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Here's what's now Under Way at Rudd Resources.

Spring 2019 News

Rudder Courtney Brunson with nonprofit leader Rufus Williams for On the Table.

Creating a Memo to the Mayor

The Chicago Community Trust’s sixth annual day of civic conversation, On the Table, was held on May 14, with thousands of people gathering across the Chicago region to talk about what matters most to theme.  Rudd Resources worked with the Trust to add a timely theme to the event:  “Memo to the Mayor.”  With the historic election of Lori Lightfoot as Chicago’s mayor, the event served as an ideal vehicle for residents to speak to each other, and then to the new mayor, about challenges, solutions and ideas for the city.  Suburban residents participated, too, writing memos to their elected officials. On the Table conversations are being held throughout May, and each conversation host will create a memo at  You, too, can join the movement by creating a memo!

Our agency also added new elements to initiative: We  introduced “On the Table, On the Move,” going into each of Chicago’s 50 wards to meet residents, ask them what they’d like Mayor Lightfoot to do, and encourage them to host a community On the Table. (Pictured at left, rudder Courtney Brunson (l) with Rufus Williams, CEO of BBF Family Services, during an On the Move visit.)

We also created and produced “teal table talks,” a series of videos featuring leaders from the Trust discussing popular On the Table topics and more (you can view those on the Trust’s YouTube channel) and re-invigorated the Trust’s Instagram presence and garnered news media coverage of the initiative.

Promoting the path to homeownership

We’re having a blast telling the stories of Chicago residents who are realizing their dream of homeownership through our client Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago (NHS).  For NHS, our team created an integrated marketing communications strategy to help increase awareness of the non-profit organization’s mortgage lending and educational services.

We’ve filled their Facebook and Twitter pages with engaging content. We’ve created videos and prepared executive communications to convey NHS’ success to their stakeholders. And this spring, we’ve launched an advertising campaign themed “Your Path to Homeownership.” The campaign  aired on B-96 (WBBM-FM) and 104.3 Jams (WBMX-FM), it’s on Facebook and it’s seen on neighborhood billboards. We thank our partners at Art on the Loose for creating this campaign and bringing it to life with us and NHS. 

Raising awareness about over-incarceration

What does justice look like? That’s the question our client Illinois Humanities has challenged Chicago communities to explore through its Envisioning Justice initiative, which fosters city-wide conversations about over-incarceration and strategies that lessen the impact of it.  

Our creative storytelling team has been filling the Envisioning Justice blog with articles on events and arts programming that address the issue of over-incarceration. And our media team has been busy drumming up media attention for the Envisioning Justice initiative.  Check out a couple of our placements here:

In the months ahead, we’re gearing up for Envisioning Justice’s art exhibition, which premiers Aug. 6-Oct. 12 at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Sullivan Galleries, 33 S. State St. in Chicago. Learn more about Envisioning Justice at

We appreciate the trust these organizations have placed in us to handle their communications needs, and we look forward to sharing updates on this page. 

A symposium to examine equitable development...and hear "trap cello"

In March, our client Elevated Chicago held “All Aboard,” its second symposium dedicated to the people, places and processes behind equitable transit-oriented development (eTOD) in the city.  The term eTOD refers to development around public transit that seeks to enhance quality of life for existing residents, equitably,  rather than reduce population through displacement or gentrification. 

“All Aboard: The 2019 Elevated Chicago Symposium for People, Place and Process” was held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. The symposium brought together 200 nonprofit and civic leaders, urban planners, community organizers, graduate students and other professionals.. Rudd Resources handled symposium planning with the Elevated Chicago steering committee, shaping the panel discussions, handling event logistics, helping plan the “Undesign the Redline” exhibition and producing a video package about the citywide initiative and its four equitable transit zones, called “eHubs.”  On event day, “the rudders” managed social and news media coverage.  Read our symposium recap and watch the highlight reel -- including a beautiful serenade to Chicago from poet Lesle Honore and “Trap” cellist Ayanna Williams.


