Why Revitalize Black Chicago?
Our Opportunity Is Here
Black families and businesses are starved for capital due to the documented inequities resulting from generations of structural racism, exclusion and Jim Crow-era laws denying Blacks equal opportunities. Revitalize Black Chicago is a grassroots initiative that seeks to meet our communities where they are, restore a sense of pride, and expand the foothold of those who have already seen some success individually or as a business.
While Black businesses and the community currently have some resources and opportunities, they tend to be scarcely known or publicized. The opportunities that are known tend to be inaccessible and fail to meet business owners where they are. This could be due to any number of reasons such as resource location in the city or the level of difficulty required for the application process.
RBC seeks to ride this momentum and climate and provide innovative, fresh, and relatable ACTION. RBC intends to stand in the space between Opportunity and Hard Work to do just that. The only mission is to pool resources, spread awareness and education, and to restore and sustain Black business in Chicago – creating generational wealth within the community.
“Wealth affords people opportunities to be entrepreneurs and inventors. And the income from wealth is taxed at much lower rates than income from work, which means that wealth begets more wealth.”
The median white family's net worth of $171,000 is roughly ten times greater than that of the average Black family's $17,150
Median net worth for white households has far exceeded that of Black households through recessions and booms over the last thirty years.
During the most recent economic downturn, median net worth declined by more for Black families (44.3 percent decline from 2007 to 2013) than for white families (26.1 percent decline).
The typical young adult (18–34 years old) of either race has little wealth, but the gap rises quickly with age, and for 65–74-year-olds accumulates to $302,500 in median white wealth and $46,890 in median Black wealth.
Who We Are
Revitalize Black Chicago, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is a regenerative initiative led by African American community leaders, residents, and business representatives to restore historically Black neighborhoods stifled by years of disinvestment, disenfranchisement, and economic stability.
RBC was founded by Shioban Lawler and Mironda Ross. Their efforts aim to replenish Black communities, businesses, and families in Chicago that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, racial tensions, underrepresentation, and devastation triggered by recent milestone tragedies – Breonna Taylor, Ahmad Arbery, and George Floyd.
The impact of RBC is based in the passion and experience of its leadership team. Collectively, the team brings over 100 years of successful corporate and small business experience combined with more than 75 years of community volunteering and non-profit experience.