Neighborhood Writing Alliance
The goal of the Neighborhood Writing Alliance (NWA) is to empower individuals, build community and promote civic engagement in low-income neighborhoods. NWA reaches 300 adults through free weekly writing workshops and 4,000 adults through 40 readings throughout the year. The workshops highly engage all the participants as they discuss and write together, though participation is encouraged but not required. In addition, the writings are published quarterly in the Journal of Ordinary Thought (JOT), which is founded on the principle that every person is a philosopher. The writers work one-on-one with workshop leaders to revise writings and select pieces for publication. Each participant is published in JOT at least once a year, usually more frequently. Two NWA writers won Illinois Arts Council literary Awards.