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The Common Ground Foundation is dedicated to developing youth in underserved communities to be contributing citizens and strong leaders.


Hip-Hop artist, Actor, and Children’s author Lonnie Rashid Lynn, known as “Common,” is the visionary behind the Common Ground Foundation.  Our premise is to identify and develop tomorrow's leaders through programs that promote holistic leadership and education.  We are committed to empowering youth to achieve greatness while developing leadership and life skills needed to fulfill their dreams and make an impact on their world.

BE Empowered

The Common Ground Foundation is dedicated to the empowerment and leadership development of urban youth. It is the goal of the Foundation to create an environment that will foster the desire for knowledge, which in turn will lead to informed decision making. Our programs focus on empowering youth through the following: 

The Common Ground Foundation's "BE Empowered" program provides life, career and educational mentoring as a means for youth participants to achieve understanding, confidence and self-respect. Our program support is focused on "finding the leader within" each youth and developing their own unique gifts. Various outlets of creative expression, learning business and life-skills are pinnacle while enabling youth to develop an overall mind/body "holistic" well-being.

CGF/Lighthouse Youth Leadership Program

The Common Ground Foundation is hosting its pilot programs at the Lighthouse Youth Center located at 4338 S. Prairie in Chicago, IL.

The Common Ground Foundation’s Lighthouse summer and fall programs provide youth with the fundamental principles of holistic leadership and education.  Throughout the duration of each 6-12 week program, courses engage students in activities that educate them about leading healthy lives, acquiring valuable life skills, utilizing technological resources, and exploring their creative gifts in arts and music.  The overall goal of students’ participation in this leadership program is to empower and equip them to be contributing citizens in their world.

Readers ARE Leaders Program

The "Readers ARE Leaders" program is specifically focused on promoting literacy and reading as a primary tenet in every young person’s life. In an effort to encourage and inspire youth to read, the Common Ground Foundation has launched The Corner, a national online book club. This interactive platform provides youth across the country with an opportunity to discuss current reading selections, and fosters the development of critical thinking skills. We strive to educate youth to deem reading as an essential tool in every leader’s life.

Board of Directors and Advisory Board
Executive Director, Rhea Williams
Our Partners

Media Kit

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