Chicago Lights is the community outreach arm of Fourth Church. Its programs partner with youth and adults to build brighter futures.
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 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2004 as a way to bring together under one umbrella various Fourth Church urban outreach programs and at the same time to offer those programs better access to corporate and foundation support and partnerships.
Among the programs brought together in 2004 under the Chicago Lights name and organization were the Social Service Center, which was created by Pastor Elam Davies in 1984, and Tutoring, which was started in 1964 by church members and subsequently gave rise to a 501(c)(3) organization known from 1991 to 2004 as Partners in Education (PIE).
Chicago Lights provides creative youth development and social services that help people build the skills they need to transcend systemic barriers and lead fulfilling lives. We partner with Chicago’s youth and adults in mentoring, supportive services, academic enrichment, career development, and arts education.
Embodying the commitment of Fourth Church to reflect God’s inclusive love, honor the dignity and potential of all, and compassionately serve our neighbors, Chicago Lights annually partners with 4,000 individuals of all races, ages, ethnic backgrounds, and religious traditions.
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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 Dance Academy fosters self-esteem and academic growth through dance classes taught by professional artists for 1,500 students attending Chicago schools.
The Chicago Lights Elam Davies Social Service Center helps 1,300 adults achieve individual goals through case management and enrichment groups, plus appointments for food, clothing, housing case management, and other resources.
Chicago Lights Summer Day bridges the summer learning and safety gap for 125 students by engaging them in a six-week, full-day program that includes academic and arts classes, outdoor recreation, field trips, and a dynamic final performance written and produced by the students.
Chicago Lights Tutoring matches 440 students with caring volunteer mentors to help them build academic and social-emotional skills, graduate from high school, and pursue meaningful careers.
The Chicago Lights Urban Farm cultivates a thoughtful and engaged community of youth and adults through educational and economic opportunities, hands-on learning experiences, and access to fresh, local, and sustainably grown produce.
For more information about Chicago Lights, visit the Chicago Lights website or contact Stacy Jackson (312.981.3562), Executive Director of Chicago Lights.