“Who Owns West Woodlawn?” Focus Of Community Forum

Who_Owns_Woodlawn Tom will be part of this community forum Thursday, November 21, at the Dyett High School.

Join Blacks in Green

in welcoming

 Derek Hyra

Professor Timuel Black

Tom Tresser – JR Fleming – Mark Fick – Jeff Leslie

“Who Owns West Woodlawn?”

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Dyett High School  

555 E 51st St  

Chicago, IL 60615



And The Neighbors and Elders of West Woodlawn, Bronzeville

As We Convene With Land Use Scholars, Activists, And Practitioners

Committed To Restoring/Recirculating Wealth Stripped From Our Neighborhoods

By Decades Of Spatial Deconcentration Policies


 courtesy of Popi’s Ultimate Gourmet

Song stylings courtesy of Madeline Morgan

RSVP – [email protected]773.678.9541

 Our commitment is to use what we know about Chicago’s history of real estate development abuses and 1) build the capacity of neighbors to own, develop, manage, and monitor, the property in their community; and 2) foster Village Action Councils with structures that generate participatory, transparent, equitable, and accountable land use plans and financing which restore/recirculate resident wealth for their self-interest, in West Woodlawn, and in every Chicago neighborhood interested in joining this work.

Together we’ll explore concept and concrete application of a “City of Villages” approach to reinventing Chicago – sustainable square miles where every household can “walk-to-work, walk-to-shop, walk-to-learn, walk-to-play” – anchored by neighbor-owned businesses and driven by community controlled development.  This “walkable village” offers a whole-system solution for the whole-system problem common to black communities everywhere – specifically designed to address the “rape and rescue” cycle of real estate development in black communities and the gaping wealth disparities it creates and perpetuates…but also to explore the universal value of BIG’s 8 Principles of Green-Village-Building and the example of its pilot of 8 inter-woven programs in West Woodlawn.

Billions in tax dollars have been invested to produce today’s West Woodlawn ghetto, and billions in like communities across the country.  These investments have been characterized by race-based dispersal, market manipulations, government sanctioned mortgage fraud, subsidized violence, guaranteed profits to slum lords, reduced community services accompanied by increased property taxes, and other discriminatory financial schemas…in conspiracies between lenders, appraisers, brokers, contractors, lawyers, judges, housing agencies, and those accountable for the infrastructures and institutions of civil society, including universities, hospitals, churches, trade unions, industry, and philanthropy. But we’re not focused on that.

Our focus is the first economy, the home economy, and increasing household income. Our focus is our stand for the “local living economy” as an environmental, financial, and spiritual solution for black communities; for understanding the metrics of our status today; and for mobilizing our power to start now, with or without funding, barring the leadership of adversaries, and deliver participatory, transparent, equitable, and accountable development plans and financing here in one quintessential legacy community of our Great Migration ancestors – whose inheritance some of us have squandered – and to rise and restore our place in the world.

Join BIG’s Institute For Community Controlled Development in its 3rd convening, and listen, speak, act!!!  

Open House
Map & Photo Viewing
Hors D’Oeuvres
Welcome, Naomi Davis
Keynote, Dr. Derek Hyra
Research on West Woodlawn, UIC/College of Urban Planning Students


Breakouts/Report Backs
Village Action Councils
Each Breakout will be 45 minutes, and you will be asked to select 1 of 4.  You will receive a template sheet for a voluntary 30-Day Action Plan.  The last 15 minutes of the night is Report Back from each Village Action Council, including a next meeting date for those of you who wish to carry on.

1. iReclaim

Topic: How to avoid the displacement of gentrification

Facilitated by: Jeff Leslie and Sarah Iftekhar, University of Chicgo Law School

Discussing: community land trust, Chicago Community Land Trust, Cook County Land Bank, Chicago’s ANLAP Program [vacant lot next door]

2. iDevelop

Topic: How to own, develop, and manage your village properties

Facilitated by:  Mark Fick, Chicago Community Loan Fund

Discussing: CCLF programs, alternative ownership models

3. iRepresent

Topic: How to decipher political actions/trends impacting West Woodlawn

Facilitated by: Tom Tresser, The Civic Lab

Discussing: tracking government actions, including City Council, Plan Commission, Finance & Zoning Committees

4. iConserve

Topic: How to fight back against the banks

Facilitated by: JR Fleming, Chicago Anti Eviction Campaign

Discussing: keeping your home, and preserving affordable housing

During and after this program BIG will serve you with articles, legislation, statistics, maps, and a spectrum of information to inform your decision-making.  Our official BIG BLOG will launch in January, with running commentary on breaking and stewing news to brighten self-interested action, here in the “walkable village,” in The City of Villages, the future Chicago.

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