Our Origin Story
Chicago CRED—CREATE REAL ECONOMIC DESTINY—is an anti-gun violence organization co-founded in 2016 by Arne Duncan, a former U.S. Secretary of Education and CEO of Chicago Public Schools, and Laurene Powell Jobs, the founder and president of Emerson Collective, a Palo Alto-based social impact organization.
A Chicago Native Returns to Focus on Saving Lives
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.
Bringing Hope Back to Chicago
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
Teaming Up To Drive Change
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.
Their mission is to inspire youth to reach their fullest potential at school, at home, and in the community.
IMAN seeks to infuse the best of those models with an understanding of the Muslim spiritual tradition as a way of effectively reaching and mobilizing its own base of leaders across Chicagoland, state of Illinois and the country.