Save the Date

Dec 2, 2011
6pm - Reception
7pm - Gala Dinner

Crowne Plaza Chicago O'Hare
5440 North River Road
Rosemont, IL 60018



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Not planning on attending the Anniversary Gala? Consider a general donation.

Your donation will help fund trainings for grassroots faith and community leaders and help build powerful local and national campaigns on issues such as civil rights, job access, immigration, and education.
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Gamaliel: 25 Years of Building Community Power

During Barack Obama’s three years directing a Gamaliel affiliate called the Developing Communities Project, he was asked why he became a community organizer. “It needs to be done,” he said, “and not enough folks are doing it.” After 25 years, Gamaliel is still doing it—building more just, prosperous, livable, sustainable communities all across the United States.

The Gamaliel Foundation began as an organizing institute in 1986 when Greg Galluzzo, an organizer steeped in the Chicago community organizing tradition, created Gamaliel out of the legendary Contract Buyers League (CBL), which gained national recognition in its successful campaign to renegotiate predatory housing “contracts.” After witnessing the success of CBL, Gamaliel would generate and sustain community organizations throughout Chicago and the Midwest.

Chicago’s rich history of community organizing began with the work of Saul Alinsky in the 1930s. By the mid-1980s, however, many organizers had departed for the coasts. Low-income communities in the Heartland were left struggling with alienation and political powerlessness at a time when the American economy had also left them behind.

Gamaliel filled that gap. It trained community and faith leaders to build political power, and created organizations that united people of diverse creeds and races. The goal, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, was to achieve the American Dream: to give ordinary people control over the political, social, and economic decisions that shape their lives.

After building a base of community organizations in Chicago, Gary, Milwaukee, Youngstown, Cleveland, Minneapolis-St. Paul, St. Louis, Davenport, Detroit, and Pittsburgh, Gamaliel expanded to cities on the east and west coasts and in the south. These organizations won local victories for low-income people on issues such as education, job access, and affordable housing, including a $700 million investment in affordable housing by Milwaukee banks. As the affiliates grew, so did the need for more coordinated work. The decisions that kept communities poor and powerless were being made outside of those communities, on a state, regional, or federal level. In order to affect them, low-income people needed to be able to organize on a broader scale.

This began Gamaliel’s transition to a national network of affiliates that are addressing local issues, while also participating in coordinated national campaigns. Gamaliel’s national Civil Rights of Immigrants campaign has organized dozens of prayer vigils and actions targeting members of Congress, winning unprecedented access to key legislative decision-makers. Gamaliel’s national transportation campaign, the Transportation Equity Network, has shifted federal transportation policy to increase transit access for low-income people, won tens of millions of dollars of transit funding, and expanded job access for people of color, women, and low-income people. Gamaliel’s national health care campaign helped drive the long-awaited passage of national health care reform in 2010.

Today, Gamaliel has grown into a network of 60 affiliate organizations in 18 states, with international affiliates in Great Britain and South Africa. More than half of Gamaliel’s organizers are people of color. And in January 2011, Ana Garcia-Ashley became its new executive director—the first woman of color ever to head a national, faith-based organizing network.

Looking to the next 25 years, Gamaliel is working to build strong statewide organizations in all 18 states where it works, to strengthen alliances with strategic partners, and to adapt yesterday’s organizing strategies to a new era.

“After 25 years, Gamaliel’s mission and vision of building community power are more important today than ever before,” says Gamaliel Executive Director Ana Garcia-Ashley. “The skills, courage, talent, and commitment that have sustained us for the past 25 years are going to enable us to transform America over the next 25—to fulfill the promise of democracy for all.”

Sponsorship Levels

  - Download sponsorship sheet

Title Sponsor ($75,000)

- 2 tables for 10 at the dinner
- Signage at the VIP Reception (TBD)
- First Tier Closest to Main Dias
- A full page ad in program ad book

Visionary Champion ($25,000 - $74,999)

- 2 tables for 10 at the dinner
- Signage at the VIP Reception (TBD)
- First Tier Closest to Main Dias
- A full page ad in program ad book

Visionary Leader ($15,000 - $24,999)

- 1 table for 10 at the dinner
- Signage at the VIP Reception (TBD)
- Second Tier Closest to Main Dias
- A full page ad in program ad book

Visionary Benefactor ($10,000 - $14,999)

- 1 table for 10 at the dinner
- Signage at the event (TBD)
- Third Tier Closest to Main Dias
- A full page ad in program ad book

Visionary Patron ($5,000 - $9,999)

- 1 table for 10 at the dinner
- Half page ad in program ad book

Visionary Friends and Non-Profits ($2,500 - $4,999)

- 1 table for 10 at the dinner
- Quarter page ad in program ad book

Sustainer ($1,000 - $2,499)

- 4 dinner plates
- Listed in program ad book

Supporter ($500)

- 2 tickets for dinner

One Dinner Plate ($350)

- 1 dinner plate