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Redefining Rust Belt: An Exchange of Strategies by the Cities of Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit and Philadelphia

This videoconference series brings together community leaders in all four cities to participate in a robust exchange about experiences developing and implementing strategies to attract new residents and investments.

The first videoconference of the series, in June 2013, featured Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake and national known community development leader Jeremy Nowak. A summary of the discussion and Jeremy Nowak's speech can be found below.

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The second videoconference of the series took place in October 2013 and featured Ted Howard, the founder and executive director of the Democracy Collaborative at the University of Maryland and Steve Minter Fellow at the Cleveland Foundation.

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The third videoconference of the series took place on February 27, 2014. The topic of the exchange between experts in the cities of Detroit, Baltimore, Cleveland and Philadelphia was “Aligning Vision, Investment and Implementation of Land Use Strategies.” The meeting began with keynote presentations from George Galster, the Clarence Hilberry Professor of Urban Affairs, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Wayne State University and Dale Thompson, Associate Professor of Political Science, and Director of the Institute for Local Government, University of Michigan-Dearborn.

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George Galster Dale Thomson

The final session of the Redefining “Rust Belt” Videoconference series took place on Tuesday, May 13, as a plenary session at the national conference, Reinventing Older Communities Conference, in Philadelphia. This session featured school superintendents and other high level officials in education from several Rustbelt cities who explored opportunities for educational reform and city revitalization.

The panelists included Romules Durant, CEO and Superintendent, Toledo Public Schools; William Hite, Superintendent, The School District of Philadelphia; Gregory Thornton, Superintendent, Milwaukee Public Schools and incoming CEO, Baltimore City Public Schools; and Jack Martin, Emergency Manager, Detroit Public Schools. Moderator: Kevin McCorry, Education Reporter, WHYY, Inc. Following the school superintendents’ panel discussion, M. Night Shyamalan delivered a keynote address on education issues in inner cities.

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