Thursday, June 2, 2022
Marriott Marquis | Chicago, IL
The United Way of Metro Chicago team thanks all who attended and supported our 2022 Stronger Neighborhoods Awards Luncheon. We’re honored to work alongside dedicated leaders like John Rogers, ITW, our Neighborhood Network partners, and YOU!
Building stronger neighborhoods and creating communities where all families can flourish is the pathway to a stronger Chicago region. Working together, we can create thriving neighborhoods for all individuals and families. Thank you for your commitment to being part of that change.
For questions about supporting or attending next year’s luncheon, please contact email@example.com
To view the full list of sponsors click here.
As of June 2, 2022
Englewood is one of the 77 official community areas in Chicago and is located on Chicago’s South Side.
The Englewood Neighborhood Network was included in the expansion of the Neighborhood Network Initiative in 2022 due to its existing plans and vision for strengthening its local communities, stakeholder and funder interest, and Teamwork Englewood’s high degree of readiness for implementing the model.
Approximately 98% of residents are people of color, and more than 65% are unemployed or not in the labor market.
The Far South Neighborhood Network was included in the expansion of the Neighborhood Network Initiative in 2022 due to its existing plans and vision, strong community leadership, stakeholder and funder interest, the proposed expansion of the Red Line, and the Far South Chicago Coalition’s high degree of readiness for implementing the Neighborhood Network model.
A predominantly Black community with more than 50% of households in Garfield Park earn less than $25,000 annually.
The Garfield Park Neighborhood Network was included in the expansion of the Neighborhood Network Initiative in 2022 due to its existing coalition and articulated vision for strengthening the Garfield Park community.
A predominantly Black community with many of the residents having experienced disinvestment, resulting in a 55 percent low income rate.
The Auburn Gresham Neighborhood Network is using catalytic development to jumpstart local economic growth and create employment and entrepreneurial opportunities. Increased access to healthcare, a growing green economy, and affordable housing will strengthen the neighborhood significantly.
Divestment & inequality in the 1960s sent real estate prices plummeting. Today, 57% of the population is low income.
Austin is moving towards its goal of providing high-quality learning opportunities to low-income children and ensuring residents have access to living wage employment and a pathway to homeownership.
The two communities are 41 percent Latinx, 38 percent Black and 17 percent white. The low income rate for Blue Island is approximately 19% and Robbins is approximately 39%.
The Blue Island /Robbins Neighborhood Network is committed to creating a more vibrant community for every resident by improving household incomes, access to quality health care, and access to healthy foods.
Home to about 45,000 residents, 83 percent of whom identify as Latinx. Today, 58 percent of the population is considered low income.
As a result, the Brighton Park Neighborhood Network was established in 2012. The coalition now has 40 partners that include schools, hospitals, social service providers, city departments, elected officials, and small businesses.
Home to about 68,000 people, of which approximately 78 percent are Black.
The Bronzeville Neighborhood Network is addressing the community’s needs through a multi-pronged approach to reduce violence and increase healthy living opportunities.
Home to about 83,000 people, primarily of Latinx descent.
In 2004, members of the Cicero community created the Cicero Youth Task Force (CYTF) to address the root causes of gang violence. Over the next decade, the group engaged parents, schools and the local police department in their efforts to create a safer community. United Way joined with CYTF in 2016 to create the Cicero Neighborhood Network, renaming to become the Cicero Community Collaborative. In 2018, Cicero was selected as one of four communities nationwide to receive the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize.
Median household incomes are approximately $30,000 in the least affluent areas yet more than $100,000 in the most affluent areas. 26 percent of Evanston residents are low income.
Using a “collective impact” strategy, The Evanston Neighborhood Network, with lead partner Evanston Cradle to Career, is using a “collective impact” strategy to overcome the obstacles that have created long-standing inequities by identifying gaps, challenging systems, and building trust among all facets of their community.
Home to about 75,000 people—a largely Latinx population. Decades of systemic disinvestment have lead to a 67 percent low-income rate.
The Little Village Neighborhood Network, now composed of 33 actively participating agencies, is committed to supporting the health and well-being of residents in Little Village and Marshall Square.
Once a booming industrial center for immigrants, deindustrialization has left this neighborhood with a 61 percent low income rate.
The South Chicago Neighborhood Network is focused on improving the safety of the community by reducing domestic and gun violence. In partnership with local schools and nonprofit agencies, South Chicago is committed to creating a trauma-informed community that is dedicated to supporting a culture of care for residents impacted by violence.
