Thursday, February 26th

Last updateWed, 11 Feb 2015 12pm

 About the Project

The Mission: Accelerating Sustainable Initiatives in Chicago’s 77 Community Areas 

Community-based sustainability initiatives are taking place across the metropolitan area of Chicago. These, however, are often relatively isolated activities with limited interaction between them. Though many organizations, foundations, companies, and government agencies have programs and resources to assist local sustainability efforts, many communities are unaware of these opportunities or unfamiliar with ways to access them.

The Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA) is the organizing sponsor of “accelerate 77” and created the program in order to increase the role and positive impact of local community actions. Our underlying strategy is to IDENTIFY current sustainability initiatives in all of Chicago’s 77 community areas; CONNECT them with one another to inspire new ideas, practices, self-consciousness and motivation through peer interchange; and COLLABORATE with residents in systematic learning, planning, and collective action.

It is anticipated that the project will thereby ACCELERATE sustainability in a bottom-up fashion driven by practical action, expanded imagination, and greater organizational capacities among local groups. A key part of the accelerate portion of the mission is the emerging Chicago Sustainability Leaders Network (CSLN) which is a diverse, intergenerational group working on a wide vareity of issues in communities across Chicago who are passionate about learning from one another and working across communities for widespread, lasting change.   

Having your profile submitted is a requirement to participating in the city roundtable discussion!


5 Ways to Participate in CSLN in the Next Month
(Notes on Meeting Below)

1) RSVP by Wed Feb 25th if you'd like to attend the CSLN-City of Chicago Roundtable

March 23rd from 10 - 11am, City Hall

This first Roundtable meeting will be about how the CSLN can establish a relationship that builds upon CSLN's conceptual framework where bottom-up perspectives are in dialogue with more conventional planning with the city. Note that if more than 25 people show interest, the core planning group will have to create further criteria for attending. If you have not been actively involved with the CSLN to date but are interested in this opportunity, please email Terry at TBergdall[at symbol] ASAP. 

NOTE: All those who plan to attend must have CSLN Member Bio - click here to fill it out!



CSLN color2) Provide feedback on CSLN Logo by Feb 25themail accelerate77[at symbol]

Take a look at our new logo for CSLN! It represents the coming together of different people--across communities and with policymakers in our "in-between" spaces--to spark new collaborations and ideas for building sustainable communities. Let us know what you think! 


3) Fill out the Network Assessment Survey by Feb 25th

This survey aims to assess our work since the CSLN launched in Oct. 2013. As we begin discussions for future leadership and focus areas for the CSLN, member input is extremely valuable! Please complete the survey online, or let us know if you want to complete it with us by phone. We value 100% participation, so we will follow up later in March.


4) RSVP to the next CSLN Event, EDIBLE CITY - Hub Event for GCC, Animalia Project & ICA

This Hub event will compliment the screening of Edible City with educational workshops and tours. Edible City is a 55 minute documentary film that digs deep into unique perspectives and transformative work, finding inspirational, grass-roots solutions based on growing local food systems and economies. Following the film, there will be an interactive building tour and two breakout workshops, showing participants how to start seeds using compost (Animalia Project) and make organic liquid fertilizer. If you are interested in being part of this Hub event, contact Joseph Taylor at urbanaglab[at symbol]

5) RSVP for March 12th 6:30pm, Justice in our Streets

Adler School of Professional Psychology, 17 N Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60602

This event launches our "Is It Just Space?" series. It will be a listening party of Bridging the Divide which was created through the YMCA's Youth Safety and Violence Prevention program. This CD includes perspectives from the youth in communities of color and from Chicago police officers as well. Through personal narrative it draws a complex picture of personal interaction with systems. Discussion will explore connections between safety, violence, and sustainable communities. 

Mark Your Calendar for 2015 CSLN Meetings! 
2015 meeting dates are every other month on the second Wednesday, 4:30-7:30, as always at different locations. Dates are April 8thJune 10thAug 12thOct 14th and Dec 9th.


Did you take a picture on Wed? Use #CSLN

Thanks to everyone who came out to the meeting last Wednesday and a special thanks to our host, the National Hellenic Museum! The meeting was attended by 37 people, 10 of whom were newcomers, with the attendees coming from as far as Lake County and Riverdale. 


Forward Momentum From Open Space Discussion

  • Pedestrian SafetyThis discussion group, sparked by the work of Deloris Lucas and the Safety & Transit Action Council, discussed STAC's project to get more sidewalks and start a community bike share in Pullman and adjacent communities. The project will fundraise as part of our ioby/CSLN crowdfunding campaign.
  • iobyThe ioby/CSLN crowdfunding teams are finalizing a location for the Live Campaign Fundraising event on March 18th - Mark your calendars and keep an eye out for location! Do you know of an affordable, accessible space to fit approximately 70 people for a fundraising event? Email Samantha at Ssainsbury[at symbol]ica-usa.orgYou'll also be able to contribute online after our public launch on March 5th.
  • Just SpaceThe "Is It Just Space?" discussion series launches with its first event, Justice In Our Streets, at the Adler School on March 12th at 6:30pmSee the whole series and RSVP.
  • Student EngagementThis conversation, sparked by Kendall College student and CSLN member Katrina Gutierrez, discussed outreach and marketing strategies for engaging college students in sustainability, possibly starting in April by tying into Earth Day events.
  • City RoundtablePlanning continues for the CSLN-City of Chicago Roundtable, to be heldMarch 23rd  Group organizers will be creating a set of materials for the meeting, including participant bios that describe backgrounds and passions. Interested? See details above.
  • Faith & Sustainability: CSLN members working on outreach to faith-based groups will be meeting with Faith In Place and continuing to contact congregations to talk to them about how their work connects with sustainability (and what a holistic definition of sustainability means). Interested? Contact Caitlin Sarro at Csarro[at symbol]