Loomis Mayfield , Maureen Hellwig , Brian Banks
Loomis Mayfield Coordinator of the University of Illinois at Chicago Neighborhoods Initiative. Maureen Hellwig Program Coordinator of the Policy Research Action Group (PRAG) at Loyola University, Chicago. Brian Banks Research/Action Coordinator at PRAG.
Modern university/community relationships are sometimes marked by division and hostility. Key problems in the relationship include the assumed objectivity of the academy; the real estate interests of universities; and the alliance of real estate interests and political figures in opposition to community concerns. The history and description of these relationships in Chicago indicates there are other historical trends which have led to fruitful partnerships, including: the influence of the settlement house movement; the strength and diversity of community groups; change and diversity in the university; and the influence of the civil rights movement. This article uses the examples of the Neighborhoods Initiative at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Policy Research Action Group, a consortium of four universities Loyola, DePaul, Chicago State University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago and community partners, to show how strong, viable collaborations can occur. Their experiences point to a new research model and some key “lessons learned” on how to use collaborative partnerships to enhance the way society deals with today’s urban problems.