Over the past few decades, many Latinx families have settled in West Chicago, and they now compose 53 percent of the population. While these are all positive indicators, 37.5 percent of the population remains low income.
2121 S. Prairie Ave., Chicago
Thursday, June 2, 2022
Please email Molly McDonald at
A Chicago native, Emmy has always been inspired by her hometown city’s unique blend of style, story, and character, which has served as a backdrop and canvas throughout much of her creative career.
Emmy kickstarted her career with a BFA in visual communications from the Illinois Institute of Art, later parlaying it into a creative position in advertising at one of Chicago’s marquee agencies. There she earned her commercial stripes in branding and packaging before breaking away to pursue work as an independent artist. She’s since spent the past decade adorning public spaces across Chicago and beyond while continuing to nurture her studio practice. And with current work that includes everything from illustration, lettering, and canvas work to branding, packaging, and murals, she continues to evolve both her mediums and methods.
At the center of her eclectic and diverse portfolio are a whole host of creative partnerships with iconic brands such as Sharpie, Chicago Bulls, Lululemon, Yeti, RedBull, Delta, Jeni’s Ice Cream, Vital Proteins, Foxtrot and Soho House. They tap Emmy for her signature style, which is both extroverted and introspective. She employs fresh colors, intentional layering, and emotive line work to create one-of-a-kind elemental experiences that drive wonder, spark connection, and encourage presence.
To date, her work has lived in a host of iconic public spaces from Times Square to Miami’s Wynwood Art District and beyond. And while her scope continues to expand, so does her artistic vision. Her current studio practice is focused on the concept of the Inner Child, highlighting the joy, spontaneity, and fearlessness synonymous with our younger selves. This work serves as a visual journey back to self where our purest forms of playfulness, creative confidence, and imagination come forward.
Learn more at emmystarbrown.com
John’s passion for investing began at age 12 when his father began buying him stocks as Christmas and birthday gifts. His interest in equities grew at Princeton University, where he majored in economics, and over the two-plus years he worked as a stockbroker for William Blair & Company, LLC. In 1983, John founded Ariel to focus on patient, value investing within small- and medium-sized companies.
Early in his career, John’s investment acumen brought him to the forefront of media attention and culminated in him being selected as Co-Mutual Fund Manager of the Year by Sylvia Porter’s Personal Finance magazine as well as an All-Star Mutual Fund Manager by USA TODAY. Furthermore, John has been highlighted alongside legendary investors Warren Buffett, Sir John Templeton and Ben Graham in the distinguished book: The World’s 99 Greatest Investors by Magnus Angenfelt.
His professional accomplishments extend to the boardroom where he is a member of the board of directors of McDonald’s, NIKE, The New York Times Company, and Ryan Specialty Group Holdings. John also serves as vice chair of the board of trustees of the University of Chicago. Additionally, he is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a director of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. In 2008, John was awarded Princeton University’s highest honor, the Woodrow Wilson Award, presented each year to the alumnus or alumna whose career embodies a commitment to national service. Following the election of President Barack Obama, John served as co-chair for the Presidential Inaugural Committee 2009, and more recently, he joined the Barack Obama Foundation’s Board of Directors. John received an AB in economics from Princeton University, where he was also captain of the varsity basketball team.
For more than one hundred years, the success of the ITW business model has been complemented by a set of core values that include giving back to the communities where ITW colleagues live and work. ITW has been making a difference within communities for more than 70 years. Nationally, ITW is United Way’s top manufacturing partner. And in the Chicago region, ITW consistently ranks among United Way’s top 10 corporate partners.
Approximately seven out of ten ITW employees annually give to United Way, contributing tens of millions of dollars over the life of the partnership. ITW employees participate in large-scale volunteer events and serve on United Way’s Board of Directors, multiple Affinity Groups, and CSR Executive Committee.
ITW was an early donor to the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund and invested $2 million dollars to help bridge the digital divide to Chicago Connected. ITW also supports multiple United Way events and programs every year, most notably our Stronger Neighborhoods Awards.
As a part of its Do More Agenda, ITW is committed to supporting more inclusive economic growth and opportunities in disinvested communities. As part of this commitment, United Way is thrilled to announce ITW’s partnership as a cornerstone investor in the development and implementation of the Commit to a Neighborhood Initiative.