Community Development Practitioners from across the U.S. to convene in Chicago March 5th

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Comprehensive Community Development is improving the quality of life in neighborhoods

Symposium lifts up the lessons learned in more than 100 American cities and the practical experience of neighborhood leaders who are making a difference in the lives of families throughout the nation


CHICAGO, IL – Confronted by the persistence of inner-city poverty, despite more than two decades of real-estate based community revitalization strategies, community development practitioners have altered their strategies. While building affordable housing and investing in retail centers remain a foundation of their work, they turned their attention to ensuring that communities had good schools, plentiful parks, healthy food choices and safe streets.

After nearly a decade of practice, community development practitioners from across the U.S. will come to Chicago to share lessons learned and plot the course of future activity at “Getting It Done II.” Sponsored by The Institute for Comprehensive Community Development (ICCD), the nation’s first think tank devoted to the study of sustainable community based urban development, the 600 attendees from more than 60 communities across the nation, will weigh the value of their varied strategies, assess the current economic and political climate that forms the context for their work and plan their collective future.

While the symposium will feature the projected contours of the future from  nationally renowned commentators on urban life including  HUD Assistant Secretary Erika Poethig, syndicated columnist Clarence Page and MacArthur Foundation Vice President Julia Stasch, the majority of the conference will be devoted to ‘notes from the field.’

The assembly will begin March 5th; 11:30a.m. at which time there will be a ‘roll call’ presenting the delegations from each nationwide site and a keynote address by Erika Poethig.  The afternoon will be devoted to workshops and a plenary session led by Julia Stasch on connecting neighborhoods to regional economies. Stasch will be joined by Alan Berube, Brookings Institution; India Pierce Lee, Cleveland Foundation; Raul Raymundo, Chicago’s Resurrection Project.

Clarence Page will set the stage for day two’s discussion of the future of community development with an overview of the current economic and political climate – the opportunities and challenges it presents. Page’s remarks will be followed by a day of panel discussions about the future of community development.

Eileen Figel, Director of ICCD, speaks to the importance of the symposium and ICCD. “As communities continue to experiment with new approaches and strategies, there is a growing body of evidence about what really works to revitalize low income communities,” says Figel. “We know that success requires deep and abiding citizen engagement and new structures of collaborative, community decision making. Sharing those lessons learned of what works – and what doesn’t  in that same spirit of engagement and collaboration – allows us to reshape the ‘industry’ and the futures of the communities in which we work.”

Figel notes that the community development field has continued to experiment with efforts to move beyond single issue, project-based strategies toward more complex, inter-connected and cross sectorial approaches to encourage community change for the benefit of American’s cities.

“As our neighborhoods continue to combat the impacts of the foreclosure crisis, unemployment and declining government resources, what we do now is more important than ever,” said Fiegel. “Getting It Done II is our largest convening of community development practitioners, and it provides both a unique and extensive opportunity for peer exchange and learning.”

About the ICCD: Established in April 2010 to advance the field of comprehensive community development and the positive impact it has in urban and rural communities across the country, ICCD has drawn upon the nation’s most extensive network of comprehensive community development practitioners to lift up what is working to promote best practices.

For a full list of speakers and sessions, and for more information about the Institute for Comprehensive Community Development and Getting It Done II, please visit or call Marilyn Katz or Bryant Payne at 312-822-0505

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