About Us

We build power for community stakeholders


The Southwest Organizing Project’s (SWOP) mission is to build a broad-based organization of Christian, Muslim and Jewish faith institutions, local schools and other institutions in Southwest Chicago, which will enable families to exercise common values, determine their own future and connect with each other to improve life in their neighborhoods.

To this end, leaders of SWOP have dedicated themselves to building relationships across racial, ethnic, generational and faith differences and to bringing the common concerns of their institutions into the public life of the community as they develop the capacity to act collectively and “stand for the whole.”


As a broad-based organization committed to leadership development and collective action for the common good, SWOP members act to build deeper public relationships within and among the churches, mosques, schools, and other institutions in the neighborhoods they serve. Through this process, SWOP staff and primary leaders continually strive to identify and strengthen new leadership for public life.


SWOP works with the constituents of its member institutions and with other stakeholders of Southwest Chicago. The 45 institutions that make up the membership of SWOP include Catholic parishes, an historic African American synagogue and a Muslim service organization, local elementary and high schools, CDCs, a community hospital and a school-based health center, and social service agencies.

Our member institutions are located in the Southwest Chicago community areas of

Serve a population that is






African American



White, Arab-American, or other

(SWOP estimates that a large percentage of this population are immigrants) (all data as of 2020, from DePaul’s Institute for Housing Studies)

The communities are low- and moderate- income with 18.5% of families living below the poverty line and 56.1% of households have an income below $50,000 (the Chicago Area Median Income for a family of four is $104,200).