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MGR Mission & History


MGR is committed to overcoming social and economic barriers and creating innovative programs that positively impact our communities.

MGR is a public 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization that engages, motivates, and empowers under-resourced youth to create positive community change.

What is our vision?

Our vision is a community where under-resourced youth are making positive social, physical, and intellectual choices, ultimately contributing to a productive society.

How do we do it?

MGR designs and implements programming in the arts, the environment and health. These programs are offered during the school day, during out-of-school time, and as community based initiatives. Through these programs, youth become the driving force behind positive community change.

How does MGR define Youth Empowerment?

MGR believes that young people possess the power to change their communities. An empowered youth is someone who understands the larger system, retains the skill to tackle the program and utilizes opportunities to create real community change. It is MGR’s duty to equip our students with knowledge, skill, and opportunity, and to work with these young leaders as partners and allies.


MGR was created in 2001 by Lionel Rabb, a Chicago businessman, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. As a graduate of the Chicago Public Schools, Lionel grew up understanding the struggles of urban youth and the need to give back to the communities that supported him and his businesses. The founding spirit of MGR placed emphasis on the human aspect of philanthropy and aimed to provide hope to young people in need.

The letters MGR are the initials of Marilyn G. Rabb, the stepmother of MGR’s founder, Lionel Rabb. After succumbing to her battle with cancer, the organization was created to honor her giving nature and warm spirit. As we continue our programming, we hope to do her name justice by continuing our journey towards creating innovative programs aimed at creating positive social change.

Who Was Marilyn G. Rabb?

When asked who Marilyn G. Rabb was—the words “we shall dance again” come to mind. These simple words, shared between her and my father, Michael Rabb, were the embodiment of her being—constantly hopeful, trusting, loving, caring and endlessly inspirational.

She was a person who created love and support for those who had forgotten about love and had given up on the power of love. Lynn was a tour de force that could will change, instinctively know right and wrong, and choose what was best; she fought ferociously for those she loved and would never give up on them.

In the face of cancer, she again embodied love and selflessness. In her fight she exhibited dignity, concern, caring and rigor beyond belief. Against unbelievable odds and overwhelming situations, Lynn stood strong and continued being who she was—an amazing, honest, loving, and inspiring individual who cared for and created love and life wherever she was. When the idea of creating a public non profit entity presented itself, naming it in her memory was more of action for the future than of the past.

To attempt to encapsulate some of her being and energy into an organization is no small task. If we can continue to act with integrity, to inspire innovation to help those in need, remain honest and truthful, create love and caring wherever we go, empower people and fight for what is good—then we will have succeeded. I thank Lynn for her inspiration, for the past she impacted and for the future she is helping us create. Her being, energy, support and love will live forever.

Thank you for your support and interest. With much love, respect and humility,

Lionel B. Rabb
Stepson of Marilyn G. Rabb
Founder of the Marilyn G. Rabb Foundation—MGR Foundation