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Chicago Urban League Receives $1 Million Grant from MacArthur Foundation

Four-Year Award Will Be Seed Funding for Building Renovation and Infrastructure Updates

CHICAGO (Oct. 25, 2018) – The Chicago Urban League has been awarded a $1 million grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to fund infrastructure improvements, including building and technology upgrades that will enable the organization to better meet the needs of its clients.

“We are extremely grateful to the MacArthur Foundation for this investment in the future of the Chicago Urban League and our communities,” said Barbara Lumpkin, the League’s Interim President and CEO. “With hundreds of individuals visiting the League each week, our building serves as a resource to the community. We want to ensure that it is equipped to properly serve our constituents in today’s technologically advanced society, while appropriately meeting today’s environmental and energy demands.”

The Chicago Urban League’s four-story, 40,000 square-foot headquarters, located at 4510 S. Michigan Avenue, has not had significant upgrades since it opened in 1984. The building houses roughly 50 employees and includes classroom, workshop and meeting spaces for its job training, housing and financial education, youth education, entrepreneurship, and professional development programs. The building is also used by various community organizations to host meetings and events. The League serves more than 15,000 people each year through direct service and civic engagement.

The MacArthur Foundation grant, which will be received over four years, will help position the League to be able to adapt quickly to changes that drive economic opportunity, quality education, and social mobility—and ultimately to serve more clients.

Lumpkin added that the grant is the start of a capital campaign fund and that the League will seek additional sources of support once it completes its master plan for bringing the building up to state-of-the-art level.


About the Chicago Urban League

Established in 1916, the Chicago Urban League works to advance economic empowerment, educational opportunities and social justice for African Americans through direct service, advocacy, collaboration and innovation. The organization is rooted in the belief that stronger African American communities make a better Chicago. For more information, visit Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.