Nicor Gas awards $100,000 in grants to support diversity initiatives in the communities it serves

Today, Nicor Gas is announcing $100,000 in grants to support diversity initiatives that address the lack of access to opportunities for those experiencing discrimination based on race, national origin, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, veteran status and physical disabilities.

"We are proud to support several organizations across our service territory that are dedicated to making our communities stronger every day," said Jackie Nagel, manager of Community Engagement at Nicor Gas. "As the largest natural gas provider in Illinois that provides clean, safe, reliable and affordable service to 2.2 million customers, we believe that promoting diversity and inclusion opportunities, education and access to resources to groups that have been under-served and under-represented is critical to the success of our state and its growing workforce."

This year, Nicor Gas is proud to award 21 organizations with grants of up to $5,000 to support their diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, including:

Metropolitan Chicago:

• American Association of Blacks in Energy: Supports the organization's energy professionals who are dedicated to ensuring the input of African Americans and other minorities into the discussions and development of energy policies. • Best Buddies International: Supports the Integrated Employment Program, which provides individualized job discovery, job development, job placement, on-the-job training, and follow-along support for individuals with developmental disabilities.

• Chicago Sinfonietta: Supports initiatives to boost and highlight musicians of color throughout four main concerts performed at Wentz Hall in Naperville and the Symphony Center in Chicago.

• Chicago State University Foundation: Supports the Pre-Freshman Program in Engineering and Science (PREP) to educate students from underserved communities of the professional opportunities in technical careers.

• Chicago Workers Collaborative: Supports the Equal Opportunities and Justice for Women and LGBTQ Immigrant Worker Program to expand the ongoing work of promoting inclusion, respect and dignity for immigrant workers.

• Heartland Human Care Services Inc.: Supports the Imagine, Dedicate, Earn, Achieve (IDEA) Program to help build financial stability for diverse and low-income women through coaching and vocational training.

• National Able Network, Inc.: Supports the Veterans Forward program which provides employment and supportive services for multi-barrier veterans transitioning from military to civilian careers.

• National Latino Education Institute: Supports workforce development programs for underrepresented populations, creating opportunities for lifelong success and upward mobility.

• National Museum of Mexican Art: Supports the sponsorship of a Día de los Muertos exhibition that includes folk art, fine art and Day of the Dead ofrendas that exemplify the regional and contemporary expressions of the holiday.

• Suburban Primary Health Care Council: Supports an access program to address health disparities in diverse populations and enable low-income, uninsured and underinsured individuals with access to bilingual healthcare providers.

• Youth Outlook: Supports a Health Navigator for LGBTQ+ Youth including case management for mental and physical healthcare.

• YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago: Supports the Career Pathway Program which prepares participants with access to high demand, high paying, entry level positions with opportunities for advancement.

Adams County:

• Illinois Veterans of Desert Wars: Supports services for veterans receiving inpatient mental health services including rent, groceries, utilities and aftercare expenses.

DuPage County:

• CREO DuPage: Supports leadership development workshops for Latinx youth in DuPage County and expand bilingual resources for their families to understand the process for preparing for and applying to colleges.

• Mandala South Asian Performing Arts: Supports the organization's Kahani-Reimagining Stories event that will highlight South Asian cultural traditions.

• Midwestern University: Supports dental care for homeless, low-income and underinsured veterans.

• Naperville Neighbors United: Supports multicultural events to promote community and diversity through music, spoken word and the arts at the annual Juneteenth celebration.

• Naperville Youth Club: Supports after school and summer programs for at-risk and underrepresented youth.

Kankakee County:

• NAACP Kankakee County: Supports the annual Freedom Fund Gala including daily operations, committee functions, advocacy, youth council events and college scholarship programs.

Lake County:

• Dyspraxia Foundation USA: Supports initiatives to educate the community regarding dyspraxia, a condition that affects fine and gross motor skills.

Will County:

• Guardian Angel Community Services: Supports the delivery of two diversity, equity and inclusion training sessions for employees working with victims of domestic violence.

To learn more about Nicor Gas' commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in the communities it serves, visit

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