CNT Welcomes New Managing Director, Urban Resilience Shavion Scott

Curiosity is powerful. In that, it gives us permission to imagine the possibilities as opposed to being limited by what is. I remember as a child being a quiet observer with a lot of questions; aware of the distance traveled to access basic community amenities such as grocery stores or entertainment venues, while also discovering a love of nature because it was always accessible to me and provided for some of the best memories at holidays – or any day – with family. The natural and built... Read the rest of this entry »

 

CNT Welcomes New Director of Development Franklin Ballenger

I consider myself an urban dweller who is passionate about the justice issues that plague global cities. Over the last 30 years, I have worked with numerous community-based organizations and faith communities across the City of Chicago with the goal of impacting communities and helping them grow. As a kid, I enjoyed riding my bike or walking through the many neighborhoods of Chicago. When I saw the boarded-up buildings or broken glass, I didn’t use words like "under-resourced" or "... Read the rest of this entry »

 

CNT Develops Mobile Web App for Walkability Assessments

The Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC) has been partnering with community-based organizations (CBOs) for more than a decade to identify and address barriers to walkability in their neighborhoods.  To do this, CLOCC developed their Neighborhood Walkability & Accessibility Assessment Tool (NWAAT), first as a paper and later as an on-line survey tool, providing CBOs with an instrument to gather data used to support their requests to the City of Chicago for local... Read the rest of this entry »

 

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 »

 

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