As the city continues to redefine itself, the Leaders for a New Chicago initiative will work to advance racial equity and access to opportunity by fostering conditions that recognize and promote people who bring diversity of background and experience to leadership positions. The second initiative, Media and Storytelling, is designed to create a connected, equitable, and informed media and storytelling ecosystem in which the stories of all Chicagoans are told accurately, fairly, authoritatively, and contextually.
Over the next three years, Leaders for a New Chicago will award grants of $50,000 to between ten and fifteen recipients a year — a $25,000 no-strings-attached award to individual recipients and the same amount in general operating support to a charity affiliated with each recipient. The awards will recognize established or emerging leaders in the city with future leadership potential. And with support from the MacArthur Foundation's Jack Fuller Legacy Initiative and Pierre Omidyar's Democracy Fund, the Media and Storytelling initiative will work to strengthen and expand the reporting and storytelling capacity of a more diverse set of news outlets, reporters, and storytellers with grants totaling $1 million a year for each of the next three years. Together, the initiatives are expected to provide at least $5 million in support of creative ideas and capacity-building efforts, active communication and convenings, content creation, and leadership development.
"This partnership symbolizes a shift in business as usual in philanthropy," said Field Foundation president Angelique Power. "Combining Field's racially equitable grantmaking model and MacArthur's deep commitment to Chicago will allow both institutions to help organizers, artists, and journalists who are shifting the narrative, culture, and systems of Chicago to make our city better."
"We are proud to help enhance and expand opportunities for a diverse group of leaders and organizers across Chicago to ensure their voices are heard in public conversation; their influence is felt in decisions that shape the city; and their perspectives are reflected in inclusive narratives that support meaningful civic engagement," said MacArthur president Julia Stasch. "We are pleased to partner with Field on the design of these programs because they advance our shared vision of a city where prosperity is shared, opportunity is equitable, and justice can thrive."