Duncan, a native of Chicago’s South Side, grew up in communities impacted by gun violence. He learned to play basketball on city courts, alongside young men affected by gun violence; indeed, he lost a close friend while they were both still teenagers.
Later, as the leader of Chicago Public Schools, Duncan dealt firsthand with the effects of gun violence. When he left in 2009 to join the Obama administration, he thought the crisis was at its most dire. Seven years later, he found the situation even worse. He returned to his hometown to help reshape the city’s approach to gun violence. He wanted an urgent focus on saving lives; that’s when the idea of Chicago CRED began to grow.
Today, Chicago CRED works with community leaders, like-minded organizations, and hundreds of young men and women to radically reduce gun violence and bring hope back to Chicago.
CRED’s holistic approach brings together proven models—street outreach, life coaching, and counseling, violence prevention, workforce development, advocacy and prevention— to create transformative change in the South and West side communities of Chicago.
THE CRED TEAM
Our work requires people from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds. We recruit intentionally, so we can tackle our mission from all possible angles. Our team includes individuals with street cred; with experience in counseling, violence prevention, and intervention; and with policy and business backgrounds.
We’re confident we can reach our gun violence reduction goals in large part because of our continued work with talented partners and community leaders throughout Chicago. Discover the incredible work they do in their respective neighborhoods here.
Chicago CRED has funded nearly 10,000 summer jobs since 2016 for at-risk teens who participate in a summer-long Peacemakers Program.
Funding for expanded Street Outreach efforts in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood.
Supports team basketball leagues in high-needs communities. Over the past three summers more than 5,500 youths participated.
Funded the rehabilitation of more than 90 Chicago Public School auditoriums with work performed by at-risk students on the South and West sides.
Through its partnership with Chicago CRED, more than 100 men have written and published memoirs—developing self-reflection, critical thinking, camaraderie, and positive self-projection to author new life narratives.
Grants provided to support expanded street outreach efforts in the Austin and West Garfield Park neighborhoods.
In partnership with the Chicago White Sox, Kaboom constructed a new community-designed playground in the Pullman neighborhood.
Funding for expanded Street Outreach efforts in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood.
UCAN serves and impacts over 21,000 at-risk children, youth, and families across Illinois through compassionate healing, education, and empowerment.
Funding for expanded Street Outreach efforts in the North Lawndale neighborhood.
Youth Guidance supports students at CCA Academy and in the North Lawndale community via school-based group and individual counseling and mentoring programs. Youth Guidance meets youth where they are, offering accessible and healing-centered therapeutic interventions and outreach to young people seeking consistent support from a trained, caring adult.