We are honored and excited to receive a 2018 Neighborhood Opportunities Fund grant. IMAN has been dedicated to organizing corner stores for nearly a decade, helping to build a culture of health and increase food access on Chicago’s South and West Sides. Our Corner Store Campaign currently engages a network of 42 stores–with 10 of those stores located in Englewood–and this award helps to augment our work in that community.
Since its inception, our Corner Store Campaign has been comprised of leaders—themselves confronted with persistent issues of inequity and undesirable health outcomes—who call Englewood, Chicago Lawn and other communities home. The 63rd & Racine Healthy Marketplace project prioritizes their voices, and those of our partners in Englewood.
IMAN is inspired by and deeply rooted in local movements that have historically pushed for Black-owned and Black-led businesses. At the same time, our corner store work is committed to healing racial tensions, particularly between Black and Arab communities. The 63rd & Racine Healthy Marketplace embodies these traditions by demonstrating the viability of a grassroots business collaboration between these two communities.
Partnering with the City of Chicago on this project is not contingent on our support for any particular initiative. Like many of our partners and resident leaders in Englewood, we remain deeply troubled by recent policy announcements. IMAN will continue to stand alongside those most directly affected by decisions and strategies that are not in the best interest of the community.
We will also continue to partner with those working in the city, county, and state on projects that will support the establishment of more thriving and dynamic communities. We are grateful for this support, and will continue to raise private funds to cover the larger costs of the Corner Store Campaign’s vision.