Great Cities Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Vernon D. Jarrett Senior Fellow Program

Vernon JarrettFor six and one half years, the late Vernon D. Jarrett was a Senior Fellow at the Great Cities Institute, during which time he enriched the institute, its faculty and students with his published analysis and uncompromising attention to enhancing educational opportunities for students, especially African American students. As one of the nation’s leading journalists and observers of the political conditions of cities and of African Americans, he brought unparalleled distinction to the Great Cities Institute and to its mission of engaged research. Just as we were honored to appoint him to the post of senior fellow, through which he brought his voice and analysis to our studies and to our graduate students, so now we memorialize and carry on his legacy as a voice of social justice and responsible study.

GCI is committed to sustaining and carrying on Vernon Jarrett's contributions to the students of Chicago and other great cities of the nation that made him one of the nation's great public intellectuals and also one of UIC's most visible and important Great Cities Fellows. The Vernon Jarrett Senior Fellow Program includes a fellowship awarded to a senior scholar in residence at GCI, a series of lectures, and graduate research assistantships for students working on issues that reflect his legacy. The program is guided by an advisory board that includes members and friends of the Jarrett family, public intellectuals, civic leaders, and academics.

2008-2009 Vernon Jarret Program Statement of Purpose

The Vernon D. Jarrett Great Cities Senior Fellow
The Vernon D. Jarrett Senior Fellow is an established scholar or writer invited to produce research and scholarship in residence at the Institute. Selected by a committee that includes members of the Jarrett family, friends of Vernon Jarrett, and UIC faculty, the Fellow continues Vernon's work at the Institute based on a plan of work he or she develops. The Fellow is expected to extend Vernon's work on issues of education, journalism, public service, or social commentary. The Fellow is asked to lead and organize a lecture series based on his or her work and to participate in and connect with other relevant GCI projects.

2008 Vernon D. Jarrett Senior Fellow
James W. Compton

2006 Vernon D. Jarrett Senior Fellow
Julieanna L. Richardson

The Vernon D. Jarrett Lecture Series
The Vernon D. Jarrett Lecture Series brings respected public intellectuals and researchers from UIC and across the country to Great Cities to share their work, analysis, and ideas in the spirit of Vernon Jarrett’s writings and social commentary. The theme for 2006 is “Race and Education in the 21st Century”.

2006-2007 Vernon D. Jarrett Lectures
April 18, 2007
Roland Martin on Race and Education in the 21st Century
Roland S. Martin is a nationally syndicated columnist, host of the Roland S. Martin show on WVON-AM in Chicago, a commentator for TV One cable network, and a contributor to CNN. More information can be found at

September 12, 2006
The HistoryMakers: A New Primary Source for Scholars
Julieanna Richardson is the Vernon D. Jarrett Senior Fellow at Great Cities Institute and President and Founder of The HistoryMakers. More information on The HistoryMakers can be found at

The Vernon D. Jarrett Graduate Student of Public Affairs
Each year, the Great Cities Institute awards a research assistantship to a promising graduate student in urban affairs. This student will receive a tuition waiver and a stipend to support research at the Institute in a field consistent with Vernon D. Jarrett’s work and writings. The graduate student is selected from either the Urban Planning and Policy or the Public Administration graduate programs. The student will spend a year at Great Cities working closely with the Vernon D. Jarrett Great Cities Fellow.

2006 - 2007 Vernon D. Jarrett Graduate Student of Urban Affairs
Fran Lefor, Graduate Student in Urban Planning and Policy

2005 - 2006 Vernon D. Jarrett Graduate Students of Urban Affairs
Shadia Nassar, Graduate Student in Public Administration
Andrew Williams-Clark, Graduate Student in Urban Planning and Policy