Training, Organizing, and Actions

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Our community organizing department works to create healthy communities through building relationships and leadership development. Below, the Organizing Department’s services are arranged by program.

Leadership Development

IMG_9017TRP offers leadership development courses in our partner parishes and schools. TRP’s leadership program begins with strengthening leader’s understanding of culture, self-esteem, and communication skills. The second part of the course focuses on understanding the local community and how to use collective power for change. Our leaders also periodically attend civic trainings. These trainings provide information on the branches and levels of the United States’ government, and allow our leaders to run their campaigns more effectively. Our courses lead to the formation of core teams made up of people who actively work to build healthy communities. Teams often focus and organize around a certain issue, such as community safety.

Civic Engagement Campaigns

LABarboza-40Every election year, TRP holds voter registration drives and conducts “Get Out the Vote” campaigns. Volunteers begin organizing within their immediate communities, and then go door to door to register voters. These initiatives span throughout the summer and end when registration closes. Through these efforts, TRP has registered thousands of new voters and launched massive civic engagement campaigns to ensure our communities are represented at the polls.

Citizenship Workshops

TRP is a partner of the New Americans Initiative, a program of ICIRR, which offers citizenship workshops. Community members are assisted in completing their citizenship application form, known as a N400, and gain a better understanding of the application process. In addition, the New Americans Initiative and The Resurrection Project train volunteers to assist at these workshops.

Immigration Advocacy

L.A.BARBOZA-4019As a member of the Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), TRP organizes local immigrant communities so they have a voice in the local, state, and national immigration debate. TRP votes on platforms and chooses which campaigns to participate in, such as a Temporary Visitor Driver’s License (TVDL) awareness campaign. Our organizers have participated in statewide and nationwide initiatives, and have been instrumental in the passage of key legislation.

To learn more about these programs, please contact Erendira Rendon at 312-880-1151, or erendon@resurrectionproject.org.

The Parent Mentor Program

paren_dp-e1405013305569In 2013, TRP began implementing the Parents as Mentors Program at Richard J. Daley Elementary Academy and William H. Seward Communication Arts Academy. The Parents as Mentors program first began at the Logan Square Neighborhood Association in 1995 as a way to encourage parents to become more active in their school and neighborhood communities. The program is now a state government collaborative between thirteen partner institutions. Every parent mentor program follows the same structure. After completing a weeklong training, parents assist teachers in classrooms for two hours every day. By lowering the student to teacher ratio in the classroom, each student can receive individualized attention. Parents also attend training sessions once a week for the entire program, which spans either a semester or a full year.

While these characteristics are constant, each partner institution determines what the training will include, and directly works with the parent mentors to support their time in the classroom and civic engagement efforts. At TRP, parent mentors will take classes on topics including leadership development, financial wellness, and preparing students for college. Each TRP mentor cohort must plan one community event at their schools per quarter, and in addition attend three community events outside of their school. Past TRP parent mentor led events have included family nights attended by hundreds, health education days, and teacher appreciation nights. Parent mentors were also instrumental in the creation of the Cornell Square Park Advisory Committee, which advocates for more safety and youth programming in the park.

If you are a parent at one of these schools or a principal interested in the program, please contact Mayra Lopez at 312-880-1887 or mlopez@resurrectionproject.org.

 

Health Initiatives

Workshops – TRP holds free workshops throughout the year for community members. At these workshops, community members inform themselves on topics ranging from how to access affordable health care to how to prevent breast cancer. The workshops also provide free medical services, such as breast and cervical cancer screenings. In addition, community members without health insurance can get free referrals in order to see health care specialists for specific illnesses.

ELLAS – TRP also runs a support group for women who have survived or are being treated for breast cancer, which is named ELLAS. ELLAS strives to help these women normalize their lives and receive support throughout this very difficult experience. ELLAS was established by women in our neighborhoods who saw the need for a support group that understood the culture and needs of the Latino community. ELLAS meets once a month to discuss breast cancer prevention in order to help educate other women in the community. Every member of ELLAS receives leadership training, empowering women to teach their peers life-saving skills. ELLAS leaders participate in yearly breast cancer awareness campaigns and run many of TRP’s health workshops. These initiatives inform thousands of community members a year.

To learn more about these programs, please contact Araceli Lucio at 312-880-1888 or alucio@resurrectionproject.org for more information.

Safety Initiatives

The Resurrection Basketball League – TRP holds the Resurrection Basketball League, an annual street basketball tournament that takes place throughout the Pilsen community every Friday throughout the summer months. Organizers of the Resurrection Basketball League identify streets with either a historically high amount of violent activity or areas where youth congregate, and then reclaim the street by hosting the tournament on that evening. During the event, participants listen to music and pro-peace messages from different community leaders. Directly after the last game ends for the night, TRP invites the participants to march around the block as a way to invite the neighborhood’s residents to be a part of peacemaking. Then, there is a Friday night mass followed by a group discussion of a passage centering on peace from the gospel from local parishioners.

Non-Violence Trainings – The Resurrection Project leads peacemaking and nonviolence trainings for youth during both the summer and the school year. Students will learn and understand how and why conflict occurs. With this knowledge, students then learn how to de-escalate problems and to find common resolutions. They focus both on their personal mindsets and strategies to create peace with others. Ultimately, the program seeks to teach that peace arises from having an open mind and encouraging dialogue. Finally, after learning the theoretical components of peace, students practice community organizing, seeking to directly connect to the community they serve.