Former Chair | CEO, The Resurrection Project
Raul Raymundo grew up in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago and has long understood the challenges and strengths of working-class and immigrant families. After graduating from Carleton College in Minnesota with a degree in Sociology, he returned in 1988 to live and work in the Pilsen neighborhood.
In 1990, he co-founded what is now known as The Resurrection Project (TRP). The organization started with $30,000 seed capital raised by area parishes. Since then it has leveraged that money into $346 million in community investment impacting 38,000 families in Pilsen and surrounding Southwest Side.
For almost 25 years, under his leadership as CEO, TRP has seamlessly blended community development, community organizing, human service delivery, and advocacy to build healthier and engaged communities. TRP has become one of the region’s most creative and effective community development organizations, working in every area of community life.
Raul’s approach to building community stability includes connecting policy to grassroots leadership development and empowering residents to take strategic action to impact their lives and community. This is a cornerstone of Raul’s strategic approach in creating healthy communities, underscored by a leadership philosophy that embraces innovation.
As a result, TRP has created more than 600 affordable homes, community facilities like health clinics, early childhood centers, and schools serving thousands of families. Through job creation, assistance in strengthening local businesses and being active in public policy issues, TRP improves the quality of life for many communities in the Chicago region.
Raul’s leadership and innovation includes the realization of the first nationwide community-based college-student housing and resource center—La Casa. This project addresses the challenges faced by first-generation college students with support services to help students graduate from college and succeed in life. As further evidence of his leadership, in 2012, Raul sprang into action when the failure of Second Federal Savings (SFS) put 1,100 homeowners at risk of foreclosure.
The auctioning of these assets could have led to mass foreclosures on Chicago’s Southwest Side. Through his tenacious leadership skills he secured the resources and partnerships necessary to rescue this bank. This resulted in turning SFS into the largest community development credit union in the state by preventing mass foreclosures and keeping families in their homes. In both instances, Raul shepherded TRP from a grassroots organization into a force for social and economic change.
Raul’s leadership is also recognized broadly across Chicago. Currently, Raul serves on several boards including Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, Ounce of Prevention Fund, Archdiocese Catholic Schools, Illinois Business Immigration Coalition, Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy, St. Anthony Hospital Ministry Board, National Association of Latino Asset Builders and Self-Help Federal Credit Union. He is the recipient of the Association for Fundraising Professionals Chicago 2015 Outstanding Community Leader Award and a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow and has receives numerous awards during his tenure at TRP.
In 2015, Raul will celebrate The Resurrection Project’s 25th Anniversary. He plans to continue his commitment to building healthier communities by focusing on community organizing, reinvestment and access to resources to underserved communities and doing more in the next five years than in the last twenty-five.