, capoeira, yoga, and de-arrest training. It began in 2021, co-hosted with the Collective, healer TBanks and the #DefundCPD Campaign. Weather permitting, it is hosted weekly in our community garden.