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our 2021 Impact

Though 2021 brought significant challenges, BPI advocated with a fierce commitment to racial, social, and economic justice. We achieved victories in several longstanding BPI priorities:

  • The creation of a community oversight ordinance for the Chicago Police Department that serves as a national model and holds great promise.
  • The installation of the Ida B. Wells monument in the Oakwood Shores community.
  •  Expansion of access to higher education in prison.
  • Meaningful support of the Altgeld-Riverdale Early Learning Collaborative and preparation to transition it to a truly community-led coalition.

We work to get to the core of problems and address them in a way that produces long-term change, shifting the balance of power towards equity.

Hear from Jonathan and Cara Download 2021 Annual Report

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Police Accountability

In July 2021, we celebrated the Chicago City Council’s passage of a transformative ordinance to empower Chicago communities in building public safety in Chicago. The Empowering Communities for Public Safety (ECPS) ordinance represents many years of work by the Grassroots Alliance for Police Accountability (GAPA) and Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (CAARPR), two broad-based community coalitions.

Watch and Learn How We Made An Impact

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As a member of the Ida B. Wells Monument Committee and fiscal sponsor of this project, BPI proudly participated in the unveiling of the monument in June 2021. Created by sculptor Richard Hunt, the memorial honoring renowned journalist and civil rights activist Ida B. Wells stands in the center of Oakwood Shores, the new mixed income community on the former site of the Ida B. Wells public housing development.

Learn About the Ida B. Wells Monument

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Criminal Legal System

Stable housing is also imperative for reentry success, but returning residents face several obstacles that limit their ability to find a home. Unlocking Reentry Housing: Keys to Building Collaborative Tenant-Based Voucher Programs, a report released by BPI in 2021, presents the Partnership for Housing Access findings. This 18-month pilot program involving carceral and housing system stakeholders and reentry advocates provided returning residents in Cook County with tenant-based vouchers and supportive services to help them obtain affordable housing and settle into their neighborhoods.

View Unlocking Reentry Housing Report

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Early Learning

For over 10 years, BPI has convened and facilitated a community-driven effort to create a comprehensive and coordinated early childhood system, supporting children from pre-birth to age eight in the Altgeld-Riverdale community on Chicago’s far southeast side.

History of the Altgeld-Riverdale Learning Coalition


The Coalition celebrates ten years and prepares for a shared leadership structure and a more active community role in the leadership of the Coalition.


The Coalition is accepted into the Collaboration Institute and engages in planning for its future, including a focus on sustainability and governance, to ensure its longevity.


In response to the pandemic, the Coalition shifts its meetings to virtual platforms and focuses on the immediate and public health needs of the community.


In 2013 the Coalition launched The Community Beat, a web portal for the Altgeld-Riverdale community. Coalition members were partners in its creation, had their own pages, and contributed to the community calendar.


In May 2012, a kick-off meeting Altgeld-Riverdale Early Learning Coalition formally launched with the mission to “build a comprehensive community infrastructure that ensures that all children (ages 0-8) within the Altgeld-Riverdale area are on track to succeed by the third grade.” The Coalition included 6 Schools and Pre-K Centers, CPS, CHA, Resident and Community Organizations, Social Service agencies, Faith-Based organizations, TCA Health Clinic (federally qualified health clinic on-site), Property Management, Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Library, City of Chicago DFSS and the Chicago Police Department Fifth District. The Coalition also worked with the Health and Wellness Collaborative (working to increase healthy food options and exercise); the Altgeld-Riverdale Consortium (focusing on youth and overall community safety); and Catholic Charities Roseland Doula/Home Visiting Program.


BPI, drawing on its focus on education and on new research supporting the importance of early learning for brain development, decides to focus on early learning at Altgeld Gardens. BPI conducts intensive interviews with dozens of people and organizations in the Altgeld community to gauge interest in a coalition focused on young children.


BPI issues mid-course report on the Plan for Transformation; in response, CHA asks BPI to work with CHA to develop a strategy to improve conditions at Altgeld Gardens.


BPI begins interviews with Altgeld community members to learn about issues facing the community.

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