As it endeavors to nurture ideas, scholarship, and programs that enrich society, the University of Chicago has partnered with its surrounding communities to build a strong mid–South Side.

The Urban Education Institute (UEI) aims to create knowledge to produce reliably excellent urban schooling. UEI operates four campuses of the University of Chicago Charter School, where students regularly outperform those at comparable neighborhood schools in Chicago and exceed state standards.

The University of Chicago Medicine upholds the same tradition of inclusion and diversity as the University. Its Urban Health Initiative (UHI) strives to transform health care on Chicago’s South Side. A partnership with civic leaders, health care providers, community organizations, and South Side residents, UHI has formed the South Side Healthcare Collaborative, a network of more than 30 community-based clinics, as well as other programs that incorporate clinical care, research, and education.

One of the largest providers of uncompensated care in Illinois, the University of Chicago Medicine also joins the University in supporting minority- and women-owned businesses. For six consecutive years, the business diversity offices of UChicago and UChicago Medicine have presented the Professional Services Symposium to bring owners of such businesses together with senior leaders on campus.

As the second-largest private employer in the city and the largest on the South Side, the University is home to a dynamic staff whose unique perspectives and backgrounds contribute to this institution’s ever-evolving community. Indeed, some 3,000 staff members live in the neighborhoods surrounding campus. The University’s Employer Assisted Housing program provides eligible employees with interest-free loans and credit and homebuyer counseling services, promoting homeownership and investment on the mid–South Side.

Through the Office of Civic Engagement’s UChicago Local initiative, the University partners with organizations throughout the city of Chicago to connect businesses and job seekers in mid–South Side neighborhoods to opportunities at the University, the University of Chicago Medicine, and their vendor networks.

Internally, Diversity Leadership Awards recognize staff and faculty who display leadership in their efforts to cultivate diversity on campus and in the surrounding community, as well as honor the contributions of alumni who work to promote equality.

From pioneers like Benjamin E. Mays to future leaders like the prekindergarten students at the University of Chicago Charter School, a great number of men and women evidence the ideas and achievements advanced by diversity at the University of Chicago. With diversity central to its mission, the University continues to be a destination for the most talented faculty, students, staff, and community and business partners from all walks of life and every corner of the globe.