Injustice, inequity, racism simmering under the surface finally made apparent to all by the recent murders of George Floyd and other Black citizens. The failures of our institutions to serve and protect all of us. Systems that provide privilege for those of us who are white and oppression or neglect for those of us who are of color.
Righteous anger, protests, curfews, outrage, anguish, grief -- all happening now.
This a pivotal moment. Each of us has a part in determining the future. The Albert Pick, Jr. Fund stands with those who are fighting racism and seeking social justice. We are committed to investing in disinvested communities and ensuring that suppressed voices can be heard.
Injustice wounds people of color most directly. It is also a corruption that eats away at our society and divides us as a country. We believe that peaceful protests will catalyze action that will create lasting change and a more equitable America.
Response to Covid-19
A Message from Executive Director Iris Krieg
In the midst of this terrible crisis, all of us at the Pick Fund are concerned about our Chicago community, all the wonderful organizations that make our City better and the residents who are being harmed. Not one of us is untouched, but we recognize that too many organizations and too many people are facing catastrophe. As a funder, we are deeply concerned about supporting our existing grantee organizations and others that are continuing to provide critical programs and services for the people of Chicago, both in-person and on-line. We are therefore making some changes in the reporting requirements and the use of unspent grant funds to all grants made since March of 2019, including organizations that received multi-year grant installments. The Fund is also prioritizing grants to support renewal applicants including to past grantees.
The Pick Fund has also taken measures to support Chicago by participating in several joint funds. The Pick Fund made grants to Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund at the United Way, Illinois Immigrants Funders Collaborative at the Chicago Community Trust, Crossroads Fund for a joint foundation fund that is supporting the technology needs of small community organizations and support to the arts sector through the Arts Illinois Relief Fund. We will continue to seek opportunities to support the nonprofit sector and the people they serve.
We will update our webpage as news develops. We will also provide links to resources to help nonprofit organizations and individuals in this difficult time.
updated October 13, 2020
The Chicago Racial Justice Pooled Fund is a commitment to raise and move $3M to Chicago organizations building and sustaining movements for justice that center Black lives and address anti-Blackness. While $3M is not an equitable amount to address the violence that racial injustice has ravaged, this is the first step of many needed towards a more just Chicago.
The Fund will provide grants to Black-led community organizing groups as well as allied community organizing groups addressing anti-Blackness. In this context, community organizing means bringing people together who individually may lack power but collectively can build and wield power to advance racial justice.
The grant application, as well as additional information, is available now at bit.ly/ChiRacialJustice.
The Albert Pick, Jr. Fund is pleased to be a contributing member of this Pooled Fund.
About the Fund
The Albert Pick, Jr. Fund is a private, independent foundation established in 1947. While grantmaking interests and procedures have been updated over the years to reflect changing times, the Fund’s mission remains faithful to the intent of its founders, Corinne and Albert Pick, Jr.: to provide disadvantaged Chicago residents with the tools they need to improve their lives. Mr. Pick was a business man who, among his other accomplishments, started Pick Hotels Corp., which eventually controlled 15 hotels. He and Mrs. Pick were avid philanthropists, serving on many boards and assisting many organizations
Today, the Fund concentrates on neighborhoods and/or people who are economically or otherwise disadvantaged or who face discrimination. We believe that people should be empowered to identify and define the problems they confront and work towards solutions. Our role is to ensure they have the resources and support they need to undertake this work.
In 2020, the Fund’s directors and staff aim to do our part, as a philanthropic institution, to support the growing movement around social justice and racial equity. We are asking ourselves how the Fund can do more to support the objectives of this movement. Therefore, we have begun an exploration process to review our grantmaking, Board and staff attitudes, investments and vendors with the goal of making changes over time that will be more in line with our values.
This will not be an easy process with a direct path. As a field, philanthropy is considering how it can play a role in promoting social justice and racial equity. Best practices and strategies are still being developed. At the Pick Fund, we expect to encounter bumps along the way – we may make some mistakes and need to adjust our approach. Through this website, we will keep you advised of what we are doing and how our grantmaking is affected. We appreciate your patience as we work to build a better Albert Pick Jr. Fund for a better Chicago.
If you have applied before, you will note the application form has been revised to ask more specific questions about applicants’ demographics – who is served and who is in leadership roles. This is a first step to understanding who is benefiting from our grants and whether we are really reaching our target populations.
Please refer to the WHAT WE FUND page for more information on our grantmaking, funding guidelines, and application deadlines.