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Freedom Summer 2023


April 11, 2023
A Black man wearing a sweatshirt holds onto the rim of a basketball net, looking upward. The sky behind is a deep blue.

Keeping youth enriched and empowered this summer!

Freedom Summer 2023 is an initiative of the Obama Foundation’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance. The $1 million grant program aims to support local organizations that are working to reduce violence in Chicago communities this summer by creating and expanding spaces and programming where boys and young men of color can safely learn, play, and engage. 

Check out the Freedom Summer 2023 recap reel Opens in a new tab , which highlights the incredible work of our grantees!

Grant Recipients

Seven young men in uniforms with a range of light to deep skin tones create posters. The boy in the center has a medium skin tone and is holding two signs that read, “I am because we are'' and “Dare to dream.”

100 Black Men, College Mentoring Experience, Our Most Valuable People Foundation, ABC Pilsen, Future Ties, Project I Am, Automotive Mentoring Group, Greater St. John Bible Church, Ring of Hope, Black Alphabet, Guitars Over Guns, Root 2 Fruit, Brilliance & Excellence, I Am A Gentleman, Shoot for the Stars, Building Brighter Futures, Increase the Peace, The Base Garfield Park, C.H.A.M.P.S. Male Mentoring, Kids off the Block, The Healing, Chicago Archery Club, Lost Boyz, Think Outside Da Block, Chicago Maritime, Male Mogul Initiative, University of Chicago MedCEEP, Chicago Scholars, New Life Centers of Chicagoland, Urban Male Network, Christianaire, North Lawndale Eagles Youth Program, and Young Men's Educational Network.

Freedom Summer is anchored to the MBK Alliance’s sixth milestone, that all youth should remain safe from violent crime. 

According to a report by the University of Chicago’s Crime Lab Opens in a new tab , violent crime in Chicago peaks during the hot summer months. There are about twice as many shootings on days over 85 degrees as there are on days under 50 degrees. Freedom Summer aims to support local organizations as they endeavor to engage youth and contribute to a downturn in violence this summer.

Each Freedom Summer recipient received a $30,000 grant. The MBK Alliance knows the efforts of community organizations throughout the City of Chicago are often stifled due to limited financial resources. Our hope is that our investment, coupled with the dedicated effort of those individuals hosting summer programs, serves as the seed from which our young boys will grow and evolve into passionate, driven, and successful men.

Four young people in business and casual attire sit on stage in chairs while President Obama, also seated, smiles holding a microphone.

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