10th Annual Woodlawn Community Summit

“A Celebration of Community Spirit” | March 16, 2019  

This is an exciting and historic time for our community. Attend this important event designed to share vital information about future developments. Join a collective community voice to explore new ideas and take action that will improve the Woodlawn community. This is the time to learn about how to stay involved and informed. Hear from invited speakers in the areas of economic development, housing, youth engagement and much more!

The Woodlawn Community Summit and South East Chicago Commission (SECC) hosted the 10th Annual Woodlawn Community Summit, on Saturday March 16, 2019 from 8 a.m. -12:30 p.m. at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, 969 East 60th Street. The Summit is designed by residents for residents and it is FREE to attend.  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.

10th Annual Woodlawn Community Summit

Summit Press Release

The Woodlawn Summit is the largest event of its type on the South Side of Chicago. Since its inception in 2009, the Woodlawn Community Summit has continued its work in developing and nurturing initiatives such as the Woodlawn Chamber of Commerce, targeted youth engagement programs, and neighborhood engagement.

The Summit is designed to be an energizing morning of action, serving as a clearing house for information and providing solutions to issues in the areas of Economic Development, Housing, Youth Engagement, Safety and Sustainability.

This Summit is planned by residents for residents. We appreciate the support from the community and our sponsors and look forward to celebrating our 10th anniversary!

Elizabeth Gardner
Co-Founder, Woodlawn Summit
March 12, 2019

We appreciate the support from the community and our sponsors for this annual event. The Advisory Committee has worked tirelessly to deliver an insightful program designed to ensure resident and stakeholder participation.

Deidre McGraw
Co-Founder, Woodlawn Summit
March 12, 2019

Ten years ago, the University hosted the first Woodlawn Summit in a single, small classroom on our campus. In every year since, attendance has grown exponentially with more than 500 attendees expected to fill our entire Social Services Administration building today!

Derek Douglas
UChicago’s Vice President for Civic Engagement and External Affairs
March 12, 2019

We want to ensure that their voices are heard and that they are able to get to the resources they need.

Deidre McGraw
Co-Founder, Woodlawn Summit
March 12, 2019

The Summit's success is a great testimonial to the vision of its founders and community leaders who dedicated their time, energy and resources to help transform Woodlawn!

Diane Burnham
Executive Director, SECC
March 12, 2019

Programming Highlights

  • Community Networking
  • Community Recognition and Awards
  • Keynote Speaker
  • Thought-Leader Panel Discussions
  • Open Forum
  • Roundtable Sessions
  • Youth Arts & Culture
  • Resource Center
  • Volunteer Recruitment
  • Housing Tour

Summit Participation

Facilitators and Panelists

  • THE FUTURE IS NOW! Economic Development in Woodlawn. Click Here.
  • HOUSING:  “Chicago’s South Side: Not by Chance, but by Choice.”  Click Here.

Contributors and Committees

Learn more about the Summit contributors to the youth program, South Side sustainability, local candidates for elected office, and  the latest happenings in Washington Park.   Click Here.

Resource Center

Be sure to visit this year’s Resource Center featuring more than 20 organizations available to assist you.  Click Here.

Summit Letters of Recognition

City of Chicago

Mayor's Office

See Mayor Emanuel's letter to the Summit

Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Official letter to the 10th Annual Woodlawn Community Summit

Read More

State of Illinois

Governor's Office

See Governor Pritzker's letter to the Summit

Governor JB Pritzer

Official letter to the 10th Annual Woodlawn Community Summit

Read More

2019 Summit Sponsors

2019 Summit Planning Committee

Committee Member



Sandra Bivens

Executive Director

51st Street Business Association

Rebecca Brentz

Program Coordinator

South East Chicago Commission

Diane Burnham

Executive Director

South East Chicago Commission

Naomi Davis

Founder, Executive Director

Blacks in Green

Felicia Dawson

Vice President

Preservation of Affordable Housing

Byron Freelon


Woodlawn Chamber of Commerce

Liz  Gardner


Woodlawn Community Summit

Paula M. Grantt

CRA Business Development Officer

Associated Bank, N.A.

Jawanda Hairston

Community Leader 

Terri  Kilbane


Loyola University

Deidre McGraw


Woodlawn Community Summit

D’Luxe Connections

Kamaria  Ngozi

Community Leader

Woodlawn Community Summit

Joyce Nimocks

Community Leader

Woodlawn Community Summit

Rudy Nimocks

Community Leader

Woodlawn Community Summit

Lisa Parks


Woodlawn Chamber of Commerce

Raymonde Vance

Executive Assistant

South East Chicago Commission

Wendy Walker Williams

Executive Director, Community Partnerships

University of Chicago, Office of Civic Engagement

Ticina Williams


Creativiti Custom Solutions

Alicia August Wright


A’Vents by August

Woodlawn: At-A-Glance


  • Woodlawn is a growing community of approximately 30,000, predominately mixed-income African-American residents.
  • The community is located on Chicago’s lakefront, just eight miles from the city’s downtown Loop area.

Four Quadrants

The community of Woodlawn has organized itself along the geographic boundaries of 63rd Street, running east and west, and Cottage Grove, running north and south, to create four quadrants, each with its unique socio-economic profile.

Land Development

Woodlawn is highly-favored for new development, embracing an estimated 59 acres of vacant city-owned land, with an additional 85 acres of vacant land owned privately, according to the Gensler study.

Woodlawn Housing Stock

Realtor.com reports 213 properties making up more than 240 units were sold in the first three months of 2018. The combination of increased rehabbing and sales, with a record high sales price of $599,000 single family home price reported in March, 2018 support the expectation for continued population growth and a shift in the economic demographics, including an increase in the ownership ratio.


Recent Projects