Urban Forum explores neighborhoods as urban strategy

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Policymakers, researchers, journalists and philanthropic leaders will discuss the role of neighborhoods within urban regions in “The Return of the Neighborhood as an Urban Strategy” at the 2014 Urban Forum at the University of Illinois at Chicago.


Sept. 18, 8:45 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.


UIC Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Road


The strength, value, welfare and resilience of cities and metropolitan regions reflect their core building blocks: their neighborhoods.

Capital and social investments at the neighborhood level reflect contested paths to a better quality of life — from micro-enterprises to factories, from affordable housing to gated communities, from accessible jobs to development opportunities, and from neighborhood schools to charter and private schools.

Co-chairs of the UIC Urban Forum are Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle; UIC Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares; and Susana Vasquez, executive director of Local Initiatives Support Corporation of Chicago.

Speakers will include:

  • Brian Bannon, commissioner, Chicago Public Library
  • MarySue Barrett, president, Metropolitan Planning Council
  • Philip Blackwell, retired senior minister, First United Methodist Church at Chicago Temple
  • Niala Boodhoo, host, “Afternoon Shift,” WBEZ
  • Teresa Córdova, director, UIC Great Cities Institute
  • Sunny Fischer, former executive director, Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
  • Nilda Flores-Gonzalez, associate professor, Latin American and Latino studies, UIC
  • Lorraine Forte, editor-in-chief, Catalyst-Chicago
  • Grace Hou, president, Woods Fund
  • Terry Mazany, president and CEO, Chicago Community Trust
  • Pedro Noguera, Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education, New York University
  • Alice O’Connor, professor of public policy, University of California at Santa Barbara
  • Mary Pattillo, Harold Washington Professor of Sociology and African American studies, Northwestern University
  • Michael D. Rodriguez, executive director, Enlace Chicago
  • Juan Salgado, president and CEO, Instituto del Progreso Latino
  • Mary Schmich, columnist, Chicago Tribune
  • Janet Smith, director, UIC Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement
  • Robin Steans, executive director, Advance Illinois, Steans Family Foundation
  • Richard Steele, host and correspondent, WBEZ
  • Elizabeth Todd-Breland, assistant professor of history, UIC
  • Nik Theodore, professor of urban planning and policy, UIC
  • Isiah Thomas, founder and CEO, Isiah International, LLC
  • Rachel Weber, associate professor, urban planning and policy, UIC
  • Robert A. Winn, associate vice president for community-based practice, UIC

White papers will cover neighborhoods as both assets and contested spaces (Janet Smith, UIC); mobility as it effects neighborhood growth and decline (Mary Pattillo, Northwestern University); the effects of public policy experiments on people and spaces (Alice O’Connor, University of California at Santa Barbara); schools as community anchors and pipelines (Pedro Noguera, New York University); and the access of immigrant communities to social institutions in suburbia (Nik Theodore, UIC).

Admission to the UIC Urban Forum is free to all Chicago-area teachers, faculty and students with valid ID.  Tickets are $25 for the general public. Registration is required. Lunch will be provided.

For more information, visit www.uicurbanforum.org. For questions, call 312-413-2194 or email UICurban@uic.edu.

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