The World is Watching Book Signing

Being Black in America is a journey and a quest for self-affirmation and alliance and place. Black Americans have refused to be acquiescent, and our cry, in the words of Maya Angelou, “And Still We Rise”, has left an indelible imprint at home and abroad. In The World is Watching, notable world figures talk about their personal experiences with African Americans and the impacts these experiences have had on them.

Join us for this book signing and discussion which will feature Haki R. Madhubuti, the editors and several of the authors of The World is Watching.  A reception will follow.

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Till We Have Built Jerusalem: Architects of a New City

Essayist and biographer Adina Hoffman writes often of the Middle East, approaching it from unusual angles and shedding light on overlooked dimensions of the place, its people, and their cultures. Her books include House of Windows: Portraits from a Jerusalem Neighborhood, My Happiness Bears No Relation to Happiness: A Poet’s Life in the Palestinian Century, and Till We Have Built Jerusalem: Architects of a New City, which the Los Angeles Times called “brave and often beautiful” and Haaretz described as “a passionate, lyrical defense of a Jerusalem that could still be.” She is also the author, with Peter Cole, of Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza, which won the American Library Association’s prize for the best Jewish book of 2011. Her essays and criticism have appeared the Nation, the Washington Post, the TLS, the Boston Globe, and on the World Service of the BBC.  A Guggenheim Foundation Fellow and one of the inaugural winners of the Windham-Campbell Literary Prizes, she divides her time between Jerusalem and New Haven.

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The boss is retiring. The kids don’t want to take over. Family-owned manufacturers confront a succession ‘crisis’

Terry Iverson, president and CEO of Iverson & Co., is the third generation owner of the machine tools sales and service company his grandfather founded 88 years ago. Iverson wants to keep the company in his family, but his children aren’t interested in running it. (Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune)

Findings from a UIC Great Cities Institute survey, commissioned and released by the nonprofit organization Manufacturing Renaissance, are featured in a Chicago Tribune story looking at how, and if, family-owned manufacturing companies in Chicago’s six collar counties are planning for future company leadership succession. According to the report, which surveyed more than 360 area companies with 20-250 workers, approximately 75 percent of respondents had owners over the age of 55, and of those, half had no plans for succession. Nearly 62 percent had not designated a specific successor, up from 38 percent the last time a similar survey was conducted in 1989.

The report will be released publicly in early February by the Ownership Conversion Project and Manufacturing Renaissance.

Full Story from the Chicago Tribune »

Director Córdova Serves on Transition Committee, Speaks at WTO, and Interfaces with Entrepreneurs in Balkans

Governor-elect JB Pritzker and Lieutenant Governor-elect Juliana Stratton announced the formation and members of the transition’s Job Creation and Economic Opportunity Committee at 1871 on December 3, 2018.

When J.B. Pritzker is sworn into office on Monday morning, January 14th, he will deliver a speech that will include ideas from the transition committees that he and Lieutenant Governor-Elect Juliana Stratton established to provide input to their administration.  GCI Director, Teresa Córdova serves on their Job Creation and Economic Opportunity transition committee to generate suggestions for good policies that will result in a strong economy.

At the December 3, 2018 announcement of the Committee, held at the tech-incubator, 1871, Lieutenant Governor-Elect, Juliana Stratton, who spoke after the Governor-Elect, made the following statement:

For all of the strategic advantages our state has, job growth has been too slow and economic opportunity has been shut out for far too many, but this committee will work to change that. Like a rising tide lifts all boats, our plans to create jobs must be inclusive and make Illinois work for every family. Our committee members represent the diversity of our great state and together we’re going to put forward real ideas to begin rebuilding our economy on day one in office.

As in all of the transition committees, they were bi-partisan and included individuals from throughout the state of Illinois including elected officials from all level of government.  The Restorative Justice and Safe Communities Committee included two members from UIC:  Jason Stamps, Acting Director of the Center for Public Safety and Justice in the College of Urban Planning and Policy Jason Stamps and Joseph Strickland, Associate Director & Senior Researcher, Jane Addams School of Social Work Center for Social Policy and Research.  Chancellor Michael Amiridis was named to the Educational Success Committee.

Besides the overall transition team, other transition committees included: Budget and Innovation; Veterans Issues; Health Children and Families; Equality, Equity and Opportunity; Agriculture; and Powering Illinois’ Future Government, and Restoring Illinois’ Infrastructure.

It was a busy semester at the Great Cities Institute. Director Córdova spoke at the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva, Switzerland at The Public Forum on a panel hosted by Ecuador’s Ambassador Permanente to the WTO, Diego Aulestia Valencia, on “International Trade, Technological Change, and Development:  The Role of Social Policy.”  As a guest of the Ambassador, she had the opportunity to attend a session (and later a panel) of UN delegates from developing nations that participate in the United National Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) where they released their very interesting Trade and Development Report.

