The Office of University Partnerships of the U.S. Department of Housing and Development will host its annual Anchor Institutions Task Force (AITF) conference November 17th and 18th in Chicago. It will be hosted by the University of Chicago at their Gleacher Center and co-hosted by the Chicago Community Trust and the University of Illinois at Chicago. AITF is a growing network of over 400 members, which serves as an ongoing think tank promoting the role of anchor institutions in community and economic development. Ira Harkavy, Director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships, is the Chair of the AITF’s Steering Committee. David Maurrasse, Founder and President of Marga Incorporated, is the AITF’s Director. Marga coordinates the AITF’s activities.
The anchor institutions field continues to grow throughout the U.S., with an increasing number of institutions of various shapes and sizes identifying as anchor institutions and envisioning ways to leverage their commitment to place to strengthen their local democratic participation. The Chicago campus of the University of Illinois is the largest public urban university in Illinois, the Illinois Medical District is the largest medical district in the country and Roosevelt Square is one of the largest redevelopments of federal public housing in the nation, all a short walk from Chicago’s Central Business District. Perhaps Mayor Emanuel, who once served on the CHA Board of Commissioners and who served in the Clinton Administration when HUD’s HOPE VI was being crafted to redevelop ABLA into Roosevelt Square, can provide some leadership so that Roosevelt Square might be anchored by our community’s important institutions.
The conference opens with a reception in the late afternoon on November 17 and should end by 4 pm on the 18th. Register here.