About Us

Founded on October 22, 2017, the Community and Neighborhood Improvement Project (CNIP) is a non-profit advocacy organization based on Chicago’s far South Side that serves historically underserved neighborhoods by working to make their environment and communities of residence a place that is a beautiful, fun, healthy, and safe place to live, work, and play.

In collaboration with city, county, state and national affiliates and organizations, CNIP partners to engage individuals and families in economically productive, artistically beautiful, healthy and active ways of living with an emphasis on:

  1. Improving conditions for bicycling, walking, and public transportation that increases access and the aesthetic appearance of our communities;
  2. Developing and maintaining economic independence for the community and neighborhood;
  3. Increasing access to healthy food and promoting healthy eating while helping to increase access to a variety of affordable food options such as community gardens, farmers markets, and fresh fruits and vegetables;
  4. Creating artistic place-making structures and artifacts throughout the community;
  5. Developing, maintaining, and supporting a fitness community helping people move well, and move often.

The vision of the CNIP is to increase the overall quality of life in our local communities and increasing economic independence that results in community pride and healthy, sustainable lifestyles.

We envision the neighborhoods of Chicago’s South Side being places that are safe, fun, and healthy places to live, work and PLAY.

Our Organization

Learn about our mission, our vision, and our CEO. Check back for more information about our team, board of directors and job opportunities in the future.


Our mission is to make the Southside of Chicago a place that is a fun, healthy, and safe place to live, work, and play.


The vision of CNIP is to increase the overall quality of life in our local communities through improved access to modes of transit and increasing economic independence that results in community pride and healthy, sustainable lifestyles.



Dr. Brenda Dixon – CEO

Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Dr. Brenda M. Dixon is the founder and Chief Executive Officer for the CNIP. Dixon, who is passionate about health, fitness, and cycling, launched the non-profit in 2017 to help create artistic, fun, healthy, and safe places and environments for the neighborhoods and community she grew up in and loves. 


Dixon has worked in education as a classroom teacher, building administrator, district administrator and educational consultant for more than 20 years. She serves on several boards and committees in the community including a cycling advocacy committee, as vice president of Friends of the Major Taylor Trail and she is a member of the leadership team for Women RUN the World.


An avid cyclist, Dixon is an active member and ride leader of the Major Taylor Cycling Club Chicago and still continues to ride leisurely whenever her busy schedule allows her to indulge in her favorite pastime of cycling

The club is named after legendary African-American cyclist Marshall “Major” Taylor, who was one of the most celebrated bicycle racers of the late-19th century, setting several world records and winning numerous races all over the world. Dixon served as a board member for the club in 2017-18.


Dixon has played a significant role in several community projects including writing a grant to create a mural on a graffiti-filled bridge over the Little Calumet River that connects the MTT to Cook County Forest Preserves’ Whistler Woods.


In addition to cycling, Dr. Dixon enjoys walking, exercising, cooking, volunteering in the community and healthy eating.

We want more people choosing transportation options that are healthy, fun and environmentally-friendly.

Get Involved

Support the liberating power of biking, walking, and advocating for our community.  Join the CNIP by volunteering at one of our Spring/Summer 1st Saturday Major Taylor Trail Community Clean Up Days:


Your donation, time and support will help make our neighborhoods and community Beautiful Fun, Safe and Healthy!


The CNIP has several opportunities and ways to get involved with your resources, time or voice.

The CNIP can’t protect, maintain, and enhance trails without your support. Please consider donating today to support our work in the community.


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We love volunteers! Volunteers make a world of difference and can change lives, and have their lives changed in return. Working as a volunteer can be an enriching experience in a number of ways. No matter your skill level, there are many reasons to consider sharing your time and talents with the CNIP.

By sharing your time and skills with the CNIP, you will be helping others who care and are passionate about building and improving our neighborhood and community through a wide range of projects including fundraising, events, serving as a community advocate and more. Together we can make a difference on the South Side of Chicago.

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