From Screen Time to Real Time: Understanding Southeast Side stories through today's oral histories

As data analysts and policy professionals, we spend a lot of time at our desks and behind screens, analyzing quantitative data, active or proposed policies and programs, and various written reports and documents. Much of what we analyze and review is -- or becomes -- an aggregation and anonymization of specific places, experience, and impacts, and fails to directly capture the intricacies of an individual’s lived experience. In our work with community-based partners, we’ve committed... Read the rest of this entry »

 

The Problems With the justice40 Screening Tool, and Some Ideas for How to Improve It

The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) has been a strong supporter of the concept of Justice40 since its announcement in early 2021. The goal of this program is to direct at least 40% of the benefits of federal investment to communities that have historically been left behind. Defining those communities is critical, and the federal government attempted this with the release of the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool in February 2022. Generally, the federal definition of... Read the rest of this entry »

 

Equity and Professional Development

Committing to EQUITY is not a one and done achievement: It is an ongoing journey to grow as individuals and as an organization. Being a more equitable organization is not just about putting the word equity in our mission statement or adding it as a hash tag on social media. Justice, equity, diversity and inclusion requires work to address biases, unlearn toxic work habits and acquire tools needed to make brave decisions. It is a process that requires commitment from every level of an... Read the rest of this entry »

 

Authentic Collaboration: Critical to Equitable Outcomes

Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO), an environmental justice (EJ) organization based in the Little Village neighborhood, and Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT), a research and data analytic planning organization in Chicago, are creating a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) 101 Toolkit for EJ organizations to help them conduct basic mapping and analysis. Throughout toolkit development, the Milwaukee-based EJ organization Milwaukee Water Commons (MWC) is testing to... Read the rest of this entry »

 

CNT Welcomes New Project Manager for Water & Climate Resilience Sajani Neeraja

The urgency at which climate issues must be addressed cannot be understated, and we continue to observe marginalized populations endure their effects disproportionately. It is more pressing than ever to rethink old systems, and I view CNT as a step in the right direction towards this more innovative, holistic rethinking of our societal framework. As a young professional, much of what has motivated me to pursue each of my previous academic and professional roles was my observation of certain... Read the rest of this entry »

 

CNT Welcomes New Project Associate Paulina Vaca

Nearly a month into my work at Center for Neighborhood Technology, I already sense the power of community-based partnerships among organizations in Chicago. I am constantly inspired by not only these connections but also my brilliant coworkers. Whether in the office or working remotely, daily critically-thought conversations and operations surrounding justice and equity are held. As Latinx myself, I am increasingly conscious of the spaces I am in. In this space, I look around and see people of... Read the rest of this entry »

 

CNT Welcomes New Outreach and Engagement Associate Brandon Evans

Coming in the door, I thought the work done by the Center for Neighborhood Technology was outside the spaces I’d worked in over the last decade of my career.  For the most part, my work has focused on providing resources to minority and women owned business owners in marginalized communities.  I’ve always considered myself to be an aware and ethnocentric person and my previous jobs reflected that to some degree. The term “marginalized” doesn’t just speak to the economic resources... Read the rest of this entry »

 

Growing Community at LUCHA’s Tierra Linda House

It was raining – great for the new rain garden, but not so great for a community gardening day. Would anyone come? Hopeful, we set up the tents and laid out the sandwiches, and parents and youth started arriving a little after noon.   "We were so thrilled that families and volunteers showed up, despite the morning rain! It was truly a great opportunity to bond with the community organizations that supported these efforts and the tenants and community members that will... Read the rest of this entry »

 

CNT Welcomes New Managing Director of Strategy and Communications, Leslé Honoré

Growing up I never knew I could make a career out of fighting for equity. I had no idea that there would be organizations dedicated to making transportation equitable, communities more resilient, and policies more purposeful for the people they are supposed to serve. In my 22 years of living in and loving the city of Chicago I have been privileged to work with non-profits like Thresholds and The YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago. I have been honored to lead the work of training tens of thousands of... Read the rest of this entry »

 

CNT Welcomes New Project Associate Cyatharine Alias

At this time, we are reckoning with the historic and current injustices that minoritized populations have faced in this country. These injustices are not limited to the “fast deaths” of obvious racist attacks; it includes the “slow deaths” occurring from the disproportionate effects of climate change and pollution. During this time, I am excited to join Center for Neighborhood Technology as a Project Associate on the Urban Resilience team. In my first few weeks, the discussions we’ve had have... Read the rest of this entry »

 

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