The Brighton Park Neighborhood Council (BPNC) serves the southwest side of Chicago in a predominately Latino low-income community. BPNC was founded in 1997 after several community leaders came together to organize their neighbors in campaigns to win new resources for the community, which had seen significant disinvestment and had yet to be addressed by its elected officials. BPNC's mission is to create a safer community, improve the learning environment at public schools, preserve affordable housing, provide a voice for youth, protect immigrants' rights, promote gender equity, and end all forms of violence.
As the organization has grown, we have developed a social justice model that weaves together three threads crucial to social change and improving opportunities for our families: community-led social and economic justice policy change campaigns. These community development campaigns will enhance the social infrastructure and high-quality and responsive direct services for needy families.
BPNC utilizes this innovative model to address the following five issue areas:
Comprehensive Immigration Reform
BPNC was founded to achieve three goals:
Develop and train community residents as grassroots leaders to lead campaigns for neighborhood improvement and development.
Develop the social service infrastructure to address the needs of the community.
To build community by bringing together leaders and institutions throughout the neighborhood.
Our model engages low-income and immigrant Latino community members most affected by the lack of access to healthcare, public education funding inequities, immigration reform, and economic injustice. Through their experience of facing economic and racial injustice, these individuals become leaders when their role pivots from social service client to community leader.
Engaging grassroots leaders personally impacted by economic and racial injustice in strategy development and organizational decision-making is essential. Our model engages low-income and immigrant Latino community members most affected by the lack of access to healthcare, public education funding inequities, immigration reform, and economic injustice. Through their experience of facing economic and racial injustice, these individuals become leaders when their role pivots from a social service client to a community leader who can make a statement and facilitate real change in their community and see improvements in issues their community is facing.
BPNC organizes campaigns and social services that address a range of community issues, including economic justice issues, education justice issues, school-based resources and full-service community schools, gang and domestic violence, healthcare justice and quality healthcare for all, the need to rejuvenate our community's park and green space, and the need for comprehensive immigration reform. BPNC organizes campaigns to win educational equity for neighborhood public schools, win health insurance for undocumented adults in the state of Illinois who currently are not covered under Medicaid, Medicare, or through subsidies on the insurance exchange/marketplace, organize immigrant students and parents in state and national campaigns for comprehensive immigration reform, increase resources and organizational capacity for DAPA and DACA access, and win progressive revenue solution to Illinois' budget crisis through the Grassroots Collaborative and Responsible Budget Coalition.
BPNC is a member of all the significant policy change coalitions, moving issues important to low-income communities of color throughout Chicago and Illinois. These coalitions engage low-income Latino youth and families in campaigns to improve the economic opportunity for their community, build resources for their public schools, increase health and wellness resources and policies in their community, work towards comprehensive immigration reform, and decrease violence in all of its forms. These coalitions and networks include The National Council of La Raza, The Grassroots Collaborative, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, The Illinois Federation for Community Schools, ACT Now, The Education Acuerdo, and The Housing Acuerdo convened by the Latino Policy Forum, Bright Futures Coalition, Alliance to Reclaim our Schools, Alliance for Educational Justice, Healthy Illinois Coalition, Raise Chicago Coalition, and the Responsible Budget Coalition.
Today, we have a rich history of organizing campaigns and social services that address a range of community issues, including educational equity for neighborhood public schools, health insurance for undocumented adults, comprehensive immigration reform, increasing resources and organizational capacity, and winning progressive revenue solutions to Illinois' budget crisis. We are a member of all the major policy change coalitions, moving issues important to low-income communities of color throughout Chicago and Illinois.
Through ongoing community-led social and economic justice policy change campaigns, community development campaigns that improve the social infrastructure, and high-quality and responsive direct services for families in need, we will continue to work towards a better future for our community.
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