Darren Walker, Julia Stasch discuss Chicagoland’s inequality, how the region can create shared prosperity and the role of philanthropy at Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) Annual Luncheon - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Darren Walker, Julia Stasch discuss Chicagoland’s inequality, how the region can create shared prosperity and the role of philanthropy at Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) Annual Luncheon

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Ford Foundation President Darren Walker and MacArthur Foundation President Julia Stasch talk segregation, equity and the role of philanthropy in front of a 1,000+ crowd at our Annual Luncheon Jan. 9.

MPC honors Harris Holdings, Inc., Chairman and MPC Senior Fellow King Harris with award for civic leadership

(Chicago) … Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, and Julia Stasch, president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, sat down for a conversation on race, inequality and economic growth at the Metropolitan Planning Council’s (MPC) Annual Luncheon on Monday, Jan. 9, at the Sheraton Grand Chicago. More than 1,000 business, government, civic and community leaders attended the luncheon, which raised more than $1,000,000, to hear the leaders of two international foundations converse on the importance for the entire region of a more equitable future for Chicagoland.

“Inequality and segregation. Sluggish growth. Are they connected?,” asked MPC President MarySue Barrett.  “This question is not only today’s theme, it is emblematic of who MPC is: we ask tough questions and bring leaders together around workable solutions.”

Also at the luncheon, MPC presented King Harris, chairman of Harris Holdings, Inc. and MPC senior fellow, with an award for his extraordinary civic contributions to affordable housing in our region.

FEATURE PRESENTATION

Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, and Julia Stasch, president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, focused their conversation on the need for major foundations to go beyond generosity to promote social justice. Each spoke about the need to interrogate their own actions and perceptions to ensure they are making real impact.

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“I like to say we're in the business of hope at the Ford Foundation," Walker said. "The greatest challenge to our democracy is hopelessness. Because the idea of aspiration and opportunity are at the center of who we are as a people.”

“One thing I think that each of us can do is to absolutely avoid cynicism at all costs because cynicism robs people of the sense that they actually can make a difference, that there actually are solutions," said Julia Stasch. "So the bottom line is we can’t be in philanthropy if we’re not optimists.”

“I challenge us to push ourselves further to face inequity head on,” said Terry Mazany, president and CEO of the Chicago Community Trust, who introduced the keynote. “By building wealth for those most marginalized, we in turn build the wealth of our region and fuel our future growth.”

Since 1934, MPC has made the Chicago region a better place to live and work by partnering with businesses, communities and governments to address the area’s toughest planning and development challenges. MPC works to solve today's urgent problems while consistently thinking ahead to prepare the region for the needs of tomorrow.

CHAMPION FIGHTER AWARD

MPC proudly presented King Harris, chairman of Harris Holdings, Inc. and MPC senior fellow, with the Champion Fighter Award for his determined work to ensure a sustainable, equitable and competitive future for the Chicago region. Jacques Gordon, global investment strategist, LaSalle Investment Management—and MPC’s Board chair—presented the award to Harris.

In honor of his remarkable commitment to MPC and the region, MPC was also proud to announce the King W. Harris Housing Fund, to support our housing policy work.

“I’m all-in for the work ahead: improving permanent supportive housing statewide, including for disabled individuals and those exiting our criminal justice system who deserve a fresh start,” said Harris.

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King Harris, longtime MPC Board member and 2016 Champion Fighter award recipient, talks with MPC President MarySue Barrett and Scott Swanson of PNC.

Harris’ deep commitment to affordable and accessible housing in our region spans nearly two decades, from implementing the region’s first Employer-Assisted Housing initiative—whereby employers help employees find housing near their jobs—with the active support of MPC, to helping launch the region–wide, forward-looking Homes for a Changing Region that has helped 44 Chicago-area communities chart their future housing needs. Harris recently was appointed by Gov. Bruce Rauner as board chair of the Illinois Housing Development Authority.

