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First Midwest Bank invests in award-winning Englewood Women’s Initiative

The Englewood Women’s Initiative (EWI), an innovative program led by Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW), recently received a $10,000 investment from First Midwest Bank Foundation in a check presentation held at Teamwork Englewood. Corliss Garner, Senior Vice President and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Diversity & Inclusion at First Midwest Bank, was on hand to present the investment.

The initiative, led by CFW, has brought together a range of partners to strengthen the economic security of women residents in the Englewood community, including Teamwork Englewood, Family Rescue, The Jane Addams Resource Corporation (JARC), Chicago Women in Trades, Kennedy King College, Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing, Metropolitan Family Services, Acción Chicago, Demoiselle2- Femme, and All Chicago.

With First Midwest’s investment, alongside the investment of more than $460,000 from other funding partners, the EWI will work toward the initiative’s overarching goal of helping 60 women reach annual salaries of $40,000, or more, within the next five years. According to the Social Impact Research Center, in their recent neighborhood report, 60 percent of families in the Englewood community are led by single women earning $10,000 a year on average.

To date, the initiative has engaged 85 women in EWI services and programs, 67 percent of whom are enrolled and actively working with at least one partner organization. As the needs of the women participants have evolved, so has Chicago Foundation for Women, working with the EWI partners to think of innovative ways to address the needs impacting women’s economic success, including housing, financial coaching, job training, domestic violence counseling, and legal aid.

The initiative was recently recognized by Chicago Innovation and received the “Neighborhood Award” for its focus on a particular community and for thinking differently about ways to support residents.

For more information about the Englewood Women’s Initiative, how to participate or partner, visit

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