Alternatives

Alternatives Established in 1971, Alternatives mission is to inspire young people to create a just future through
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Our Advocacy Department is dedicated to transforming harmful practices and institutions impacting young people and commu...
12/30/2023

Our Advocacy Department is dedicated to transforming harmful practices and institutions impacting young people and communities. We're committed to macro-level systems change, focusing on access to basic needs, economic empowerment, and the pursuit of justice, equity, and transformation.

To learn more, click on the link in our bio and visit our website.

Join us for an In-Person Interviewing Event on January 15th, where you will be able to interview on the spot for open po...
12/28/2023

Join us for an In-Person Interviewing Event on January 15th, where you will be able to interview on the spot for open positions at Alternatives.

Walk-ins are welcome, but to register in advance, click on the link in our bio or visit: Alternativesyouth.org/Interview

Alternatives is thrilled to announce our very first Blood Drive on Friday, January 19th. We are partnering with Versiti ...
12/26/2023

Alternatives is thrilled to announce our very first Blood Drive on Friday, January 19th. We are partnering with Versiti Blood Center of Illinois, which serves 63 hospitals in a 12-county area in Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana, collecting more than 155,000 units of blood annually.

When you donate blood, you can help save a local patient’s life and give hope to that patient’s family. Accident victims, premature babies, patients with sickle cell disease, and other patients who need blood transfusions to stay healthy are counting on kindhearted people like you. Neighbors need neighbors. Make a difference in our community by registering to donate.

Appointments preferred; walk-in’s welcome!

To register, visit Alternativesyouth.org/blooddrive

Alternatives’ office will be closed from Monday, December 25th to Tuesday, January 2nd, for the holiday season! Wishing ...
12/25/2023

Alternatives’ office will be closed from Monday, December 25th to Tuesday, January 2nd, for the holiday season! Wishing you all a joyful and relaxing break.

Two Palestinian journalists  and  and other Palestinians are calling for a global strike today, Dec 11, 2023.  This is i...
12/11/2023

Two Palestinian journalists and and other Palestinians are calling for a global strike today, Dec 11, 2023. This is in response to the United States’ veto against a United Nations Security Council resolution for a ceasefire. Alternatives will be closed in solidarity with Palestinians.

The Israeli government has killed more than 17k Palestinians, including over 7k children in Gaza. This does not include the ongoing violence and arrests in the West Bank-where Hamas is not present. There have been a number of reports that the situation is so dire that humanitarian aid is now impossible. The ongoing Israeli airstrikes on Gaza have also resulted in the death of a number of hostages.

The global strike calls for folks to do the following:
No work
No school ( has a template you may use for school)
No spending
No transports
No commerce
No bank transactions

They are asking that you flood social media and use the hashtag

We also ask that you call your elected officials and demand a strike. You can use the 5 calls app to identify your elected officials and find a script of what to say.

12/08/2023
Recently, an open letter from 53 organizations and more than 200 community members was released in response to the incre...
12/02/2023

Recently, an open letter from 53 organizations and more than 200 community members was released in response to the increased CPD budget. We are calling on Chicago Mayor's Office and other city leaders to stop increasing police funding.

To read a series of recommendations and the entire letter, visit http://bit.ly/cpdbudgetletter2024.

You can also sign onto the letter via: http://bit.ly/CPDBudget2024.

Join Final 5 Campaign for a transformative evening of connection and collaboration at their   art exhibition!! Calling a...
12/01/2023

Join Final 5 Campaign for a transformative evening of connection and collaboration at their art exhibition!!

Calling all current and future youth organizers committed to closing youth prisons in Illinois. Indulge in delicious food, engaging workshops, and collective strategizing. Whether you're a seasoned organizer or stepping into the movement for the first time, youth ages 15-24, this event is for you!

Dive deep with interactive workshops, a thought-provoking panel on bringing our youth home, and insights from formerly incarcerated youth organizers. Walk in their shoes through the system and join us in celebrating the release of the Final 5 re-entry toolkit!

