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Woodlawn Summit Launches Mission 2020: Building a New Southside

The year 2020 marks a new decade and gives us an opportunity to formulate a new outlook in our communities. In Woodlawn, we started thinking about building a new Southside nearly 20 years ago. Our vision became a reality through the Woodlawn Community Summit, and in 2019 we celebrated 10 years of community development.

Mission 2020: Building a New Southside embarks on the next decade with a continued focus on how residents, youth groups, elected leaders, community stakeholders and business owners can transform Southside Chicago neighborhoods.  You are invited to help us imagine and reinvigorate a new plan for comprehensive growth and future well-being of Woodlawn and our neighboring Chicago communities.

The Woodlawn Community Summit will celebrate its 11th anniversary on March 7th at the University of Chicago’s School of Social Services Administration.  Each year brings an energizing morning of reflection and action for the neighborhood and businesses, providing access to creative solutions to community issues and opportunities to connect a network of resources and support.  Register to Attend.

Organized by a dedicated committee of two dozen leaders, the Woodlawn Community Summit demonstrates its long-term viability for civic engagement and connecting our neighborhood to community changes and opportunities forthcoming.


After the keynote presentation, Summit attendees will participate in thought-leader panel discussions and workshops.


Sponsored by: BIG! Blacks in Green

Sponsored by: Associated Bank


At the conclusion of the Summit, pre-registered attendees will board luxury buses for a tour of available housing stock in the nearby communities.

The 2020 Summit Planning Committee

Front Row from Left: Naomi Denise Davis, Elizabeth Gardner, Deidre McGraw, Kamaria Ngozi, Ticina Williams. Back Row from Left: Jawanda Hairston, Felicia Dawson, Terri Kilbane, Paula Grantt, Diane Burnham, Sandra Bivens, Rebecca Bretz, and Avents-Alicia August Wright.

Not pictured:  Byron Freelon, Joyce Nimocks, Rudy Nimocks, Lisa Parks, Raymonde Vance, and Wendy Walker Williams.

Special thanks to the 2020 sponsors and partners: University of Chicago’s Office of Civic Engagement, Associated Bank, N.A., South East Chicago Commission, Preservation of Affordable Housing, Northwestern Medicine, Blacks in Green, YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago, Jewel-Osco,  bon appetit, Chicago Community Loan Fund (CCLF), School of Social Service Administration, CEI Media Group, Emerald South Economic Development Collaborative, 51st Street Business Association, Obama Foundation, 20th Ward Aldermanic Office and 5th Ward Aldermanic Office.

Last year: See Photos from 2019 (Flickr Gallery).

Photos by Kaye Cooksey.