On October 7th, members of the Chicago Sustainability Leaders Network (CSLN) and community members from across the city joined in engaging dialogue around the concept of spatial justice. The event, called 'Is it Just Space?', included an interactive panel discussion and small group conversations that discussed the relationship of space, public and private, to social justice issues. The event was collaboratively planned by ICA and Center for Humans and Nature (CHN).
The evening started with small-group discussions, each facilitated to discuss specific challenges regarding space. While the topics were varied, the report backs from each group indicated a common interest in intentionally including communities in urban planning committees and the decision making process. The initial small groups then fueled the direction of the panel discussion which featured Julian Agyeman (Tufts University), Michael Bryson (Roosevelt University), Melanie Eckner (Uptown), and Orrin Williams (South Side).
Book-ending the panel with audience participation created a space for group ownership of ideas and community expertise. In the final discussion, the group imagined furthering the conversation through a series of events and spaces that would be dedicated to greater community ownership of space and decision making.
If you missed the event, but want to stay informed or learn more about dialogues that will follow, sign up for the CSLN mailing list here. If you're interested in being a part of the next steps, email Jenny Hirsch at firstname.lastname@example.org