Us in a Nutshell
The Utopia Connect Foundation will reimagine how we improve the quality of living standards through the investments we make in women and girls. We will do this through strategic projects, mentorship programs, community engagement, and by designing spaces that create pathways for beneficiaries to connect their life dots.
The Utopia Connect Foundation (UCF) is a 501 (c) (3) public organization that connects people to opportunities within Chicago by either creating or heightening resources. We work in marginalized communities and build close relationships with youth; families; women and girls; and other invested entities to advance community wellness. We do this by engaging the whole community through various projects and by catalyzing people to become their best selves. Our ultimate goal is to help shape a city that is safe and resourceful because we invested our energy in empowering its people.
More About Our Impact
We believe that access and empowerment is the key to healthier communities; knowing that when people have access and are empowered they have the knowledge and the tools to better care for themselves and their families.
We liaise with and support select non-profits in reaching their vision by helping them to connect more effectively with the community at large.
We help young people to navigate relations with law enforcement and help them to deter the detriments of attaining a criminal record by intentionally engaging them in community projects and through volunteer activities.
We nurture leadership skills in young people beginning with a strong and engaging youth advisory board that allows young people to be the drivers in determining some of the solutions to their own city’s needs. Our youth advisory board also helps to steer the direction of youth programming and further engagement with other city youth.
One of Utopia’s greatest aspirations is to empower women, youth, and their families. To date and in our work with young people and communities, we see this empowerment manifest itself in the degrees of knowledge being gained and in the ability of the people we work with to gain transferrable skills and use creative and critical measures to address their own needs, leading to better personal and economic outcomes.
Calling for gender equality, this quote from Michelle Obama helps us put our work in perspective and keeps us pushing forward no matter how grim the landscape may seem. Obama says, "No, it will not be easy. And it will not be quick. But make no mistake about it, we can do this. If we can make this kind of project — progress in just a year — in just a year — if we keep putting in this effort and this investment that these girls deserve, we can get this done. I know we are all up to the task. I know we are. I see it in your eyes. I know you feel that burning sensation, that sense of unfairness. Turn that into action. Turn that passion into something real. Those girls will be so grateful, because they are all of us. They are my daughters, and they are you.” Obama made the speech while encouraging movement on International Women's Day 2020. Be inspired too!
What We're Doing Next
The work we do with women in 2020 and throughout this decade will take center stage. We feel strongly that if we can focus more strategically on the work we do to move women forward we will change the playing field for women in Chicago. Not only will this work change women it will change some root issues that plague and weigh heavily on our communities. After all, the work to uplift women is not just a phenomenon or a strategy for places like Africa and India. If we can change the trajectory for women in Chicago, we can change neighborhoods and an entire city. Please sign up below to hear more about our work and our campaign.