Throughout our history, North Branch Works has worked to increase job opportunities in businesses along the North Branch. We fought to create Planned Manufacturing Districts (PMDs) in order to protect manufacturing and industrial companies that employ workers at family-sustaining wages. As the area has changed over the years, our mission to support high-quality jobs has not. Now more than ever we fight for good jobs opportunities for ALL Chicagoans.
Systemic racism continues to impact our society and especially the high-quality job opportunities that we support. We are deeply disturbed by the events of the past weeks, months, and years, and we know that the brutal incidents we have observed are not isolated events. We stand with everyone who peacefully raises their voice against oppression and inequality and recognize that tangible change in American society must occur so that everyone can experience the freedom and opportunity this country promises.
NBW is not immune from criticism, and we are continually examining our policies and procedures to better support communities that are affected by centuries of policies designed to exclude BIPOC. We are expanding our small business loan program into communities that have been excluded from loan opportunities in the past. We are partnering with organizations to promote local entrepreneurship and build wealth within communities. Lastly, we are actively working to diversify our board of directors. And as we work toward a racially equitable society, we would appreciate the input of our partners, stakeholders, and members so we can collectively work to improve opportunities for Chicago’s Black and Brown communities.
Systemic racism is a blight that must be eradicated, and we at NBW stand with BIPOC and the Black Lives Matter movement to support freedom for all and to ensure that family-sustaining job opportunities are available to each and every Chicagoan.
Larry Bennett, Board President
Jonathan Snyder, Executive Director