Website Garfield Park Rite to Wellness Collaborative

The Garfield Park Rite to Wellness Collaborative (GPRWC) is a not-for-profit organization, guided with the mission to cultivate wellness by addressing the spiritual, socioeconomic, political, and physical needs of the Garfield Park community through engaged cooperative participation among all community residents and other stakeholders. The GPRWC has been evolving over the past five years, bringing together residents, nonprofit, healthcare, faith-based, and other leaders that work and live in Garfield Park.

The GPRWC Board includes the Garfield Park Community Council, Erie Family Health Centers, the Institute for Nonviolence Chicago, New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church, the MAAFA Redemption Project, The YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, West Side United, Rush University Medical Center, community members, and other community-based organizations.

The partnership was formed to work alongside the Garfield Park community in addressing inequities that have impacted its residents for decades; as the GPRWC acknowledges the roots of disinvestment, abandonment and racism, the overall goal is to build health, wealth, and wellness, with a focus on Garfield Park leading with community voice, achieving racial justice, and empowering youth.

GPRWC came together to change a horrifying statistic: residents of Garfield Park have a thirteen-year lower life expectancy than residents of the loop, just three miles away. This “death gap” is the result of conditions including poverty and lack of economic opportunity, lack of access to quality health care and wellness opportunities, substance use, gun violence, lack of high-quality food, the psychological impact of multi-generational trauma, and decades of systemic disinvestment and racism. These factors, unfortunately, work in symbiosis to multiply damage. As just one example, the root causes of gun violence include poverty, trauma, and other harms, and the resulting gun violence then causes more poverty, trauma, physical injury or death, and other harms. We cannot expect real, sustainable change without dealing with the intersections of all the factors that impact our health and wellness.

Our goal is to eliminate the life expectancy gap by addressing these multiple complex structural and social conditions. We do our work via: (1) engaging community; (2) convening stakeholders; and (3) undertaking important projects to improve the quality of life in Garfield Park. Additionally, our work is buoyed by two supporting values.

  • First, we believe that community members must have voice in and ownership of decisions regarding what happens here. All our work involves community engagement.
  • Second, we believe that working collectively and in a coordinated way can create greater impact than working in silos.

Our work is infused with respect for the cultural values, expression, history, and strengths of our largely Black community. Following these values, we hope to achieve our vision: a vibrant and healthy Garfield Park, where community members have agency and leadership to determine their destiny.

The GPRWC is organized around four key initiatives: The Sankofa Wellness Village, The Quality of Life/Corridor Plan; The Rite to Wellness Campaign and violence reduction. More information can be found about the GPRWC and its projects here:


At this pivotal time in its history, the GPRWC seeks an Executive Director with superb leadership skills who is poised to build upon the successes of the organization while moving forward into the future – a true “doer.” This person will be deeply committed to centering the Garfield Park community and working clearly and directly with the Board, staff, and consultants to provide the support needed. The Executive Director will be someone who has a passion to build upon the work and continue to impact Garfield Park specifically, and Chicago’s west side generally.

The Executive Director, reporting to a 14-member Board of Directors, will build and manage staff (currently a community engagement coordinator, office/program manager, human resources consultant, intern, CPA team, and development consultant), foster the desired culture of the organization, operate and build a growing organization, complete the strategic initiatives currently underway, be responsible for the completion and implementation of the Quality-of-Life Plan, and help raise $10 million in funding over the next 3 years. Together, the Board and Executive Director will ensure GPRWC stays true to its mission and vision, and participates in a continuous cycle of reflection, refinement and growth.

The Board delegates responsibility for management and day-to-day operations to the Executive Director, who has the authority to carry out these responsibilities in accordance with the guidelines and policies established by the Board. The Executive Director provides direction and support to the Board as it carries out its governance functions.

The Executive Director will demonstrate a desire to contribute to a thriving and healthy organizational and community culture, be able to listen openly and receive feedback as well as collectively work with the Board to strengthen and deepen current relationships and build new ones. This person will have strong organizational and operational skills, a compelling voice that speaks to GPRWC’s mission and programs, ensuring they resonate deeply with its audience, and is unafraid to “roll up their sleeves,” as well as represent the organization at the right tables.



Management and Administration 

  • Provide general oversight of all GPRWC activities, manage the day-to-day operations, and assure a smoothly functioning, efficient organization.
  • Create an inclusive and collaborative work environment that recruits, retains and supports quality staff and volunteers; has a desire to professionally develop and grow staff and volunteers in this work.
  • Utilize project management practices to monitor overall operations.
  • Manage staff performance pursuant to GPRWC’s policies.
  • Ensure that sound bookkeeping and accounting procedures are followed.


Leadership and Risk Management

  • Advise Board of Directors on all aspects of the organization’s mission, vision, values and activities.
  • Represent GPRWC with funders and community members to enhance the organization’s community profile.
  • Ensure ongoing program excellence, rigorous program evaluation, and consistent quality of finance and administration, including fundraising and communications systems.
  • Identify and evaluate the risks to the organization’s people (clients, staff, management, volunteers), property, finances, goodwill and image.
  • Implement measures to mitigate risks; identify, assess, and inform the Board of Directors of internal and external issues that may affect the organization.



