Peace League team with BUILD founder, Bob Jemilo (third to last with sunglasses)
Peace League team with BUILD founder, Bob Jemilo (third to last with sunglasses)

BUILD (Broader Urban Involvement & Leadership Development) is one of Chicago's leading gang intervention, violence prevention, and youth development organizations. Our mission is to inspire hope and offer opportunities so youth facing systemic obstacles can achieve positive futures.

We focus on hard-to-serve youth in some of Chicago’s most challenging neighborhoods.




Legacy of Innovation

Since 1969, BUILD has helped thousands of young people transform their lives, and today reaches over 6,500 youth and families a year with caring adult mentors and a rich variety of experiences in the arts, athletics, college & career preparation, entrepreneurship, leadership development, technology, and mental health programing. Our model blends the best practices of restorative justice, conflict mediation, prevention, development, and behavioral health, and is designated an evidence-based Effective Program by the US Dept. of Justice.

In May 2019, BUILD celebrates 50 years as a life changing Chicago institution. As we move into a new era, we invite you to learn about BUILD's legacy and get involved.

Challenged Communities, Promising Kids

We work in some of our city’s most challenged and under-resourced neighborhoods--Austin, East Garfield Park, Humboldt Park, Hermosa/Logan Square, and Fuller Park—because we believe every young person in every neighborhood deserves every chance to build a bright future.

Relationships, Opportunity, Support

BUILD provides the people, programs and pathways our young people need to reject gang involvement, violence, dropping out of school and giving up on a meaningful future.


Our People

BUILD is about relationships.  The relationships we develop with our youth, and the ones we model in front of them, are as important to their success as any program or intervention we provide.  We build the kind of trust and lasting bonds that kids need to know they have an advocate, a support system and people with high expectations for them.

Our Impact

BUILD gets results.  Regular program participants show increases in all of the following:

  • Deterred/decreased negative behaviors
  • Increased pro-social behaviors
  • Social mobility
  • Post-secondary success
  • Civic activism

BUILD something amazing with us