upLIFTing Chicago 2018

By LIFT on May 2, 2018

Categories: Events, News, Our Work


upLIFTing Chicago has become an annual event to celebrate the resilience, courage and ingenuity of LIFT-Chicago families. Many of our parent members are natives of the city and have seen the hardships their hometown has endured. They know, sometimes firsthand, the harsh realities of the city; from the brutal winters, the violence that seems unending, the flip-flop of state politics and resources that never come in time for the communities that need them most. Yet that is not the full story of Chicago. And that is not the story we told at upLIFTing Chicago this past Spring.

Despite the snow and cold days before, it was nothing but clear skies and warm weather that April evening. Staff, leadership and friends from all over the country converged on the windy city for a night of celebration. The event was hosted and signature sponsored by Kenect Chicago and Akara Partners. The venue, nestled in the bustling and trendy River West neighborhood (and graciously donated by our aforementioned partners), featured a gorgeous skyline that set a beautiful backdrop to a moving evening.

During the event, we were inspired and uplifted in a panel discussion with our LIFT-Chicago families led by Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the Obama Foundation. Their stories were filled with pride, joy and hope for a future filled with opportunities for their children. It was inspirational to listen to each parent: confident, happy and secure in the knowledge that with LIFT, they are taking meaningful steps toward economic mobility and disrupting the cycle of poverty once and for all.

We also had the privilege of premiering a brand new video sharing the powerful story of Chicago mom Humu and her daughter Sameea.

With so many hurtful narratives perpetuated in the media, it’s easy to lose sight of just how special Chicago and its families all are. We’re proud to have brought together people who truly believe in our city—especially the families that make it so great.

Check out our Flickr for photos from upLIFTing Chicago 2018.