Imagine Englewood if (IEi) is the longest-serving nonprofit in Englewood dedicated to creating safe and empowering spaces for youth in the Greater Englewood community. IEi strengthens the Greater Englewood community by teaching local youth and their families positive communication skills, healthy living, and environmental awareness.

IEi was founded in 1997 by two community advocates—Jean Carter Hill and Helen Arnold Massey—who sought tools to improve the quality of life for residents in the Greater Englewood community.

In the summer of 1997, Jean Carter-Hill and Helen Arnold Massey attended an Imagine Chicago Citizen Leadership class looking for tools to improve the quality of life for residents in the Englewood community.

Jean, the Coordinator at One Church One School, and Helen, a health educator, invited a group of youth and adults from Mt. Carmel CME Church and Nicholson School’s One Church One School Program, to attend classes at Imagine Chicago. Thereafter, the Imagine Englewood If Organization evolved.

IEi recognized that all community residents could benefit from the Imagine Chicago leadership classes that were funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. In 2000, IEi and its community partners formed a coalition to unite the Englewood community in celebrating and sharing resources on Make a Difference Day. Today, Imagine Englewood If remains steadfast in its pursuit to make a difference in the lives of the families residing in the Greater Englewood community of Chicago.


Under the leadership of Michelle Rashad, Executive Director and West Englewood native, IEi is the owner and operator of West Englewood-based nonprofit and community-based coalition, We Grow Chicago (formerly named I Grow Chicago).

IEi operates out of its Peace Campus, located at 6400 S. Honore. This campus is a block of 16 houses, two open lots, a community garden, two basketball courts and a nature play lot which serves as a resource hub for residents to
obtain immediate basic needs and access to community connection, skill building
and opportunity.


The Peace Campus is an essential component for the reimagining of a Greater Englewood community and available to all residents in need of services or support.


Jean Carter-Hill 


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Helen Arnold Massey



Meet The Staff


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Michelle Rashad

Executive Director

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LaSean Ford

Director of Facilities and Construction

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Brittani Emmons

Director of Operations



Meet The board

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Jessica Holmes


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Perry Gunn

Vice Chair

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Mike Rosenthal


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Jenne Myers

Board Member

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Sonya Harper

Board Member

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Terry Williams 

Board Member

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Ashley Greer Shambley

Board Member

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Sheryl Lott



Community Partners

We’re committed to empowering members of the Greater Englewood community to organize and create real change. We believe a strong network of like-minded partners is critical to achieving this goal.

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Inner Muslim Action Network

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Growing Home

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Lindblom Math & Science Academy

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IEi is able to provide quality programming for local youth and their families because of the funding and resources provided by the below organizations.

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