Crains Chicago Business | 11/28/2023

A new, multimillion-dollar grant from late Chicago businesswoman Sue Ling Gin will help expand services combating gun violence.

This week the Sue Ling Gin Foundation awarded $21 million to Chicago CRED, a community violence intervention program co-founded by former U.S. Education Secretary and CEO of Chicago Public Schools Arne Duncan. Gin founded her airline catering business, Flying Food Group, at Midway International Airport and became a prominent real estate investor near the airport and in the West Loop. Gin was also a major philanthropist and served as a member of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago and the Economic Club of Chicago. She died at 73 in 2014 after suffering a stroke.

“(Sue) was a force of nature, and that connection between her and the Civic Committee was very meaningful for us,” said Derek Douglas, president of the Civic Committee and the Commercial Club of Chicago. “I think she would be very proud and very pleased to see her resources being put to address one of the major initiatives of the Commercial Club.”

The three-year grant will allow CRED to expand its community violence intervention work in various South and West Side communities including North Lawndale, Roseland and Pullman. That means scaling CRED’s work from transforming individuals and into neighborhood violence suppression, Duncan told Crain’s.

“This grant helps us and will help others start to move not just from the individual work, which is critical, to really trying to reduce violence in the 15 most violent neighborhoods in Chicago, which would transform our city,” he said.

In a recent op-ed in The Washington Post, Northwestern professor Andrew Papachristos pointed to recent research on CRED’s participants. Papachristos’ team looked at the rate at which CRED participants were arrested for a violent crime and the rate of getting shot. Their study, published this November in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that young men who completed the two- year CRED program experienced a 73% reduction in violence-related arrests compared to a similar group who did not participate in the program.

While CRED’s work has focused on serving 18-to 24-year-old men, the organization realized it needed to intervene in a younger demographic. At least $1.5 million of the new grant will go toward serving teens within the program’s South Side youth program and will launch similar services on the West Side. Another $1.5 million will go toward hiring project managers and data analysts in at least seven communities.

By Leigh Giangreco
Leigh Giangreco covers government, politics, policy, civic life and the city’s power elite for Crain’s Chicago Business. Before coming to Crain’s in July 2023, Giangreco worked for several years as a freelance reporter whose work has appeared in The Guardian, Politico Magazine, Bloomberg CityLab, The Washington Post and Pew’s Stateline. She previously covered the defense industry in Washington, D.C.

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