Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is essential to our mission as a model urban university. As we draw from the strength and diversity of our surrounding city, we give back through programs in health, education, the arts, employment, and more.

Civic Engagement

Through partnership with our neighbors, the University works to enhance the quality of life and economic development of the South Side, city, and globe. We devote the research and creative thinking of some of the nation’s top scholars along with financial investment to supporting numerous facets of public life. 

Explore civic engagement

Community Programs

The University sponsors a broad array of programs to enhance the lives of our community, some of which are highlighted below. You can also search our full Community Programs Directory. 

Search community programs

Health and Wellness

A major health care provider on Chicago’s South Side, the University of Chicago Medical Center sees firsthand the challenges that affect this diverse region. The Urban Health Initiative is our long-term commitment—in partnership with civic leaders, community organizations, health care providers, and residents—to strategically improve health and access to quality care on the South Side of Chicago through patient care, community-based research, and medical education. 

Explore health and wellness

Education

Our commitment to providing empowering education extends beyond our own college and graduate students to include public prekindergarten students through retirees. A major initiative is improving public schools in Chicago and other urban settings, spearheaded by the research of our Urban Education Institute and the four charter school campuses it operates. The University also trains future public school teachers, mentors high schoolers to help them succeed in college, and provides a multitude of learning opportunities for community members. 

Explore community education

Community Life

The University’s rich cultural and recreational offerings reflect the diversity of our community, on campus and off. From ancient artifacts to modern jazz, plus community swim and sports camps, Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, and the Interreligious Center, there’s always a familiar or new experience to be found. 

Explore community life

Economic Impact and Jobs

As the city’s second-largest private employer, the University is committed to being a diverse workplace, with staff from all walks of life and faculty from around the world. Through our business diversity initiative, we also create opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses and foster the development of the South Side business community. 

Explore economic impact and jobs