We’re Doubling Down on Fair Housing.
Giving back has always been part of our DNA and we’re dedicated to finding new ways to continue investing in our communities — and one way we do that is through our commitment to the future of Fair Housing. That’s why we’ve committed $215,000 to establish the new John Baird Scholarship Fund, which goes to UIC Law students dedicated to making housing fair and equitable for all. 

Named for our late president John Baird, a fierce advocate for fair housing, this scholarship goes to supporting law students working at the UIC Law Fair Housing Legal Center & Clinic, one of our Good Will Works grantees. The scholarship is funded through our Good will Works partnership, as well as a substantial contribution from the Stephen W. and Susan M. Baird Foundation.

As our CEO Steve said, “This is an investment in our collective future as it empowers motivated law students to pursue a career in making housing more equitable, and to ensure everyone has the same access and opportunity to live in the neighborhood they choose to without any barriers.”

When looking for partners that aligned with our Good Will Works mission, The UIC Law Fair Housing Legal Support Center & Clinic was a natural choice. Since 1993 they’ve been dedicated to eliminating discriminatory housing practices across the Chicago area. It’s one of the few law school clinics in the U.S. devoted exclusively to fair housing training and enforcement, and students who work with the clinic gain valuable experience in providing legal counsel to clients and many choose to work in the public sector. 

What makes this scholarship unique is that it covers the full cost of the one-semester course and clinic, regardless of whether the student pays in-state or out-of-state tuition. That means any student passionate about fair housing has the financial support necessary to pursue valuable clinic experience and a career in fair housing advocacy.

Lucy Baird, our company historian and director of community impact, notes that “It’s important to use our seat at the table to create change, just as my grandfather John Baird did in the 1960s, and what we hope this scholarship will do. By supporting a local institution with strong Chicago ties, we’re able to encourage future leaders in fair housing for decades to come.” 

As an organization steeped in the Chicago communities we serve, we’ve always sought to be part of the solution and stand on the right side of history in fighting housing discrimination. We’re proud to carry on that legacy today — and for generations to come — with the John Baird Scholarship.