Youth and their communities are impacted by harmful practices and institutions, so we have developed an advocacy department dedicated to macro-level systems-change work. 

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Issue Areas

Basic Needs Access 

Black and Brown communities have long been denied access to health services, access to education, and access to housing!

1. Access to Health Services
    1. Treatment Not Trauma
    2. Health Insurance
2. Access to Education
    1. Equitable School Funding
    2. Free Community College and Trade School

Economic Empowerment

Systemic tactics such as redlining, predatory lending, disinvestment in schools, and high student loans have contributed to stark wealth disparities between Black and Brown communities and their White counterparts.

1. Workplace Advocacy
    1. Thriveable Wage
    2. Salary Transparency
    3. Holistic Benefits



2. Closing the Wealth Gap

Student Loan Forgiveness

Justice Equity and Transformation

The criminalization of youth and the over-policing of communities’ of color perpetuate white supremacy.



1. Decriminalizing Youth
    1. End School to Prison Pipeline
    2. Cops out of CPS
    3. The Final 5
3. Gun Violence Prevention


October 20, 2023

Alternatives is genuinely concerned about the current events impacting people in the Gaza Strip following Israel’s order for evacuations amid ongoing airstrikes and a deepening crisis. We strongly condemn the bombing of civilians.

November 8, 2023

As an organization, Alternatives upholds the value of liberation and freedom for all people. Chicago’s status as a Sanctuary City since 1985 – representing a promise to shield all immigrants in Chicago from federal agents, regardless of citizenship, residency status, or whether they are seeking asylum – is an essential part of Alternatives’ vision of young people, free. 

November 16, 2021

At Alternatives we uplift the power of healing individuals, restoring communities, and transforming systems. As an organization that has existed in Chicago for half a century and provides Restorative Justice and Behavioral Health services to primarily Black and Brown youth, Alternatives knows that the Chicago Police Department doesn’t contribute towards the safety and wellbeing of the young people we serve. Nonetheless, last year, 39% of Chicago’s city budget was allocated to the CPD.

June 2, 2020

We are a community desperately in need of healing and justice. Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd’s murders have compounded the pain of years of injustice, as have the killings of far to many others at the hands of the police. We denounce violence against Black and Brown folks, and the systemic racism that allows this type of violence to be used to oppress an entire community.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2023 4:30 PM

Tuesday, October 24, 2023 4:30 PM