I S S U E
: FEBRUARY / MARCH 2006

Dear Friends of GCI,

As you read on in this “Monthly” you will see that the coming month is an important one for the Great Cities Institute. We honor the legacy of Vernon Jarrett and his long commitment to GCI and UIC’s Great Cities Commitment with the inauguration of the first Vernon Jarrett Senior Fellow appointment.

On March 2nd at a reception honoring the appointment of Ms. Richardson we will learn about a year long program of research and lectures on the national oral history project, the HistoryMakers. This project brings together GCI’s tradition of engaged research with the commitment Mr. Jarrett maintained for expanding our understanding of the history and importance of African Americans to the culture, politics and social development of the United States. Please watch closely for upcoming events during the 2006-2007 year sponsored by the Vernon Jarrett Fellow program, under the leadership of Ms. Richardson.

We also want to say a fond farewell to Ms. Jaime Holland Masterson, the editor of the GCI Monthly, Managing Editor of the Urban Affairs Review and a core member of GCI’s staff. We hasten to add that while Jaime will be physically leaving her office here at GCI to live in Mexico, she will continue, via the wonders of computers and telecommunication, her editorial duties with the journal.

Sincerely,

 

David Perry
Professor and Director

 


News

GCI Appoints First Vernon D. Jarrett Fellow, Julieanna Richardson
The University of Illinois at Chicago's Great Cities Institute has awarded the first Vernon Jarrett Senior Fellowship to Julieanna Richardson, founder of TheHistoryMakers, an archive of African American oral history. The Vernon D. Jarrett Senior Fellow Program honors Vernon Jarrett, the late journalist, activist, and Great Cities fellow. The program invites an established scholar or writer to produce research and scholarship in residence at the Institute, and to extend Vernon’s work in any of the topics of education, journalism, public service, or social commentary. Richardson will lead the work of the program, including a lecture series, engaged partnerships with community organizations working with youth, and supervising graduate research assistants.

Richardson has served as executive director of The HistoryMakers since founding it in 1999. The organization produces a website, television programs, and events based on interviews with African American leaders in education, law, politics, business, media, medicine, science, technology, arts, entertainment, the military, and sports. The website at www.thehistorymakers.com currently offers biographies and photographs of over 1,200 such interviewees, including Jarrett and UIC art professor Kerry James Marshall. The HistoryMakers plans to add 5,000 two-hour video interviews to the site.

David Perry, director of the Great Cities Institute, said that Richardson will help set the long-term agenda for the fellowship as its first recipient. Perry said Richardson is an ideal choice because her work is in keeping with Jarrett's tradition of analysis combined with action.

"Vernon believed in leadership by African American people of letters," Perry said. "He urged students not only to read their leaders' writings, but to speak their words aloud to each other and learn their way of writing, speaking, and finding motivation. The power of knowledge permeated his written columns. He was an advocate for informed leadership and social change, and a public intellectual in every sense of the word.”

GCI welcomes Sarah Rothschild to Professional Education

Sarah joins the team following her graduation this past December from the CUPPA program. Her main research foci were measuring authentic community participation and school reform as a means of community development. Working at community-based organizations throughout Chicago in the fields of adult education, policy advocacy, program evaluation, fundraising, and data analysis, has provided Sarah with the experience that makes her a valuable asset to the Prof Ed team. Sarah will help grow Professional Education programs through marketing research and application. She will also contribute her skills in grant writing to assist in new program development.

Addition to the GCI Website
Please visit the GCI website to view a new section on Chicago Politics. The section is maintained by Professor Dick Simpson, GCI Faculty Scholar, simpson@uic.edu and can be viewed at http://tigger.uic.edu/cuppa/gci/programs/chicagopolitics.htm. On this page is a link to the City Council Report published by published by Great Cities and the Political Science Department; a copy of the press release for this report can be viewed at
http://tigger.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/newsbureau/cgi-bin/index.cgi?from=Releases&to=Release&id=1341&frommain=1

Calendar

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


February 28, Kimberley Gomez: “Teaching and Learning High School Science: Examining the Use of Conspicuous Reading Support Tools in Urban Classrooms”

Poor content area reading skills represent a significant daily burden for large numbers of ethnic and linguistic urban minority high school students. This seminar plans to address the complex problem of content area reading in high school science classrooms.

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

As a scholar who is actively engaged in both Latino and Women’s health communities, Dr. Gutierrez will discuss her ongoing research project documenting Latina involvement in reproductive health matters.

April 18, John Hagedorn "Globalizing Gangs"

Dr. Hagedorn will discuss his research on the history of gangs in Chicago.

People

The work of Nik Theodore, Director of CUED, was covered in the media numerous times over the past couple of months. His national study on street corner day labor was covered in the Chicago Tribune, the Houston Chronicle, the New York Times; the Denver Post, the Danbury (Conn.) News-Times and the Santa Cruz (Calif.) Sentinel. The story was also featured on CBS national radio and Boston's NPR station WBUR. Theodore was also interviewed on National Public Radio’s “Talk of the Nation”.

Crain's Chicago Business ran a story on a homeownership study by the Urban Transportation Center in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs. Researchers Siim Soot, GCI Faculty Scholar 1991998, and Joe DiJohn found that McHenry and Will counties have the highest homeownership rates in the U.S.

Olivia Gude, GCI Faculty Scholar 1999-2000, has edited and authored articles in the Chicago Public Art Group's Community Public Art Guide: Making Murals, Mosaics, Sculptures, and Spaces. The Guide contains contains many articles and images that document best practices in community art making. Of special interest to those interested in community planning: "Community Public Art Process" by Olivia Gude and Jon Pounds in the Community Engagement section and for those interested in space design, "Psycho-Aesthetic Geography in Art Education" by Gude in the Working with Youth section. For more information, please visit the website at www.cpag.net.

The Chicago Defender reported on the Great Cities Institute's awarding of the first Vernon Jarrett Fellowship to Julieanna Richardson, founder of The History Makers, an archive of oral histories of thousands of African American leaders.

John Hagedorn, GCI Faculty Fellow and 2005-2006 Faculty Scholar, was quoted in a Chicago Tribune story on escalating murder rates in Chicago suburbs as gangs move there from city neighborhoods where low-income housing has been demolished.