What Does Inclusive Growth Mean in the Chicago Region – an RSA US Panel Discussion at North Park University

View PowerPoint slides Chicago Fellows from The RSA recently hosted a panel discussion at North Park University in Chicago. The panel was moderated by RSA Fellow, Kelwin Harris, a Senior Outreach Planner with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) and included the Provost of North Park University, Dr. Michael Emerson, along with community psychologist,Continue reading “What Does Inclusive Growth Mean in the Chicago Region – an RSA US Panel Discussion at North Park University”

Sacred Ground: Venerable Man – Timuel Black, Elder Statesman of Black Chicago

At 100 years old, Dr. Black has seen a lot. Having come from Birmingham, Alabama with his family when he was less than a year old, he has witnessed firsthand a century of Chicago history. Dr. Black’s sacred ground cultivated many great Americans like Nat King Cole (a classmate of his), Harold Washington (who he organized massive voter turn-out for), Carol Moseley Braun (who he helped get elected), Carter G. Woodson (who he witnessed create the origins of Black History Month), and Lorraine Hansberry (whose family solicited him for grocery runs).

Robbins, Illinois – A Story of Environmental Injustice and Resilience

Robbins’ origin story is one of a small village with a big history. It’s the oldest primarily African-American suburb in the Chicago region and one of only a few in the nation. Having recently celebrated its centennial, the village reflects the pioneering spirit of its early settlers who incorporated it in 1917 to be anContinue reading “Robbins, Illinois – A Story of Environmental Injustice and Resilience”

Vilified Sister Cities: Chicago, Mexico City and The Case for Citizen Diplomacy

The following was written after participating in the US-Mexico Leaders Initiative with the Center for American Progress (CAP) in Mexico City. Much has been written about subnational and local diplomacy as a foreign policy strategy and antidote to populist xenophobic rhetoric. Urbanists and mayors from Bruce Katz to Mike Bloomberg have sounded the clarion trumpetContinue reading “Vilified Sister Cities: Chicago, Mexico City and The Case for Citizen Diplomacy”

How European cities address racial equity, statues, and the politics of choosing to not forget - a memoir

During my recent Marshall Memorial Fellowship with The German Marshall Fund of the United States, I had the opportunity to learn how European cities solve similar challenges we face in Chicago in the context of the transatlantic relationship and our shared national interests. The German Marshall Fund was founded in 1972 as a non-partisan, non-profitContinue reading “How European cities address racial equity, statues, and the politics of choosing to not forget - a memoir”

My “South Side”: Reflections on Natalie Moore’s memoir and the nearby neighborhood I grew up in.

I recently read Natalie Moore’s The South Side and found some striking similarities in our upbringing and experiences.  I grew up in Chicago in between St. Leo High School and St. Sabina in Auburn-Gresham: a virtually all-black neighborhood on the South side of Chicago – about three miles west of where Natalie Moore lived in Chatham.  We actuallyContinue reading “My “South Side”: Reflections on Natalie Moore’s memoir and the nearby neighborhood I grew up in.”