Sign Up for Youth in Power: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfNMIbZpX7M6AoCRlJP6JZrEvGifvSraOTqTidy1CB1TF2v-g/viewform

RSVP for Onna Way Back: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScM4IlKvECvEj-6abs7OztvcM8Xg0GXo04JxEp4jRVlLaF4aA/viewform

Solidarity isn't so Simple: Join our live-streamed discussion with Xavier Ramey, Leslé Honoré, & Bessie Alcantara on cha...
11/30/2023

Solidarity isn't so Simple: Join our live-streamed discussion with Xavier Ramey, Leslé Honoré, & Bessie Alcantara on challenges in solidarity within minoritized communities, navigating organizational and personal responses to conflict as organizational executives, and much more.

Sign up to watch the live-stream here: alternativesyouth.org/solidarity

To commemorate Giving Tuesday, we are shining a spotlight on four grassroots organizations in Chicago actively engaged i...
11/28/2023

To commemorate Giving Tuesday, we are shining a spotlight on four grassroots organizations in Chicago actively engaged in impactful initiatives. Click on the link in our bio for donation information.

Join us for a transformative Fireside Chat in celebration of Restorative Justice Week!  and  Collective invite you to an...
11/24/2023

Join us for a transformative Fireside Chat in celebration of Restorative Justice Week! and Collective invite you to an interactive session on Instagram Live, Monday Nov 27th, 11:30 AM - 1 PM. Let's amplify voices, foster understanding, and champion community-led healing!

Thanksgiving's conventional narrative masks the harsh reality of colonization's ongoing impact on Indigenous communities...
11/23/2023

Thanksgiving's conventional narrative masks the harsh reality of colonization's ongoing impact on Indigenous communities.

Let's acknowledge the true implications, prioritize supporting Indigenous community members’ demands, and work towards creating a transformative future.

Alternatives will be out of the office from Thursday, November 23 - Friday, November 24. We will resume our regular business hours on Monday, November 27.

Tired of the usual Giving Tuesday buzz? We get it. At Alternatives, we approach Giving Tuesday a little different. Our f...
11/22/2023

Tired of the usual Giving Tuesday buzz? We get it.

At Alternatives, we approach Giving Tuesday a little different. Our focus is on spotlighting other organizations in Chicago that are making an impact.

Consider supporting these groups with donations and stay updated on their latest activities.

Click on the link in our bio to learn more about these organizations.

There is still time to register for our nonprofit horror story open mic night!Have you been personally impacted by a tox...
11/16/2023

There is still time to register for our nonprofit horror story open mic night!

Have you been personally impacted by a toxic nonprofit? Do you have a nonprofit horror story you’re dying to share? We’re right there with you!

Join Alternatives for an in-person, open mic night where nonprofit friends can gather and share horror stories about navigating the Nonprofit Industrial Complex. Come prepared with your favorite story, poem, or song about the terrors of funder site visits, annual appeals, audits, and more... We invite you to share a drink with colleagues and revel in the joys of nonprofit life!

To register, visit Alternativesyouth.org/openmic

Our mission is to inspire young people to create a just future through practices that heal individuals, restore communit...
11/15/2023

Our mission is to inspire young people to create a just future through practices that heal individuals, restore communities, and transform systems.

Our vision is young people, free. Free from oppression, free in their identities, and free to pursue their wildest ambitions.

To learn more about our work, mission, and vision, visit our website, alternativesyouth.org/

Join our team! Check out our job openings by visiting: alternativesyouth.org/careers/
11/15/2023

Join our team! Check out our job openings by visiting: alternativesyouth.org/careers/

As an organization, Alternatives upholds the value of liberation and freedom for all people. Chicago’s status as a Sanct...
11/14/2023

As an organization, Alternatives upholds the value of liberation and freedom for all people. Chicago’s status as a Sanctuary City since 1985 - representing a promise to shield all immigrants in Chicago from federal agents, regardless of citizenship, residency status, or whether they are seeking asylum - is an essential part of Alternatives’ vision of young people, free.