As part of a World Chicago program, she also recently traveled to the Balkans to Slovenia and Macedonia where she met with individuals from local business schools, design and planning institutes, high tech incubators, and local entrepreneurs on topics of high tech innovation and entrepreneurship.  She delivered a keynote speech at the Conference on Youth Entrepreneurship at the Technology Park in Ljubljana, Slovenia.  She also spoke on Doing Business in a Data-Driven Society, a Business Summit sponsored by CREED Macedonia, World Chicago and the U.S. Department of State.

In October, Teresa also participated with Andrew Stetner from The Century Foundation on a panel on “Manufacturing’s rebound:  Analyzing the effectiveness of state industrial policy in creating equitable access to good jobs,” at the 2018 conference held here in Chicago of the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN).

On November 28th, Dr. Córdova had the honor of participating on a panel, “Race and Ownership in Manufacturing,” with Dr. Byron Brazier (Pastor of Woodlawn’s Apostolic Church), Colin Cosgrove (President of Laystrom Manufacturing), Dr. Harry Alston (Safer Foundation), moderated by David Robinson (Manufacturing Renaissance). The event was sponsored by Chicagoland Manufacturing Renaissance Council and held at the Freedman Seating Company on Chicago’s West Side.

We continue to work on research and projects related to inclusiveness in the economy.  We are finishing up our reports for some of our partners on succession and ownership, corporate inclusiveness, worker cooperatives and job generation.

We are looking forward to another productive year and want you to know that we appreciate your support and interest in our work.

Happy Holidays from Great Cities Institute

We wish you a happy New Years as we move in to 2018.

We at UIC’s Great Cities Institute wish everyone a wonderful holiday season!

It has been a very busy and productive fall here at GCI and we have much to share with you.  Once the new year comes, we will be back in touch to tell you about our many activities and projects from the last few months as well as let you know about our upcoming activities and reports for the Spring Semester.

In the meantime, you can put February 20 and April 10 on your calendars for a couple of book launches.  On February 20, we will co-host, with the wonderful folks at Hull-House, the launch of The World is Watching, edited by Alice and Edward Palmer and David Robinson.  On April 10, also at Hull-House, David Ranney will be here to launch his newest book, Living and Dying on the Factory Floor.

We wish you lots of good food along with fun, family and friends – or maybe some plain relaxation.  Thank you for your support for and interest in the work of GCI.  We really appreciate it.

Best wishes,

Your friends at the Great Cities Institute

Natives in Chicago

Video from the November 14, 2018 event co-sponsored by UIC Great Cities Institute and the UIC Native American Support Program. Filmed by CAN TV.

Panel: Ownership key to manufacturing diversity

DIVERSITY WANTED: Community leaders said that more women are needed in the corporate boardrooms and offices of manufacturing companies. | File photo

Austin Weekly News quotes Teresa Cordova, director of the Great Cities Institute at UIC, in an article recapping the Chicagoland Manufacturing Renaissance Council’s recent panel that explored ways manufacturing companies can become more racially and ethnically diverse.

“That’s definitely true [in my experience],” said Cordova, adding that one area where diversity is lacking is among the business executives.

“Whether its leadership of agencies, leadership of businesses, diversity is really important. C-suites, that’s where we’re not seeing diversity — where the decisions occur, where people’s lives [are affected], that’s where we’re not seeing the diversity. That’s where the shift needs to be.”

Full Story from Austin Weekly News »

The First-Ever National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Was Just Unveiled

The groundbreaking legislation would provide protections to domestic workers across the country. (NDWA)

Nik Theodore, UIC professor of urban planning and policy, is quoted in a blog post from In These Times that examines proposed federal legislation to improve wages and labor conditions for domestic workers.

“Quality care and workers’ rights are inextricably linked,” says Nik Theodore, a University of Illinois at Chicago professor of urban planning and policy. When workers have economic security, he explains, they’re able to provide higher-quality care.

Full Story from In These Times »


Somali Workers in Minnesota Force Amazon to Negotiate

Abdirahman Muse, executive director of the Awood Center, led a meeting in Minneapolis last week of a group that has been discussing working conditions at local Amazon warehouses. Credit: Jenn Ackerman for The New York Times

Beth Gutelius, a senior research specialist with Great Cities Institute, is quoted in a New York Times article on Somali worker negotiations with Amazon in Minnesota. Gutelius’ research focuses on the automation of warehouses and the impact on workers in a changing labor market.

“Because there is such a density in that work force, at this stage in the game, Amazon would have a very difficult time replacing that many workers, particularly at this peak season,” said Beth Gutelius, a researcher at the University of Illinois at Chicago with a focus on warehouses.

Full Story from The New York Times »