Race and Green Space in Chicago: Their Legacy and Future

We invite you to join us for a half day of dialogue, learning, and action at The Ancona School’s sixth annual Diversity Symposium.

Saturday, March 10, 2018 | 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

This year’s Symposium will explore issues around race and green space in Chicago. How have historical biases shaped Chicago’s green spaces and, by extension, our communities? What are local organizations doing to make recreation and nature more accessible? How is green space being used to foster social change?

Ancona welcomes educators, parents, school leadership, and community members to this morning, half-day event. Refreshments will be provided. New this year! A special Kids Track will allow children to engage with the theme via activities led by Ancona teachers and parents. 

The annual Diversity Symposium honors the Ancona School’s longstanding commitment to social justice and multicultural education by bringing noted scholars and activists to campus to address issues of diversity and identity.

Register Now!


8:30 a.m. — Registration, coffee, and refreshments

9:00 a.m. — Plenary Session: Naomi Davis, President and Founder, Blacks in Green

9:30 – 10:30 a.m. — Breakout Session One

10:40 – 11:40 a.m. — Breakout Session Two

11:45 a.m. — Closing Conversation: Green Space Activism


Disappearing Green Space

How can green spaces survive when face with the pressure of gentrification? Panelists include a landscape architect and activists working to preserve Jackson Park.

Benefits to Green Spaces (and how to achieve them)

Learn more about how efforts to improve green spaces have been linked to heatwave reduction, school campuses, and improved community health.


Techniques and Challenges to Claiming Green Space 

Gain insight from those who have successfully campaigned to create new green spaces across Chicago, including Ping Tom Park, Burnham Wildlife Corridor, and gardens in Bronzeville and Englewood.

New Pathways to the Outdoors

Representatives from Slow Roll Chicago, Faith in Place, Chicago Wisdom Project, and Friends of the Forest Preserves share ways they’re organizing around biking, spirituality, conservation, and youth development.