Chicago Lights is the community outreach arm of Fourth Church. Its programs provide hope and opportunity to our city’s children, youth, and adults who face the challenges of poverty.
It is this congregation’s historic commitment to serve the city and our urban neighbors that is given expression in Chicago Lights. It was founded in 2004 as a way to bring together various Fourth Church urban outreach programs—including Tutoring, which began in 1964, and the Social Service Center, which was created by Pastor Elam Davies in 1984.
Its diverse programs and supportive relationships empower people to thrive academically, secure economic stability, lead healthy lives, and build community.
Embodying the commitment of Fourth Church to reflect God’s inclusive love, honor the dignity and potential of all, and compassionately serve our neighbors in need, Chicago Lights annually serves 4,000 individuals of all races, ages, ethnic backgrounds, and religious traditions
through its six signature programs, described below.
Subscribe to the Chicago Lights email newsletter
Browse the Chicago Lights Annual Report
Learn about the Chicago Lights Board of Directors and the Associates Board
View upcoming Chicago Lights events and opportunities here.
Chicago Lights Academic Success in Schools (CLASS) supports learning and creative self-expression by providing arts education in dance in four public elementary schools in Chicago.
Chicago Lights Free Write Jail Arts and Literacy at the Nancy B. Jefferson Alternative School provides the only one-to-one literacy tutoring available to more than 150 youth incarcerated in the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center.
The Chicago Lights Elam Davies Social Service Center helps meet the basic human needs of food, clothing, and a caring community for more than 1,600 adults annually who are hungry, homeless, or in transition.
Chicago Lights Summer Day provides a safe place to learn and engage in academic classes and arts activities for 100 first through ninth graders for six weeks each summer.
Chicago Lights Tutoring seeks to break the cycle of poverty through academic and emotional support for more than 400 students from low-income families.
The Chicago Lights Urban Farm empowers youth and community residents in the Near North—formerly Cabrini Green—neighborhood to have increased economic opportunities through access to organic produce, nutrition education, workforce training, and microenterprise development.
For more information about Chicago Lights, visit the Chicago Lights website or contact Stacy Jackson (312.981.3562), Executive Director of Chicago Lights.