In addition to his dedication to MPC, Harris has numerous other civic commitments. He is vice-chair of the Board of the Museum of Contemporary Art, a trustee of the University of Chicago where he chairs its Visiting Committee on Public Policy, Board member of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Foundation and Board member of World Sport Chicago.

MPC established the Champion Fighter Award in 1959, as a special honor for individuals who have exemplified the concept of responsible leadership on behalf of the public interest. Previous award winners include Mayor Richard J. Daley; Ferd Kramer, founder, Draper and Kramer; Dorothy J. Rubel, longtime MPC executive director; Lester Crown, chairman, Henry Crown & Company; and W. James Farrell, former CEO, Illinois Tool Works Inc.

2016 BURNHAM AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN PLANNING

The Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) is pleased to honor the transforming community of Pullman, a historic neighborhood on Chicago’s Southeast Side, with the 2016 Burnham Award for Excellence in Planning.

The story of Pullman’s ongoing revitalization exemplifies the power of community, civic, business and philanthropic leaders joining forces to advance a shared strategic vision that challenges inequality and drives equitable economic growth.

“Why we are honoring Pullman can be summed up in three lessons, relevant to all communities,” said MPC President MarySue Barrett. “Never give up. Collaborate, even when it’s messy. And focus on a unifying vision.”

Originally developed by the Pullman’s Palace Car Company, this community played an integral role in America’s turn of the century labor movement, with a Pullman strike ultimately leading to the creation of Labor Day. In subsequent generations, the community rallied to protect the historic rowhouses and public buildings built by Pullman. In February 2015, President Barack Obama traveled to Chicago to designate Pullman a National Monument.

Since 1988, MPC’s Burnham Award for Excellence in Planning—named in honor of Daniel H. Burnham, creator of the 1909 Plan of Chicago—has encouraged sensible growth by honoring innovative and visionary planning and implementation in the Chicago metropolitan region.

SPONSORS

PNC Bank was the Presenting Sponsor of MPC’s 2016 Annual Luncheon for the 10th year in a row.

Abbott, Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, George and Laura Bilicic, BMO Harris Bank, John and Kathleen Buck, The Crown Family, Cate and Jim Denny, Amy Falls and Hartley Rogers, Harris Family Foundation, JLL and LaSalle Investment Management, JPMorgan Chase & Co., MB Financial Bank, Northern Trust Corporation, Pat and Shirley Ryan and Walgreens are $25,000 Lead Sponsors of the event. $10,000 Benefactors of the event are Abbvie; The Allstate Insurance Company; AptarGroup, Inc.; Bank of America; The Boeing Company; ComEd, an Exelon Company; Illinois Tool Works Inc.; Janet and Craig Duchossois; John S. Gates, Jr.; Grosvenor Capital Management, L.P.; Jim Gordon, The Edgewater Funds; Andrew J. McKenna; PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP; U.S. Bancorp; William Blair & Company; Wintrust Commercial Bank; and Sam and Jessica Yagan.

A full list of sponsors is available on MPC’s website.

ABOUT MPC

For more than 80 years, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has made the Chicago region a better place to live and work by partnering with businesses, communities and governments to address the area's toughest planning and development challenges. MPC works to solve today's urgent problems while consistently thinking ahead to prepare the region for the needs of tomorrow. Follow @Metroplanners for news, updates and original content.

ABOUT PNC BANK

The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (www.pnc.com) is one of the nation’s largest diversified financial services organizations providing retail and business banking; residential mortgage banking; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management; asset management and global fund services. Follow @PNCNews on Twitter for breaking news, updates and announcements from PNC.

The hashtag for this year’s Luncheon is #MPCLuncheon.

For more information, contact MPC Director of Marketing and Communications Emily Blum, at 312 863 6018 or eblum@metroplanning.org.

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For more than 80 years, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has made the Chicago region a better place to live and work by partnering with businesses, communities and governments to address the area's toughest planning and development challenges. MPC works to solve today's urgent problems while consistently thinking ahead to prepare the region for the needs of tomorrow. Read more about our work »

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