The initial teaching and learning center (TLC) of the Elijah Glenn Ward Family Foundation is named in honor of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, and specifically, in honor of the life and work of Sister Susan M. Sanders. The heritage of the Sisters of Mercy and Sr. Sue has served as direct inspiration for the Ward Foundation commitment to delivering compassionate service to the most marginalized of our society, particularly men, women and children affected by poverty, incarceration and discrimination.

Located in the Lacuna Artist Lofts building of the Pilsen Art District at 2150 S. Canalport Avenue in Chicago, the Sanders Teaching and Learning Center is the home of the Chicago P.R.I.D.E. Initiative and other programs, and will soon house a variety of community programs, including Science Saturdays, a children’s reading program, summer youth jobs programs, and a youth arts program.

2017 Dedication Ceremony of the Sanders Teaching and Learning Center


  • The Chicago P.R.I.D.E. Initiative
  • Mercy Job Bank
  • Adelaide F. Ward GED Program
  • My Brother’s / Sister’s Keeper

The Chicago Purpose, Restoration, Integrity, Determination, and Excellence (P.R.I.D.E.) Initiative

Chicago P.R.I.D.E. provides people recently released from incarceration with pathways to a postsecondary education through intensive college readiness instruction, case management, mental health education and existing community services aligned directly with postsecondary academic instruction. The program offers an opportunity for 30 men and women between the ages of 18 and 32 to have access to twelve months of participation in a post-release, Restorative Justice and Re-Entry Program that includes the following courses:

• Introduction to Post-Corrections Legal Reality
• Introduction to Critical Skills for Life Change
• Independent Community Living and Life Planning
• Internship in Community Transitions and Workforce Development

Mercy Job Bank

Through this program, low-income residents are placed in jobs with a variety of local businesses. The job bank is an excellent resource for low-income and minority individuals residing on the South Side of Chicago who seek placement in the workforce. Though priority is given to South Side residents, all citizens living in Chicago are eligible for placement.

Adelaide F. Ward GED Program

This is our most productive and innovative program. Over 12 weeks, staff and volunteers support students in GED prep courses. All former students in this new program have gone on to pass the GED exam and become eligible for promotions with their employer.

My Brother’s / Sister’s Keeper

Developed for African American males and females ages 16-24, the program’s goal is the building of positive role models via a network of volunteer mentors from across Chicago. Participants meet twice a week at the Sanders TLC for a minimum of 2 hours each week for 24 weeks. The My Brother’s/Sister’s Keeper program is funded by a grant from the Chicago Community Trust.

Enrollment is now open and will continue until further notice. To learn more, please contact us at

Make a donation specifically toward the operations of the Sanders Center and its programs