West Side Forward Evolving from Bethel New Life
Bethel New Life is a 501c3 non-profit organization based in Chicago, Illinois. Formed by a small Lutheran church on the West Side of Chicago in response to the devastation and disinvestment that followed the civil rights riots of the late 1960s, diagnosis Bethel New Life has been in the business of creating social impact and community change for more than three decades.
Over the years, Bethel New Life has led the way in the community development movement. Bethel New Life has operated as a new breed of community investment organization on Chicago’s West Side which includes Chicago’s Austin, West and East Garfield Park, Humboldt Park and North Lawndale communities. We are focused on creating opportunities to bring individuals and families out of poverty and bringing about system and policy changes necessary to lift an entire community out of poverty. We invest in people who are ready to invest in themselves and we impact the systems and policies that dampen the human spirit and prevent communities from thriving.
West Side Forward Approach
West Side Forward’s efforts are targeted to assure that the development of businesses and jobs for the West Side align with the economic growth, development and jobs of the Chicago region. We believe that it is essential that the economy of the West Side move from one of high levels of government support and low levels of sustainability into the mainstream regional economy, interconnected with the economy of the larger region and producing a net export economy for the West Side.
West Side Forward’s primary investment areas for bringing about community transformation are business development, workforce development and industrial development advocacy on the West Side of Chicago.
Build a self-sustaining West Side economy that is connected to the larger regional economy.
Strengthen community capacity to benefit from investment
Create opportunities to bring individuals and families out of poverty.
Support policies and systems that help communities thrive.
Ed Coleman, President & CEO
Email | LinkedIn
Roxanne Charles, Chief Engagement Officer
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Chair: Vasco Bridges, JANO Technologies
Jeff Bell, ARC Precision / Dominican Univ., Melanie Mosley, NSBE / Light Dynamics, Ed Coleman, West Side Forward, Roxanne Charles, (ex-officio) West Side Forward
Careers at West Side Forward
WSF has undertaken considerable research and writing over the years applying this research as an integral part of our work —creating practical applications, identifying best practices, developing innovative pilot programs, and making recommendations for public policy change.
West Side Forward | Evolving from Bethel New Life, Inc. © 2019