AURORA, Ill. – State Rep. Barbara Hernandez, D-Aurora, is encouraging local nonprofits and community organizations to apply for the Illinois Restore, Reinvest, and Renew (R3) grant program, designed for programs in historically underserved Illinois communities, including large parts of Aurora.

“The negative consequences of the war on drugs have been felt by poor and disadvantaged communities, particularly communities of color, for far too long and has resulted in increased violence, economic disinvestment and mass incarceration,” said Hernandez. “The R3 program will provide funding to community renewal programs and work toward building justice and equity across the state and right here in Aurora.”

Hernandez is highlighting Illinois’ R3 grant opportunities, totaling $31.5 million in restorative justice grants now available in part from tax revenue derived from legal cannabis sales throughout the state. The R3 grants fund programs in five areas: civil legal aid, economic development, re-entry, violence prevention and youth development. The communities that are eligible for R3 funding were identified, in part, by their rates of gun injuries, child poverty, unemployment and incarceration rates. Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations, local units of government and tax-exempt faith-based organizations. Aurora has portions of the city designated as opportunity zones that would qualify for R3 grant opportunities. The deadline to apply is July 20. To ease the application process, online technical assistance is offered to organizations. For more information on eligibility or to apply, visit

“The R3 funds seek to help move our state toward addressing the disparities in communities affected by racial injustice and poverty by sending funds directly to organizations working in these communities,” said Hernandez. “I strongly encourage local organizations that may be eligible to visit the R3 website or contact my office for assistance.”

For more information, please contact Hernandez’s constituent services office at

Rep. Barbara HernandezRep. Barbara Hernandez

83rd District

Springfield Office:
233-E Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 558-1002
District Office:
540 W. Galena Blvd.
Aurora, IL 60506
(630) 270-1848