  • Cultivate, solicit, and steward donors, including meetings and written communications with potential donors, grantors, and sponsors.
  • Plan and coordinate fundraising events, with the support of staff.
  • Leverage personal and professional contacts and relationships into fundraising opportunities; research and identify new and expanded funding sources and opportunities.
  • Manage a portfolio of individual prospects and donors and cultivate support from foundations, corporations, and government agencies.
  • Ensure terms of grant agreements are met within the timeframes listed.


Community Organizing and Engagement 

  • Lead GPRWC program efforts in the community utilizing effective marketing and communications activities to become a leader of the West Garfield Park community.
  • Implement fact-based processes to obtain feedback from all stakeholders in order to improve the programs and generate increased community involvement.
  • Participate in the Garfield Park community development ecosystem, building upon the establishment of GPRWC as a community leader and partner.
  • Support and develop structures to allow community voice and input at all levels of decision-making.


Program Design and Implementation 

  • Establish and maintain a recruitment process for growing the membership of GPRWC, consistent with established bylaws and Board recommendation.
  • Identify program partners and negotiate agreements to provide financial and/or program services support.
  • Assess partner and contractor performance, provide feedback, and make modifications to Statement of Work (SOW) as required.
  • Support Placemaking Efforts in the Madison Pulaski Corridor in West Garfield Park and Ensure the Completion of Sankofa Wellness Village Projects
  • Collaborate with partner organizations and other community stakeholder initiatives with regard to public space creation and improvement, as well as renovation and conservatorship of blighted or vacant properties.
  • Collaborate with partner organizations/other organizations and community stakeholders to support affordable housing initiatives.
  • Ensure the completion of projects outlined for the Sankofa Wellness Village, a major capital project that will bring to West Garfield Park a purpose-built health and wellness center, arts and advocacy center, and entrepreneurship hub. (With generous support from the Pritzker Traubert Foundation through the $10 million Chicago Prize, as well as partnerships with Rush University Medical Center, Erie Family Health Centers, the YMCA, other community-based organizations, government agencies and the philanthropic community, we expect to break ground on the wellness center in late June of 2024 and anticipate that two of three capital projects will be up and running in 2025.)


Mission, Policy, and Planning 

  • Support the Board in developing a multiple year strategic plan aligned with mission, vision and values.
  • Inform Board on an ongoing basis of community projects, not-for-profit management and governance, philanthropy and fund development.



  • Demonstrated experience as a non-profit executive leader with a solid track record of:
    • Successfully leading and developing teams;
    • Working with an active Board;
    • Diversifying revenue streams and success in fundraising;
    • Cultivating relationships with a wide spectrum of stakeholders, donors, and partners; and
    • Knowledge of leadership, people management and HR principles related to non-profit organizations highly desired
  • Demonstrated commitment to GPRWC’s mission, vision and values.
  • Understands current community challenges and opportunities relating to the mission of the organization.
  • Possess strong marketing, public relations, and fundraising experience with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders of diverse backgrounds.
  • Demonstrated commitment to equity, and specific knowledge of the City of Chicago are highly desired.
  • Possess knowledge of standard development/fundraising practices for tax exempt organizations.
  • Possess knowledge of program evaluation and management for tax exempt organizations.
  • Be an effective problem solver and creative thinker who works consistently and effectively on teams, and is able to establish positive relationships with others.
  • Have a strong external presence and the ability to successfully engage with the media and policymakers to advance GPRWC’s goals.


The successful candidate will have:

  • A bachelor’s degree in social work, public administration, public health or related field; master’s degree is preferred but not required; both lived and professional experiences will be considered if at least 5-7 years of progressive leadership responsibility in similar positions.
  • A minimum of 5-7 years’ experience in financial management, fundraising and program development in a not-for-profit organization; with at least 3 of those years in an executive or senior-level role; and
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office tools.


The Executive Director usually works in an office environment; however, the mission of the organization may sometimes take the person to non-standard workplaces. The ED works a standard work week, but will often work evenings, weekends, and as needed to accommodate activities such as Board meetings and representing the organization at public events. The ED has a valid driver’s license, motor vehicle, and current car insurance or access to reliable mode of transportation; and has the ability to lift up to 15 lbs.


The position is a salaried, exempt, full-time position with a salary range of $155,000 – $170,000 annually, depending on professional and lived experiences. Additionally, GPRWC offers a competitive benefits package, including but not limited to medical, vision, and dental insurance, PTO, and holidays.

Currently, the position will function within a hybrid working environment with alternating remote and on-site workdays and may have in-person obligations that grow over time within Chicagoland and beyond with possible travel outside Illinois for in-person meetings, conferences, etc.


GPRWC has retained Morten Group, LLC, to conduct this search. Applicants should complete the form available at, including the submission of a cover letter and resume in PDF format by the best consideration date of Friday, July 19, 2024 at 12:00 noon. Cover letters will be evaluated as a writing sample.

Please note: Only those applications considered for an initial screening will be contacted.

GPRWC is an equal employment opportunity employer dedicated to the fair and equal treatment of all its employees without regard to age, gender, race, color, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, disability, political or union affiliation, maternity status, parental status, military status, or any other basis prohibited by law. Reasonable accommodation will be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job. 

To apply for this job please visit