The recent threat to Chicago’s Sanctuary City status is misguided. While the call for more resources to be put towards Black communities is justified, the conflicting fear over taxes going towards support for migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers is nothing short of xenophobic. Removing Chicago’s Sanctuary City status will not reverse disinvestment in Black communities, nor will it address challenges the city is facing to care for new arrivals. This is a time for solidarity with asylum-seekers.

We ask you to call your alderperson and demand they reject attempts to undermine the City’s Welcoming City Ordinance. This is not a solution to Chicago’s migrant crisis. Human rights should not be determined by colonial borders.

Our resource line is a helpful tool for young people in need of support. Alternatives provides no-cost mental health ser...
11/11/2023

Our resource line is a helpful tool for young people in need of support.

Alternatives provides no-cost mental health services to young people with public health insurance (like the medical card, Medicaid, All Kids, etc.). Alternatives does not accept private insurance plans such as HMO and PPO plans.

This resource line is not meant to serve you in high-risk situations. This resource line is not designed, nor is it intended to be, a safety plan service.

Yesterday, a group of Alternatives’ stakeholders and supporters attended  ‘s protest in West Town  calling on the presid...
11/10/2023

Yesterday, a group of Alternatives’ stakeholders and supporters attended ‘s protest in West Town calling on the president to support a ceasefire in Gaza.

This action is in line with our value of liberation. At Alternatives, we believe in liberation and freedom for all people. Our work transforming institutions and systems that harm the communities we serve is as important as direct service with our young people. We speak up for the systemic changes young people need in order to thrive.

To learn more about how the protest went, click on the link in our bio.

As many of you are aware, the bombing in Gaza continues to escalate, and more than 10k Palestinians have been killed.  A...
11/09/2023

As many of you are aware, the bombing in Gaza continues to escalate, and more than 10k Palestinians have been killed.

Alternatives continues to stand in solidarity with Palestine. To take action, you can attend an upcoming protest and call your senators. Swipe to learn more about these ways to support.

401(k)? 403(b)? Roth IRA? Target Date Funds?If you’ve been wondering what these terms mean and how they impact you, join...
11/08/2023

401(k)? 403(b)? Roth IRA? Target Date Funds?

If you’ve been wondering what these terms mean and how they impact you, join Alternatives’ free educational workshop on Retirement for Beginners. In this workshop, we’ll break down what retirement planning is, why it is important, and how to take steps toward retirement planning. In an effort to close the wealth gap, Alternatives is committed to providing education to our network about opportunities to advance economic empowerment.

To register, visit Alternativesyouth.org/retirement

Interested in applying for Alternatives' Emerging Leaders Fellowship but unsure if you can afford it? No worries! We off...
11/02/2023

Interested in applying for Alternatives' Emerging Leaders Fellowship but unsure if you can afford it? No worries! We offer full and partial scholarships as needed. The application deadline has been extended to Monday, November 6th.

Click on the link in our bio to learn more.

The Alternatives office will be closed today. We are giving our staff much-needed rest and time to engage in activism if...
10/20/2023

The Alternatives office will be closed today. We are giving our staff much-needed rest and time to engage in activism if they so choose. We will resume regular business hours on Monday, 10/23.

In line with our value of liberation, Alternatives is centering the voices of Palestinians and closing tomorrow in solid...
10/20/2023

In line with our value of liberation, Alternatives is centering the voices of Palestinians and closing tomorrow in solidarity.

Stay tuned for our newsletter where you can get the Alternatives official statement and resources on what you can do to learn more and/or support the cause.

Here is a testimonial from one of our 2023 Fellowship cohort members: "A lot of times, people of color are not in spaces...
10/17/2023

Here is a testimonial from one of our 2023 Fellowship cohort members:

"A lot of times, people of color are not in spaces where we are allowed to learn without harsh consequences, so it is really nice to be able to practice things that you're expected to do in leadership without the consequence of getting it wrong. Instead, we have the space to get feedback and actually learn."

