On Human Rights Day, December 10, 2020, we hosted our virtual Annual Meeting 2020: Empowerment & Innovation. The meeting brought together our CEDA Family – a family made up of supporters, partners, staff, board, volunteers, and clients – to look back at this monumental year and forward at how we will accelerate change in 2021.

If you weren’t able to attend, you can catch the replay here!

The event featured special messages from local leaders:

President and Chief Executive Officer of CEDA, Harold Rice. Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, Toni Preckwinkle. And Deputy Director for the Office of Community Assistance of DCEO, David Wortman.

They shared messages for an equitable future for all Chicagoland residents. Messages of hope. Messages of togetherness and transform for Chicagoland communities.

CEDA Empowerment Awards

The CEDA Empowerment Awards also premiered at this event! These awards honor those who use their voices to empower others and strengthen neighborhoods. Through sharing information about CEDA services, our award winners help their neighbors stand on their own two feet. In addition, by sharing their stories with others, our winners work to strip away the shame that all too often comes from asking for assistance. Our CEDA Empowerment Award winners are:

Bernida Davenport-McWhite

Bernida received support from CEDA in 2017 and went on to become one of our most amazing advocates for change across the Chicagoland area – helping others in her neighborhood receive support like she did.

Hear Bernida’s powerful story.

Angie Cosslyn

As a single mom-of-two, Angie has faced her own hurdles in life, but she has worked hard to overcome them. She opened her door to CEDA’s Weatherization services, but beyond that, she opened her heart to us. Angie has worked to help many people who have been in her shoes by sharing her story. In this way, Angie promotes self-sufficiency among her community.

Angie is taking a selfie with her two sons.

Angie joined our most recent CEDA Helps: Live Q&A. Catch the recorded webinar here.

CEDA’s Upcoming Innovations

In strategic planning, our organization made the decision to continue strengthening and stabilizing our communities with our programs like WIC and LIHEAP while building long-term, sustainable solutions to meet our vision – to end poverty in the Chicagoland area.

Partnering for Change

Thank you to all of our Annual Meeting 2020: Empowerment & Innovation Partners in Service. With partners like you by our side, we can bring our communities and networks TOGETHER and collaborate to create a future of equity, innovation and –most of all – hope.

All program sponsors

We invite you to partner with us on new adventures to transform Chicagoland. We cannot do this alone. To take our communities from struggling to self-sufficient and thriving, we need your support.


Please give what you can before December 31st to have your investment DOUBLED. Generous donors have agreed to match any gifts made this month – dollar for dollar. Help us meet this challenge. Please give to the future today.


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