On Dec. 1st, 55 Chicago Sustainability Leaders Network (CSLN) members and newcomers gathered at the UIC Latino Cultural Center (LCC). The gathering began with an informative and evocative presentation by student interns from the UIC Heritage Garden. The powerful and vibrant LCC mural walls shared a spirit of community, culture, and growth that provided the backdrop for a meaningful and engaging evening. During the meeting, participants were able to reflect on the progress of the CSLN over the past year, and project images for the future. In its first year, the CSLN engaged 130 members representing 95 organizations. In addition to gathering the network in 12 different spaces across the city, the CSLN also hosted 7 public events, drawing over 100 participants.
Following reflection on the year, the group was eager to have action-oriented goals and plan for events and discussions in 2015. Focus groups planned for four specific initiatives, including a Faith Forum, a roundtable with the City of Chicago, Sustainable Economies, and ISEIF and energy hubs. The "Is It Just Space?" discussions from the Oct.7 event continued to plan a Justice and Space event series, and smalls groups started to plan for events in the following topics: Houses of Worship and Underutilized Space, Justice in Our Streets, Place-based Education, Public Space and Cultural Diversity, and Transit and Accessibility.