Many POC can resonate with this experience of being unable to learn without harsh consequences. For us at Alternatives, it is so important in this Fellowship that we create a space where it is safe to make mistakes, ask questions and learn about various topics like Program Design, Strategic Planning, Grant Writing etc.

If you want to participate in this fellowship, head to our website Alternativesyouth.org/fellowship.

Applications are due October 30th!

Have you been personally impacted by a toxic nonprofit? Do you have a nonprofit horror story you’re dying to share? We’r...
10/12/2023

Have you been personally impacted by a toxic nonprofit? Do you have a nonprofit horror story you’re dying to share? We’re right there with you!

Join Alternatives for an in-person, open mic night where nonprofit friends can gather and share horror stories about navigating the Nonprofit Industrial Complex. Come prepared with your favorite story, poem, or song about the terrors of funder site visits, annual appeals, audits, and more... We invite you to share a drink with colleagues and revel in the joys of nonprofit life!

To RSVP, visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/704881669047?aff=oddtdtcreator

Yesterday, we held our second Cocktails & Complicity event at Chicago United for Equity. Guest speakers  and  , from Bro...
10/06/2023

Yesterday, we held our second Cocktails & Complicity event at Chicago United for Equity. Guest speakers and , from Broken Office Chair season 1, were back to join Bessie in discussing the complex dynamics that perpetuate inequality in the nonprofit sector, such as being WOC leaders in the nonprofit sector, the nonprofit industrial complex, resilience, and much more!

The full conversation will be released as the final episode of Broken Office Chair Season 2. Stay tuned for more details.

Stay tuned for more information about the next Cocktails & Complicity.

In this episode of Broken Office Chair, host Bessie Alcantara is joined by analía rodríguez to discuss the future of phi...
09/26/2023

In this episode of Broken Office Chair, host Bessie Alcantara is joined by analía rodríguez to discuss the future of philanthropy and what transitioning from Executive Director at a nonprofit to Philanthropic Program Officer looked like.

analía rodríguez (they/them/elle) is a longtime community organizer and immediate former executive director of the Latino Union of Chicago, a grassroots community organization that fights wage theft and advocates for improved temporary worker conditions.

analía lives in Little Village. In their role as Leadership Investment Program Officer at Field, rodríguez (who does not capitalize their name) is primarily responsible for managing Field’s signature Leaders for a New Chicago program, an innovative partnership between the Field and MacArthur Foundations, which recognizes past accomplishments and promotes leaders and their organizations, and whose influence informs decision-making in Chicago.

To listen to or watch the full episode, visit Alternativesyouth.org/podcast

In Episode 7 of Broken Office Chair, Bessie sits down with Dr. Cynthia Treadwell, Executive Director of Social Emotional...
09/22/2023

In Episode 7 of Broken Office Chair, Bessie sits down with Dr. Cynthia Treadwell, Executive Director of Social Emotional Learning at Chicago Public Schools, to discuss Chicago Public Schools, social and emotional learning, suspension rates, student-centered classrooms, and how to create positive change in CPS.

Dr. Cynthia Treadwell, currently serving as the Executive Director for the Office of Social and Emotional Learning, brings 22 years of experience in Chicago Public Schools, including roles as a Principal, Assistant Principal, District Reading Coordinator, classroom teacher, and Adjunct Instructor at Chicago State University and DePaul University. She holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from National Louis University and is the author of "30 Days of Encouragement for the Educator." Dr. Treadwell is dedicated to promoting education's transformative power and aims to create engaging socially and emotionally supportive school communities.

To catch up on the latest podcast episodes, visit alternativesyouth.org/podcast

Address

241 E. 57th Street
Chicago, IL
60637

Opening Hours

Monday 8am - 8pm
Tuesday 8am - 8pm
Wednesday 8am - 8pm
Thursday 8am - 8pm
Friday 8am - 6pm
Saturday 12pm - 4pm

Telephone

+17735067474

Website

https://linktr.ee/alternativesyouth

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