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THe BLOOM
Network

a necessary force addressing the root causes of gun violence by centering the wellbeing of Black women and Black moms

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Apply for the BLOOM Network!

Apply for our BLOOM Network for exclusive access to free wellness events and future BLOOM Cohorts in Chicago. You deserve an empowered space to BLOOM, and a community of Black sisters to BLOOM with!

What is the BLOOM Network?

The BLOOM Network is an intergenerational movement re-imagining the wellness and empowerment of Black women on the south and west sides of Chicago as a necessary method of gun violence prevention. Through individual cultural activations, workshops, and teachings women in the BLOOM Network are able to reclaim dreams, heighten their imagination, and experience empowerment that trickles down to the youth and community stakeholders they care for.

What are our pillars?

SISTERHOOD

SELF-LOVE

NOURISHMENT

TRANSFORMATION

INNOVATION

FAITH

Who do we serve?

We serve Black single mothers, mothers, and women ages 18-65 who are living on Chicago's south and west sides and who have been impacted by poverty-induced gun violence or its side effects. Being impacted by poverty-induced gun violence encompasses, but is not limited to, being a survivor of gun violence, having lost a loved one due to gun violence, having witnessed a shooting, and living in a community where the threat of firearm homicide is high. If this sounds like you, register for our BLOOM Network!

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What's our programming structure?

The BLOOM Network houses four initiatives: Auxillary BLOOM Network Events, The BLOOM Cohort, The BLOOM Alumni Network, and the BLOOM Ambassador Fellowship. These programs can only be accessed by members of the BLOOM Network. Keep scrolling to learn more!

AUXILLARY BLOOM NETWORK EVENTS

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These individual events hosted throughout the year lean into our expansive definition of wellness including luxury and leisure, a Human Right outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Through wellness events, leisure activities, and educational workshops like basketball games, entrepreneurship workshops, wellness retreats, Broadway shows, and more—women in our BLOOM Network can expose themselves and their families to experiences that leave them feeling dignified and hopeful.

THE BLOOM COHORT

THE BLOOM COHORT

The BLOOM Cohort is a 6-month wellness program that follows an educational and experiential curriculum rooted in our own BLOOM Network pillars. Events include unit-based wellness workshops with our partner Sista Afya Community Care (SACC) where a licensed therapist guides women to think about their wellness in ways and with support many of them haven’t had before. Additionally, events range from yoga to art therapy, Broadway shows, community clean-up projects, and more. 

In order to graduate from the cohort, participants must abide by community guidelines, maintain a 75% attendance rate, and work with our Goal Coordinator (a licensed social worker) to complete a personal or professional goal by the end of the 6 months. Participants are provided with over 60 hours of in-person support and 10 hours of free counseling each, 20+ wellness programs, and an in-person graduation to give Black women and single mothers the flowers they deserve. These experiences work together to help expand participants’ capacity to confront, defeat, and heal from the barriers that have held them back from being active agents and changemakers for themselves, their families, and their communities.

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Watch our 2023 BLOOM Cohort Documentary 

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Some of our 2023 BLOOM Cohort activities include...

  • Self-Love, Nourishment, and Transformation Workshops w/ SACC

  • Professional photoshoot with Sunrise Art Club

  • Facial Workshop with Self-Care Spa Lounge

  • Rustic Falls Nature Camp Retreat

  • Clean Up Project Day of Service

  • Black Girlhood Bonfire 

  • Yoga in the park

  • And more!!

2023 BLOOM Cohort Donors

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THE BLOOM ALUMNI NETWORK

The BLOOM Alumni Network is a community of BLOOM Cohort graduates continuing to build sisterhood and healthier families through celebratory events and resource drops. Upon graduating from the Cohort and opting into the Alumni Network, Cohort Graduates have access to this network for life!

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THE BLOOM AMBASSADOR FELLOWSHIP

The BLOOM Ambassador Fellowship is a six-month professional development and community engagement fellowship for BLOOM Cohort graduates.

Through the components of Intensive Professional Leadership Development, Community Engagement, Legacy-Building, and Mentorship the fellowship aims to provide a professional skill set rooted in Black legacy-building and tangible tools for social change—with the ultimate goal to empower Black women to activate their power to be change makers within their communities. Participants will engage in trainings, workshops, and research projects that will allow them to reach this goal.

Six fellows were selected as part of the Inaugural 2024 BLOOM Ambassador Fellows. Their fellowship begins in February 2024 with an all-expenses paid Legacy Trip to Montgomery, Alabama. This serves as a meaningful exploration of Black history during Black History Month. It will also highlight the legacies of our predecessors who created positive social change in resistance to systems of violence. This will be a point of continuity throughout the fellowship as each fellow is tasked with executing a culminating Service Project that addresses poverty-induced gun violence.

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BLOOM IS

THE EMBODIMENT OF

RADICAL affirmation.

IT STANDS FOR BELIEVING,

LOVING, AND OWNING THE

OPULENCE IN MYSELF.

OUR ORIGIN STORY

INTRO

Need is elastic and we stretch to meet it. Stemming directly from the expressed needs of the people we work with, BLOOM is a necessary force for gun violence prevention and its impacts. Through the Chicago Food Pairing Program, we served hundreds of families by providing customized grocery deliveries, including household supplies, alongside resource list creation. Over time we realized that of the hundreds of people we serviced, the vast majority of them were Black women and single moms. As we conducted these deliveries, they shared with us that they lacked investment, support, a sense of self-worth, a voice, and an ability to dream. We listened. We studied. And with the needs of the people at the forefront, we are taking action.

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2023 BLOOM Cohort members

BLOOM acts to realize the empowerment of marginalized women by focusing on those who are most vulnerable: low-income women, single mothers, women with disabilities, unemployed women, and more. These women, who are pillars in our communities and their families, are an untapped mine of budding leaders with the power and influence to help shift communities affected by poverty-induced gun violence from a state of scarcity to a thriving oasis. By prioritizing experiential learning, joy, conversation, and counseling—women of color leave the cohort having bloomed into more effective architects of their lives and communities.

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