2015 In Review: One Cause At A Time

2015 In Review: One Cause At A Time

Examining 2015 in review, Chicago can easily make one very important claim:

2015 was the year in which Chicago residents actively built and strengthened their communities one cause at a time, and technology played a greater role in making that happen.

From a highly contested mayoral race to protests around police conduct, from library hotspots to startups, there have been a variety of ways in which residents, nonprofits, and social enterprises have enabled social change and social benefit in Chicago. In fact, many cultural aspects within and outside of Chicago have reinforced the idea that advocating for communities goes beyond the clever social media graphic, and that technology can drive greater opportunities for social change.

Thankfully, this blog has tried to cover a wide range of activities....and we're taking the opportunity to provide a glimpse of 2015 in review for this blog. So for each month, we've quoted and linked to one blog post which we feel represents some greater insight into community engagement and efforts in social change in Chicago over the past year. (We've also selected some key insights into working for nonprofit/social enterprise on various levels

So let's dive into 2015 in review for Chicago Now's One Cause At A Time:

January - Many people involved in nonprofit careers (whether transitioning into or out of the field) find it hard to survive in our current economy. Many are taking "side gigs" or smaller jobs to either bring in extra cash or - perhaps - spin their efforts off into a new career.

February -  So am I glad I served as election judge? Yes: it may be a long day, and there's a rush of activity towards the end, but I'm also proud that I helped strengthen my community's voice.

March - Although both candidates made an effort to address the issue, perhaps now is a good opportunity to discuss the "digital divide" - and "digital excellence" - as they impact the city.

April - Nonprofits, social ventures, and other organizations work to make a positive impact - now, there is the opportunity for individuals to learn how to make a positive impact.

May -  As a nonprofit communications professional, I think the 2008 - 2012 series has a strong sense of social justice, beginning with its opening narration (Note: the show in question returns to Ion Television - digital channel 38.1 - on January 3rd)

June - Knowing what I'm good at helps in the short term, but those areas of improvement....will keep me going for a lifetime.

July - Not only was I a frequent participant of the Library's summer reading club, but I eagerly awaited the summer movie series....if only to get a yearly view of George Pal's War of The Worlds

August -  Recently, I participated in Chicago Cares Serve-A-Thon 2015, and although I wrote about the experience, I don't think my prose did the event justice.

September - But my main purpose is to congratulate you on being named "America's Social Justice Warrior" by Mashable - the tech site that reflects America's taste in potatoes

October - In our current media culture - and especially in Chicago - we're rather indifferent to the power of blogging, and that needs to change. Immediately

November -  "If you're going through hell, keep going"

December - Too often, the idea of "crowdsourcing support" seems counter to the idea of "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps", or more towards "cyberbegging" than building support.

In fact, one of the things you'll be seeing over the next few weeks are some changes in the blog - not a shift in focus as much as changes in layout. Many of our subpages and features will be better organized. We'll be sure to post on a more consistent basis.

But one thing will never change: we'll still cover aspects of nonprofit, social enterprise, and community organization activity in Chicago. After all, looking at 2015 in review, it's safe to say - we've found our niche and hit our stride.
Is there anything we've left out, or things we should cover in 2016? Please let us know your thoughts either via thee comments section below or our Facebook page. (Both blog and Facebook comments are moderated). You can receive updates via e-mail (instructions below), or contact me personally via the About page.

And as always, thanks for reading!

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