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Nicor gas awards 100000 in grants to support diversity initiatives in the communities it serves

NAPERVILLE, IL – September 7, 2023 – Today, Nicor Gas is announcing $100,000 in grants to support diversity initiatives that address the lack of access to opportunities for those experiencing discrimination based on race, national origin, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, veteran status and physical disabilities. 

“We are proud to support several organizations across our service territory that are dedicated to making our communities stronger every day,” said Jackie Nagel, manager of Community Affairs at Nicor Gas. “As the largest natural gas provider in Illinois that provides clean, safe, reliable and affordable service to 2.3 million customers, we believe that promoting diversity and inclusion opportunities, education and access to resources to groups that have been under-served and under-represented is critical to the success of our state and its growing workforce.”   

This year, Nicor Gas is proud to award 23 organizations with grants of up to $5,000 to support their diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, including: 

Statewide/Northern Illinois Service Territory:

  • Ajilla Foundation NFP – Supports programs that provide comprehensive leadership development opportunities to collegiate women of color from diverse backgrounds through a fellowship program.
  • Best Buddies – Supports job training programs for individuals with disabilities.
  • Northern Illinois University Foundation – Supports the university’s annual STEM Fest to increase and sustain youth and public engagement in science, technology, engineering and math.
  • Youth Outlook – Supports general operating costs to coordinate programs for LGBTQ+ youth.

Metro Chicago:

  • Chicago Sinfonietta – Supports classical music education residencies throughout Chicago that are designed to eliminate socioeconomic and geographic barriers while providing interactive programming and services.
  • Chicago State University Foundation – Supports the institution’s Pre-Freshman in Engineering Program for students whose demographics are traditionally underrepresented in the STEM fields.
  • Heartland Human Care Services, Inc. – Supports economic stability for diverse and low-income women by increasing their financial stability and psychological self-sufficiency.
  • National Latino Education Institute – Supports meaningful employment programming and opportunities.
  • Sisters Working It Out – Supports programming aimed to increase access to and timely use of quality cancer screening services for women in underserved communities.
  • Women Employed – Supports programming to address the wealth gap at the intersection of race and gender. 
  • YWCA Metropolitan Chicago – Supports career pathway programs for women and people of color to obtain credentials and access to high-demand positions.

Cook County:

  • American Association of Blacks in Energy, Chicago Chapter – Supports funding for student scholarships.
  • Family Service and Mental Health Center of Cicero – Supports mental health resources and community presentations by Spanish speaking clinicians. 
  • Hispanic Business Network Foundation – Supports funding for scholarships to support first generation college students.

DuPage County

  • CREO DuPage – Supports tutoring and mentoring services for college-minded Latinx high school students.
  • Diamond Youth Foundation – Supports minority student populations at five high schools in the western suburbs of Chicago.
  • Naperville Neighbors United NFP – Supports a sponsorship of multicultural events, including the annual Juneteenth celebration. 
  • Naperville Youth Club – Supports summer camps and after school programs. 
  • North Central College – Supports sponsorships for programming around Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Black History Month.

Iroquois County:

  • Illinois Veterans of Desert Wars – Supports assistance for Desert War veterans while they are receiving mental health treatment.

Kankakee County:

  • NAACP Kankakee County – Supports funds to remove barriers of racial discrimination.

McHenry County:

  • Veterans Path to Hope – Supports veterans’ employment programs and wraparound services including mental healthcare.

Winnebago County:

  • The LIAM Foundation – Supports LGBTQIA+ individuals in the Rockford area through legal services, health resources, housing support, transportation, basic needs and community education.

To learn more about Nicor Gas’ commitment to protecting the environment and giving back to the communities it serves, visit

About Nicor Gas
Nicor Gas is one of four natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Nicor Gas serves more than 2.3 million customers in a service territory that encompasses most of the northern third of Illinois, excluding the city of Chicago. For more information, visit

About Southern Company Gas
Southern Company Gas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), America’s premier energy company. Southern Company Gas serves approximately 4.3 million natural gas customers through its regulated distribution companies in four states with approximately 600,000 retail customers through its companies that market natural gas. Other businesses include investments in interstate pipelines and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit 

Media Contact:
Jennifer Golz