April 14, 2021

Thank you to our speakers for the 2021 Urban Forum: Closing the Wealth Gap.

The event can be viewed at any time through the virtual event link.

If you pre-registered, please use the email address that you registered with.

If you did not pre-register, please register to view the event.


9:00 a.m.-9:15 a.m.
WelcomeMichael Amiridis, Chancellor, University of Illinois Chicago

Janet Smith, Professor, Urban Planning and Policy; Co-Director, Nathalie P. Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement, UIC
9:15 a.m.-9:30 a.m.Visual PresentationThe Faces of PovertyAmanda Williams, Artist
9:30 a.m.-10:20 a.m.Panel #1
How should we increase spatial equity?
Some suggest we move people around to reduce segregation and promote integration while others suggest we need to invest more in communities that have less to reduce uneven development. Still another point of view is to change the power dynamics by increasing ownership (land, housing) among POC. All three present challenges and opportunities.Ciere Boatright, Vice President, Real Estate & Inclusion, Chicago Neighborhood Initiative

Amy Turnbull Khare, Research Director, National Initiative on Mixed Income Communities; Research Assistant Professor, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Science, Case Western Reserve University

Alderman Robin Rue Simmons, 5th Ward, Evanston

MODERATOR: Andrew Greenlee, Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, College of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
10:20 a.m.-10:30 a.m.Break
10:30 a.m.-10:35 a.m.
AddressLori E. Lightfoot, Mayor, Chicago
10:35a.m.-11:25 a.m.Panel #2
How can we change investment in our communities to increase equity?

Research on the issue of closing the wealth gap and increasing equity suggests we need to clear a path forward for creating a fairer and more sustainable economic and political system that can right our historical wrongs. This includes urban planning, philanthropic support, access to capital, and decisions about public space and our environment. This panel will discuss ways we create this path, and the challenges we can anticipate in trying to do so. Daniel Ash, Associate Vice President, Community Impact, Chicago Community Trust (CCT)

Juanita Irizzary, Executive Director, Friends of the Parks

Amy J. P. McEwan, Chief of Staff, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP)

MODERATOR: Rachel Weber, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Urban Planning and Policy, UIC
11:30 a.m.-11:55 a.m.

11:55 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Closing Remarks

Heather McGhee, Author of the New York Times best-seller, The Sum of Us

Michael A. Pagano, Dean, College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, UIC