11th Annual Woodlawn Community Summit

“Mission 2020: Building a New South Side” | March 7, 2020 

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) will host the 11th Annual Woodlawn Community Summit on Saturday March 7, 2020 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 Invitation

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.

Plenary Session


In this discussion, we will have an honest conversation about what it really takes to build a successful community and drive change from a grassroots level.  Attendees will learn from practitioners on how residents and stakeholders can act and gain valuable knowledge from each other.

Moderator: Wendy Walker Williams, Executive Director, University of Chicago, Office of Civic Engagement


  • Byron T. Brazier, Pastor, Apostolic Church of God
  • Naomi Davis, President & Founder, Blacks in Green
  • Deon Lucas, President, E.G. Woode
  • Lamell McMorris, Founding Principal, Greenlining Realty USA and Perennial Strategy Group
  • Marisa Novara, Commissioner, Department of Housing, City of Chicago
  • Rob Rose, Executive Director, Cook County Land Bank

Programming Highlights

  • Community Networking
  • Community Recognition and Awards
  • Thought-Leader Panel Discussions
  • Open Forum
  • Youth Entrepreneurship
  • Resource Center
  • Volunteer Recruitment
  • Housing Tour

Summit Participation

Facilitators and Panelists

Our workshop facilitators and panelists lend their expertise on matters that specifically benefit or challenge Woodlawn and the surrounding neighborhoods.

Contributors and Committees

The Summit leans on the leadership and contributions of our community leaders, elected officials, local business owners, and the team from the UChicago SSA building.

Resource Center

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

2020 Summit Sponsors

I commend all of those involved with the Woodlawn Community Summit for your ongoing efforts to promote community involvement and improve the Woodlawn community and the City of Chicago.
This is also a wonderful opportunity to reflect on all you have accomplished over the past 11 years. Your longevity is truly a testament to the relationships this organization has fostered over time.

Woodlawn Housing Preservation Ordinance

City of Chicago Mayor's Office

The City crafted a new draft ordinance with the purpose “that everyone who lives in Woodlawn should be able to stay and share in the transformative promise for economic growth and cultural enrichment offered by the Obama Presidential Center project.”

The Ordinance

The draft ordinance incorporates input from over a decade of planning efforts by the Woodlawn community, feedback from the Woodlawn housing working group, one-on-one meetings, and broader community engagement… 

The Details

The draft ordinance mandates affordability requirements on all rental and for-sale housing developed on City-owned residential land. It also appropriates roughly $4.5M and leverages another $5M in loan funds for rehabilitation of existing affordable housing.

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