  • We’re working with the Pritzker Traubert Foundation to promote awareness of its Chicago Prize, a competition that will award $10 million to a single community-led initiative on the South and/or West Side of Chicago that uses physical development and revitalization to create and strengthen civic infrastructure. Learn more at at the Chicago Prize website.
  • Three organizations have teamed up to provide legal support to Chicago residents who have low incomes and are grappling with landlords over security-deposit disputes and evictions via an innovative text-to-help service called Rentervention. We will spend this summer working with the Lawyers Trust Fund, the Lawyers Committee for Better Housing and Illinois Legal Aid Online to get the word out to residents, affordable and fair housing advocates and news media. 
  • The Leverage Network has selected Rudd Resources to help promote its offerings to individuals and corporations seeking to advance diversity on boards of directors in health care. We look forward to providing strategic counsel to this important organization.
  • Our agency created stories about the professional journey of healthcare leaders of color to help promote the Executive Diversity Career Navigator site of the American College of Healthcare Executives
  • Resurrection University has used our social media content for their Facebook followers, and Rudd Resources continues to provide overall strategic counsel to this growing university. 
  • We marked a year of working with Columbia College Chicago’s media team with the placement of this great Chicago Tribune story on author Edwidge Danticat’s recent visit to the campus.  
  • Lindsey Stepney-Wright, a project coordinator with Rudd Resources, was one of the Chicago 200 participants in a three-day leadership training program for young adults run by Common Purpose and funded by The Chicago Community Trust, the MacArthur Foundation and Northern Trust.
  • We do more than work with our client; we dance with them, too!  Kimberley Rudd has been a certified  Zumba dance instructor for the past 10 years, and loves taking her moves to community events. She had lots of fun with client Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago during its “Healthy Homes” workshop in Chicago Lawn. About two dozen people enjoyed healthy snacks prepared by Jessica Holmes of Soul Boricua and then worked up a good sweat, as part of NHS’ holistic workshops on home ownership.

Winter 2019 News

David Rudd with Gloria Castillo, president and CEO of Chicago United

Welcome aboard to our newest clients

We are excited to announce our newest clients: Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, Resurrection University and Illinois Humanities. Each began working with us in Fall 2018, and our assignments with them will run through Spring 2019.

For NHS of Chicago, we are supporting the development of a spring marketing campaign to introduce more Chicagoans to the benefits of working with a nonprofit mortgage provider. We also are managing social media and developing newsletter content for the organization.

For Resurrection University, we are working to raise awareness of the growth of this university, and its success with attracting, retaining and graduating a diverse, adult student body.

For Illinois Humanities, we are developing story and social content for its Envisioning Justice initiative. Envisioning Justice explores the ways art and the humanities can be used to demonstrate the impact of mass incarceration on five Chicago neighborhoods and within two systems (Cook County Jail and the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center). 

We appreciate the trust these organizations have placed in us to handle their communications needs, and we look forward to sharing updates on this page. 

The Chicago Community Trust's new way forward

In Fall 2018, The Chicago Community Trust adopted new strategic priorities that seek to impact the long-standing and inexcusable racial inequities that exist in Chicago – inequities that have left communities of color disinvested and affected by shorter life-expectancy rates, higher crime rates, fewer jobs and other disparities.  Dr. Helene Gayle, president and CEO of the Trust, published this letter on the priorities in December. 

To support this new strategy, the Trust named Rudd Resources its public relations agency-of-record in October 2018.  We had been working with the Trust since Fall 2016 on several community-facing initiatives, including On the Table, a citywide initiative that connects thousands of people working together toward a thriving metropolis. We are thrilled to enter this new phase with the Trust, and we're excited about the work to come. 

Tell you something good: ETOD in Chicago

The term “eTOD” means equitable transit-oriented development -- and eTOD has been the core of the work of Elevated Chicago since 2017, when it was formed to spark investments in communities of color in ways that could strategically, thoughtfully and responsibly address inequities facing residents. The questions are: Can the creation of new businesses, buildings and jobs near convenient public transit lines be done in ways that make a community more stable for its existing residents and less susceptible to gentrification that forces out residents? Can equitable development also increase residents’ access to affordable housing, positively impact public health, increase climate resiliency and inspire more arts and cultural activities? 

Elevated Chicago, as a collaborative of organizations, is working tenaciously to answer these questions. The Elevated Chicago Workplan was released in August 2018, and an eTOD symposium will be held in March 2019.

We are honored to be Elevated Chicago’s partner in this important work, and we are thrilled to help bring information to the public through news stories that cover this topic, such as this recent front-page Chicago Tribune story. Learn more about the City of Chicago’s expansion of TOD and adoption of an equitable TOD ordinance here.  


  • Congratulations to Chicago United on its recent, successful 50th anniversary gala. Rudd Resources supported Chicago United's member communications initiatives in 2018. (Pictured above: David Rudd with Gloria Castillo, president and CEO of Chicago United)
  • In December, consultant Sonya Moore Lewis traveled to Los Angeles with the Elevated Chicago team to attend a convening of SPARCC-funded cities; she enjoyed learning more deeply about equity and TOD.
  • Our agency hosted the National Association of Black Journalists, Chicago Chapter, for a community meet-up in December; Phil Thompson, an NABJ-CC leader and a journalist with the Chicago Tribune, shared tips on accessing media and being media-ready with participants representing six nonprofit organizations.
  • In October, Kimberley Rudd presented a communications and messaging session at the Partnership for Resilient Communities' Peer Learning conference. The event was attended by organizers and leaders working on environmental and community development programs in six cities.

Press Releases

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CCLBA selects Rise Strategy and Rudd Resources as AOR (pdf)