I S S U E
: DECEMBER 2005 and JANUARY 2006

Dear Friends of GCI,

With the holidays just behind us and a new year ahead, we want to begin by thanking you for your contributions to the work of GCI over the course of 2005. We have benefited from the contributions of so many people, including 14 resident Great Cities Faculty Scholars and a host of lectures and panel discussions by friends and contributors from around the city and around the world for events as intimate as ten person seminars to Winter Forum, with over 400 registrants.

The month of January will be a very busy one, as we prepare to receive proposals from candidates for the 2006-2007 Great Cities Faculty Scholar positions and the 2006-2007 Great Cities Faculty Seed Fund awards. If you are inclined to apply, please do so quickly. We also have new contributions to the Great Cities Working Papers Series and, as you can see below, Faculty Scholar Dick Simpson will be adding an exciting new political profile of Chicago to the GCI website: the new Chicago City Council Report.

The Director and Founder of the History Makers, Juleanna Richardson will be joining the Institute in the January as the first Vernon Jarrett Senior Fellow. Please look for news on the various lectures and events Ms. Richardson will be chairing over the course of 2006. We will have much more to say about all this in the coming months.

In closing, I hope this Monthly finds you in good spirits and ready to take on the challenges of the new year. I also hope that part of your activities in 2006 will include visits to the Great Cities Institute.

Sincerely,

 

David Perry
Professor and Director

 


News

UIC Great Cities Institute 2006-2007 Faculty Scholar Competition
Applications are due Friday, January 20, 2006 by 4:00 pm. Faculty Scholar guidelines and application are available at: http://www.uic.edu/cuppa/gci

UIC Great Cities Institute 2006-2007 Faculty Seed Fund Competition
Applications are due Friday, January 27, 2006 by 4:00 pm. Faculty Seed Fund guidelines and application are available at: http://www.uic.edu/cuppa/gci

Addition to the GCI Website
In late January or early February, look for a new section of the Great Cities Institute website that contains Chicago political information and data. In this section will be the new Chicago City Council Report 2003-2007, which will detail the composition of the city council and their voting record since the aldermen took office in May 2003. The report will be done in collaboration with a half dozen Chicago civic and community organizations; the short roll call vote analysis will be available, as well as the entire paper and broader information on Chicago politics in the new Daley era. For more information on this report and Chicago politics, please contact Professor Dick Simpson, GCI Faculty Scholar, simpson@uic.edu

2005 GREAT CITIES WINTER FORUM
The 2005 Great Cities Winter Forum, "The Healthy City: People, Place and Policy", brought together a rich mix of recognized scholars and policy leaders, along with equally committed community and public leaders, in a one day forum to discuss what it means to be a healthy city in human, physical, and policy terms. The "health" of cities was discussed from many perspectives, including the economy, the criminal justice system, education, community partnerships, emergency preparedness, and housing to name a few. Panelists and participants alike showed enthusiasm in discussing these topics. According to one participant, the GCI Panel "does a great job of putting people with different perspectives in the same room". It is this idea that makes the Winter Forum a success! GCI thanks all the panelists, speakers, and attendees for helping make this year's Winter Forum as engaging as ever!


Calendar

2005-2006 GCI Faculty Scholar Seminars
Tuesdays in the GCI Conference Room, 1pm

January 17, Jennifer Brier "Infectious Ideas: AIDS and Urban Politics, 1980-2000"
February 28, Kimberley Gomez "Barrier or Building Block: Literacy as Gatekeeper or Vehicle for Educational Development in Adolescence"

March 28, Elena R. Gutierrez "The Reproductive and Sexual Health of Latinas in Chicago: A Community Assessment

April 18, John Hagedorn "Globalizing Gangs"


People

The November 16 issue of UIC News contained a wonderful and well-deserved news story on Marilyn Ruiz, Assistant to the Director at the Great Cities Institute. The story chronicles Marilyn's life and career and recognizes her important contributions to the Great Cities Institute and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Nik Theodore, Director of the Center for Urban Economic Development, was quoted in the October 23 issue of USA Today on the use of worker centers for day laborers, and the December 8 issue of the Chicago Sun-Times on the extent to which Chicago-area employers have discouraged union organizing by firing workers, threatening to close or relocate, or hiring consultants to help them fend off unions. Theodore was also interviewed for a December 6 newscast on KNX/CBS Radio Los Angeles and Chicago Public Radio regarding a CUED study on employer interference in union organizing campaigns. The study was released by American Rights at Work, a Washington-based advocacy organization.

