Collaborating to Confront Poverty
As part of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) effort, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and the Brookings Institution co-sponsored a forum entitled Collaborating to Confront Suburban Poverty in Metro Chicago on Thursday, September 26, and attended by more than 120 experts. The findings of a recent book by Brookings' fellows Alan Berube and Elizabeth Kneebone, Confronting Suburban Poverty in America, were the starting point of a discussion that brought together the public, private and nonprofit sectors.
A few facts from the book indicated that for the first time in history, the number of people living in poverty in suburban communities has surpassed that of those living in cities. In Chicago’s suburbs, the number of poor residents almost doubled during the 2000s, growing by 93 percent. These were just a few of the many key findings and discussions that were presented at the event.
Organized by local consultants BriCK Partners, the event included opening remarks by Senior Vice Oresident and Co-chair of the Bank's CSR Council Valerie Van Meter and Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle.
Panels further discussed anti-poverty strategies already in place in the Chicago area and Illinois, including the Cook County Housing Collaboratives and the recently created statewide Commission on the Elimination of Poverty. The panels also cited a need for more education on these issues to avoid the suburban stereotype that these communities are not affected by poverty.
Closing remarks by Chicago Fed Board of Directors member and President and Chief Executive Officer of The Chicago Community Trust Terry Mazany touched on themes discussed throughout the event, including the need for broader and stronger collaborations. A summary of the event is available.