Healing Illinois renews $4.5 million grant project to advance racial healing

Illinois nonprofits invited to apply to receive funding this winter

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced today the relaunch of Healing Illinois, a racial healing initiative created in 2020 to address racial disparities that impact people living throughout Illinois communities. Managed in partnership with the Field Foundation of Illinois, Healing Illinois will distribute $4.5 million in grants to organizations across the state that facilitate racial healing activities, lead equity work and engage in meaningful dialogue.

The renewed Healing Illinois initiative will support communities across Illinois that continue to grapple with complex and long-standing issues-from institutional racism to freedom of speech and expression.

The response to the initial launch of Healing Illinois resulted in positive activities and programming funded in 2021 that demonstrated the importance of this racial healing work for community-based organizations.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis now through December 1, 2023 or until funding has been expended. Healing Illinois grant applicants must be a 501(c)(3) in good standing with the Illinois Secretary of State and Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) certified. Organizations that are not GATA-certified, may be eligible to work with an intermediary. Healing Illinois is in the process of identifying intermediaries across the state. Additional information on how to apply for grants is available online at www.healing.illinois.gov.

"Our launch of Healing Illinois in 2020 came at a pivotal time in our country. Still today, there are so many organizations across our state that are doing this work and need the continued support of State resources. The work of racial healing is crucial if we want to build a more equitable future," said Grace B. Hou, Secretary, Illinois Department of Human Services. "I'm proud that Healing Illinois is an opportunity to recognize and understand our common humanity and to build trust amongst communities."

"Healing and reconciliation are vital to fostering empathy across communities of difference-and necessary to creating the conditions that will advance racial and social justice and improve daily life for all," said Daniel O. Ash, President of the Field Foundation of Illinois. "Through Healing Illinois, partners from across our state can join together in the work to open perspectives, confront biases, change narratives and build bridges to become a stronger and more connected state.

Healing Illinois grants will fund activities in four areas:

  • Racial Healing Sustainability: activities designed to build community through knowledge-sharing, deeper interpersonal interactions, and intentional spaces for collective healing, including community-wide murals, visual artistic events, exhibitions, storytelling and discussion that advance racial healing.
  • Narrative Change: awareness building of racial healing and justice work to facilitate the engagement, leadership, and activation of residents most impacted by systemic racism.
  • Education and Training: enhancing knowledge and understanding of racial healing and justice via trainings focused on anti-racism, racial equity, racial justice, etc.
  • Racial Healing Readiness: early-stage ideas for new programming and projects with a long-term vision to advance racial healing. These include issues identification and research, assessment or feasibility studies for expanding programs and projects, and increasing group or organizational capacity through specific skills training and/or new tools.

Visit Healing Illinois for more information on grant eligibility, application tools, frequently asked questions, and the RFP. Further inquiries can be answered on the website or during the following informational sessions:

About IDHS:

The Department of Human Services is one of Illinois' largest agencies, with more than 13,000 employees. Illinois created IDHS in 1997, to provide our state's residents with streamlined access to integrated services, especially those who are striving to move from welfare to work and economic independence, and others who face multiple challenges to self-sufficiency. The mission of IDHS is to provide equitable access to social/human services, supports, programs and resources to enhance the lives of all who we serve.

About The Field Foundation:

The Field Foundation of Illinois is a private and independent foundation that, along with its strategic funding partners, distributes more than $6.5 million annually to organizations and leaders working to address systemic issues in Chicago's most divested communities. The foundation's mission is focused on centering racial equity to achieve community empowerment through Art, Justice, Media & Storytelling and Leadership Investment. For more information, visit www.fieldfoundation.org.