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MacArthur Foundation Grants 2016: $11.6M Earmarked to Address Chicago’s Most Pressing Challenges

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Chicago investments
YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago will get $500,000 for Youth Violence Prevention and Safety initiatives.

In his book, The Tipping Point – How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell wrote that when we are trying to make an idea or attitude tip, and convert people from indifference or hostility to acceptance, in order to create that one contagious movement, you often have to create many small movements first.

If there is one thing that the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Grants for Chicago is not, it is small. The 11.6 million dollars worth of Chicago investments earmarked to spur economic development and create jobs in struggling neighborhoods, help youth, prevent violence, promote police reform and support arts & culture is, in fact, massive.

The inflow of new funds is envisioned to have far-reaching effects. The MacArthur Foundation, which keeps the conversation going with its beneficiaries through social media, tweeted the new series of Chicago investments aimed at helping make Chicago a better place.

Support for Windy City

A  preliminary analysis of crime rates in 2016 (updated September 2016), with a focus on the 30 largest cities in the United States, revealed that a dozen cities were expected to see drops in crime, but the decreases were offset by Chicago, with a crime rate rising by 9.1 percent.

Violence was projected to shoot up by 16.2 percent. The murder rate increased at a historic high, as an early December report confirmed.

Drawing valuable lessons from the events in Berlin, the Chicago Police Department through its communications director tweeted that it has been corresponding with its international partners, and will be adding police resources to “ensure an optimal level of public safety throughout the holiday season.”

Notwithstanding the unsettling peace & order situation, Chicago remains a commercial and creative hub that cannot be overlooked. The people at the helm of the MacArthur Foundation are inclined to agree.

As what the president of the said that MacArthur is deeply committed to Chicago.”

Indeed, a gift that spurs action, highlights possibilities and opens greater opportunities can be the jump-off point to better lives. And As Malcolm Gladwell also said in his book, “Small changes in context can be just as important in tipping epidemics” and just like in the case of Chicago, defeatism can be turned upside down.

Photo Source:  YMCA Chicago/Twitter

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