Monday, November 20th

Last updateTue, 21 Mar 2017 2pm

 About the Project

In 2011, the Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA) launched a citywide project called accelerate77, aimed at accelerating grassroots sustainability initiatives throughout Chicago’s 77 community areas. The project did this by identifying the initiatives and connecting them to one another, resource providers, and policy makers in a city-wide Sharing Approaches that Work Conference. The accelerate77 project has led to the formation of the Chicago Sustainability Leaders Network (CSLN). As the organizing sponsor of the network, ICA is currently engaging members of the CSLN, a network of local activists and community organizations/organizers throughout Chicago, in collaborative change making efforts.


CSLN UPDATE

 

 
 
 
September 28th Meeting Recap
 
The Chicago Sustainability Leaders Network (CSLN) reconvened on September 28th at The Resurrection Project, a community development organization formed in Pilsen in 1990 through collaboration of neighbors and six churches seeking to revitalize the neighborhood. Thanks go to Jacqueline Barajas for hosting us. You can contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
 
After a brief introduction from The Resurrection Project and a review of community agreements, the Network launched into two rounds of Open Space discussion in order to give time and voice to as many initiatives as possible. In the first round, participants moved forward on the familiar initiatives of PolicyCollaborative Events, and Collaborative Publication. In the second, groups convened around Grow Your Groceries, Indiana Dark Sky, and Community Arts conversations.
 
Following more than an hour of lively collaboration, there was much fertile soil for Harvesting, in which breakout groups identified key points, feedback needed from the whole group, and next steps.
 
The table below adds information and depth to the Open Space discussions.
 
   
Group Name and Contact Info
Highlights and Next Steps
 
Policy
 
To get involved, contact 
Seva Gandhi at 
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The Policy group discussed the current relationship between CSLN and the City of Chicago regarding the Recycling Initiative. Moving forward, the group will choose from among potential dates and develop a focus area for the next quarterly round table.
 
 
Collaborative Publication
 
To get involved, contact
Caitlin Sarro at 
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The Collaborative Publication group identifying potential audiences for CSLN publications. The group looked at existing publications from other organizations for inspiration, and dug into details involving frequency, distribution, funding, and available resources.
 
The key next step for this group is to create a concrete proposal to the broader network that accounts for audience, message, and capacity.
 
Collaborative Event Series
 
To get involved and join the October team meeting, contact Samantha Sainsbury at 
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The Collaborative Events Series group achieved focus with a theme of "nourishment" and events bringing together sister neighborhoods for a holistic Chicago. Both new and existing partners were considered, and a long list of potential events was drafted.
 
Next steps for the group are to organize ideas into a spreadsheet and discuss them at October's follow-up meeting.
 
Grow Your Groceries
 
To get involved, contact 
Orrin Williams at
 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Grow Your Groceries is an initiative that seeks to teach urban agriculture basics to community members in order to strengthen self-reliance and build a structure of community gardening. A key point discussed was creating a model in which students of the program are empowered to spread their knowledge back to their communities.

The next step for the program is to identify and connect with partners who can solidify the curriculum and expand its reach.
 
Indiana Dark Sky
 
To get involved, contact 
Melanie Eckner at 
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The International Dark Sky Association (IDA) works to protect night skies through education and policy work around light pollution and its effects on the environment. This CSLN group responded to a request from an astronomer at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (IDNL) to write a letter of support to IDA for official designation of the INDL as a dark-sky park. During report back, the larger group approved the letter of support from the CSLN and suggested that other organizations that were interested in sending letters to IDA use the letter as a draft template for their organization. 
 
Please click here for the template and instructions on how to submit a letter on behalf of your organization.
 
Community Art
 
To get involved, contact 
Jennifer Linton at
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A new group emerged in the second round of Open Space seeking to beautify the city through collaborative art projects, beginning with mural space around train underpasses.

Having newly identified this initiative, the next step for this group is to seek out others in the network who can bring energy and expertise to future collaborations.
 
Newsletter CSLN
 
 

 

CSLN Business Cards are Here!
Members at the meeting suggested that it would be beneficial to outreach on behalf of CSLN at community events. We created CSLN business cards to help with this exact situation! If you are hosting an event, networking, or talking to members of your community, we encourage you to use these printable business cards to invite others to learn more about and join the CSLN.