Our vision is a thriving, just and harmonious world.
Our collective future demands that we envision and work toward a better, more sustainable and equitable world. A world where everyone can pursue their potential in harmony with each other and with nature.
The challenges facing us in global health, economic development, access to opportunity, and environmental preservation are individually daunting and complexly intertwined. They are challenges unlikely to be solved in a single generation, even a single lifetime. But they require urgency and action.
Since 2005, our community-driven, education-based model has rooted the highest international learning standards in an abundant respect for wellness, sustainability, and equity. We are honored to have built a team that reflects our resilient and resourceful community and to partner with local leaders and neighborhood voices to enable a regenerative future.
We believe that the potential to build sustainable and equitable futures lies within each and every community, and that lasting global progress must grow from the local level to be sustained through future generations.
We are developing and scaling an evidenced-based community model where education, wellness, sustainability and economic vitality work in harmony to drive meaningful, multi-generational impact.
We are the Cultivate Collective. Growing resilient, equitable and vibrant communities from within.
Our Community-Led Journey
Catalyzed by community voices, our Collective vision originated in 2013 in response to decades of systemic inequities facing Chicago’s southwest side. Former LeClaire Courts’ and current neighborhood residents assembled with local leaders and community organizations to commence what has become nearly a decade-long journey of stakeholder engagement, design charrettes, CHA Working Group meetings and neighborhood gatherings, culminating in the purchase of a six-acre CHA land parcel in 2018 and a shared dream for LeClaire Courts’ future.
Developed in partnership with neighborhood leaders, our Community Benefits Agreement outlines hiring CHA residents and resident-owned businesses, community facilities use, and community voice and stakeholder engagement in ongoing project planning. An additional MOU with the Hearst Community Organization and LeClaire Courts Local Advisory Council defines inclusionary hiring and business participation, focused on minority- and women-owned businesses and local workers, a Union Project Labor Agreement, and monthly meetings with community leadership for ongoing collaboration.
With the support and engagement of Alderman Michael Rodriguez, ongoing monthly community meetings have been instrumental in ensuring neighborhood voices remain central to shaping Cultivate’s Strategic Advisory Council, Founding Board, and workforce development and community hiring strategies, including representation from former LeClaire Courts’ residents. This led to structured partnerships with GSDC, HIRE360 and several other collaborators focused on inclusionary and local training, apprenticeships, and hiring strategies. With the passing of CEJA in 2021, it became clear that Cultivate would be an ideal site to leverage educational opportunities focused on environmental career pathways and existing relationships with workforce and economic development partners.