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About Us


Courage to Love is a collective of organizations and community members who are committed to better health for Black women, pregnant people, and babies. We believe that loving social relationships at all levels—among individuals, communities, and across the city—are critical for improving the well-being of our parents and babies. Courage to Love was inspired by a report from leading doctors and researchers that said that love is at the heart of how we will improve the well-being of families and babies.


About Us

The Courage to Love Collaborative (C2L) is a network of organizations committed to helping pregnant people and babies in the Auburn Gresham community thrive. We have been working together since 2013 to identify and amplify protective social factors to reduce infant and maternal mortality for African Americans.


Infant mortality is a personal tragedy that both affects and reflects health in communities. It is also characterized by profound racial disparities that place African American mothers and infants at high risk. These patterns strongly indicate that social factors that disadvantage African American parents and infants play a meaningful role in infant mortality.

We are nurturing the Courage to Love through two programs:
Healing Centered Learning Communities for organizations
Recently, the C2L collaborative has focused on the impact that trauma has on infant mortality rates. With the support of the city of Chicago, the C2L collaborative has developed learning communities to equip community residents and organizational partners to become trauma-informed and healing centered.  As these practices become part of the culture of the organizations that serve families, we can grow trauma-informed healing communities where moms and babies can thrive.

Oasis Circles for community members living in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood

We have been working together since 2013 to reduce infant and maternal mortality for African Americans in Auburn Gresham by lifting up the love that already exists in communities.


Why the hands?


The Courage to Love movement affirms that love and life abound in all communities and that lifting up these positive forces is part of what can help protect and support our families so that babies can thrive.  One of our members shared this photo of her baby with her and her husbands’ hands on the baby’s head. As we thought about babies in Auburn Gresham, we imagined all the love that is present in the community as hands reaching out in blessing for the children.


Over time, hundreds of people in the neighborhood shared where they see love in their community by writing it on a hand print. From those comments, we created a collage of blessing hands that lifts up family, faith, caring teachers, supportive neighbors, acts of kindness, and many other gifts in the community. As we continue in this work, this list will continue to grow and flourish….and so will our families and babies.

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Collaborative Partners

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