Atanacio Gonzalez, Associate Director of the Neighborhoods Initiative in the Great Cities Institute and GCI Faculty Fellow, was quoted in the November 10 issue of the Chicago Tribune on the possibility of gentrification in Pilsen which a preservation group has named as an endangered site. In the November 15 issue of the Chicago Tribune he is quoted on the potential effects of a proposed Mexican-style plaza and other facilities in Pilsen. Gonzales also appeared on Chicago Tonight, discussing development in Pilsen.

Rachel Weber, Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Policy, Book Review Editor of the Urban Affairs Review, and GCI Faculty Scholar 2000-2001, was interviewed for an October 27 Pioneer Press story on the market feasibility of a proposed convention center in Schaumburg.

On November 10, the Chicago Defender quoted Janet Smith, Co-Director of the Nathalie P. Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement and GCI Faculty Scholar 1999-2000, in support of a renewed contract for the resident management council of the Cabrini Green public housing project.

Louise Cainkar, GCI Faculty Fellow, has published a new article entitled "Islamic Revival among Second-Generation Arab-American Muslims: The American Experience and Globalization Intersect" (Bulletin of the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies, 2004). This article examines the chain of events that facilitated an Islamic revival among second-generation Arab-American Muslims. Based upon research in metropolitan Chicago, it argues against trends in the literature that describe Western-born Muslims as foreigners, immigrants or, worse, anti-Western. Similarly, it argues against setting their religious experiences solely in a domestic context. The article can be viewed by clicking here.

FACULTY SCHOLAR SPOTLIGHT
Please take a moment to get to know a few of GCI’s new faculty scholars.

Elena Gutierrez, Assistant Professor, Department of Gender and Women's Studies, Department of Latin American and Latino Studies

The Reproductive and Sexual Health of Latinas in Chicago: A Community Assessment

Elena Rebeca Gutiérrez is an Assistant Professor in Gender and Women's Studies and Latin American and Latino Studies. Her research projects explore the reproductive politics of Mexican-origin women in the United States both historically and contemporarily. She received her PhD. in Sociology from the University of Michigan, and is currently completing her dissertation manuscript, tentatively entitled Fertile Matters: The Politics of Mexican-origin Women's Fertility, which will be published by the University of Texas Press next year. She is also the co-author of Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organize for Reproductive Justice, which documents the past and present struggles and efforts of Latina, African American, Asian American and Native American women to challenge social practices and policies that hinder their reproductive health. She is now building upon this scholarship by researching the reproductive health status of Chicago's Latina communities. Dr. Gutiérrez has worked closely with several Latino and women's health organizations, and has served on the board of directors of the National Latina Health Organization, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and the Women's Health Rights Coalition.

Jennifer Brier, Assistant Professor, Gender and Women's Studies Program and History Department

Infectious Ideas: AIDS and Urban Politics, 1980-2000

Jennifer Brier joined the faculty at UIC in 2003, after completing her PhD in American History at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Trained interdisciplinary in history and Women's and Gender Studies, Brier's work focuses on the intersections of sexuality, gender and race in twentieth century US history. She is interested in exploring how social movements respond to the state and try to shape new political landscapes in the postwar era. Her current research links the history of AIDS with traditional political history to fundamentally challenge our sense that the decade of 1980s was overwhelmingly conservative. As a Great Cities Faculty Scholar she is at work on a project that examines the ways AIDS shaped and refracted the political and cultural landscape of the United States in the 1980s by examining how AIDS service and activism emerged in three great cities: San Francisco, Chicago and New York. As cases of the disease that would come to be called AIDS appeared in 1981 and 1982, cities were forced to develop their own responses to AIDS due in part to the federal government's refusal to extend its safety net to cover people affected/infected with HIV/AIDS. Each city's actions were shaped on the one hand by administrative and political structure and on the other by the local epidemiology of AIDS. By placing the development of urban AIDS prevention into comparative historical perspective she investigates how cities addressed the needs and demands of their citizens. This was particularly important as public perception of the epidemic shifted from thinking that mostly gay white men were at risk to recognizing that people of color were overrepresented in the category of affected/infected with HIV/AIDS over the course of the 1980s and 1990s.