Late one night, when we were all in bed
Old Mother Leary left a lantern in the shed,
And when the cow kicked it over, she winked an eye and said,
“There’ll be a hot time, on the old town tonight.”
Fire, fire, fire!
If you grew up in Chicago, chances are high that you’ve heard the song detailing the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The infamous event left the great city in devastation and shambles, but that’s not where the story ends. Some of the greatest minds from various industries joined forces, collaborated, and did the seemingly impossible. The community banded together to rebuild and better the city. Inspired by the spirit of growth and development that existed after the Great Chicago Fire, 1871 was founded in 2012. The organization has grown to be a valuable resource and support system for over 400 digital start-ups and events in the city of Chicago.
1871 is the main initiative of its parent non-profit organization, the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC). CEC developed 1871 to provide a tangible address and work-space for Chicago based entrepreneurs in the technology and digital arenas. The entire operation is run and supported by CEC. According to their website, 1871 “is a place where you can share ideas, make mistakes, work hard, build your business and, with a little luck, change the world.”
There have been a variety of events held at the eye-catching and modern work-space, such as the StartupAmerica: 1 Year Anniversary National Event, Innovative Technologies in the Automotive Industry: a French View on the Green, and most recently The Purpose Pitch. I was particularly impressed with the push to get young girls interested and involved in the technology scene.
The main goal of the organization is to connect people to resources- be it financial, human collateral, work-space, or simply acting as a think-tank to bounce ideas around. A wide variety of programs are offered to fulfill that mission like mentor/mentee programs, volunteer opportunities, classes and seminars, and the opportunity to hold an event at the Merchandise Mart work- space.
1871 is growing in popularity and helping Chicago based entrepreneurs. The organization is a prime example of the ideal that we are better together, and is doing great things for the city of Chicago.
CALL TO ACTION
Check out 1871’s website, social media pages, and get involved! That can manifest as taking a class, attending an event, or even sharing their page on your social media sites. Digital technology is an ever growing and expanding field and you don’t want to get left behind!
21st Century Charter School teacher, Janell Lewis fulfills ‘life purpose” teaching students and teachers to “Be Great!”
While dozens of teachers have abandoned their mission to educate youth in Gary, Indiana, one South Side Chicago native is challenging students and teachers to be great in a community that thousands of people have left. The birthplace of pop idol Michael Jackson is now a place where hundreds of youth cannot leave and who aren’t sure if anyone will ever know their names.
Located on N. Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park is a store called ‘Secret Agent Supply Co.’ The store carries a unique inventory. Most all the items in the store are meant to spark a person’s curiosity and creativity.
The store location is shared with 826CHI, a non-profit organization offering creative writing tutoring. The space was created to give people in the community an opportunity to learn and grow creatively through their writing.
Chicago and all of its glory can feel overwhelming sometimes. There’s so much going on, there are so many people going so many places and the areas in need of improvement are never ending. The problems that plague this great city may seem far too advanced and complicated for any one person to solve.
Because of this, it becomes so easy to throw our hands in the air, denying responsibility. After all, ‘what can we do?’ So we move on, ignore the issue and focus on other things. Knowing what is going on around us but feeling helpless to change anything.
Hate is not a new or isolated issue. On July 2, 1999 Ricky Byrdsong, husband and father of three, was murdered by a white supremacist. As the former Men’s Basketball Coach at Northwestern University, his love for sports translated into his work of helping young people in the community reach their full potential.
Imagine. Chicago’s most focused organizations committed to youth development; libraries, museums, advocacy groups, after-school programs, all coming together as one to create a large network of connection.
Like a giant beehive, Hive Chicago created just that, consisting of a staggering 84 different organizations to create the most accessible opportunities for youth to pursue their dreams.