University Park, IL,
17:39 PM

Governors State University Hosts On the Table Discussion

Governors State University (GSU) recently hosted a community-wide discussion on how racial segregation has impacted employment in Chicago and the surrounding communities—especially the Southland.

The breakfast discussion was one of many taking place across metro Chicago as part of the Chicago Community Trust’s (CCT) “On the Table” annual series. This year’s discussion highlights and—potential solutions—will be sent as a memo to Chicago’s Mayor-Elect Lori Lightfoot.

"Memo to the Mayor"  is CCT's grassroots attempt to influence Lightfoot's priorities for better communities. "Segregation is policy driven and needs to be addressed,'' GSU Vice President of Institutional Advancement Will Davis said during the breakfast. He was joined by faculty, staff, and elected members of the surrounding community. 

Social Work Scholar Phyllis West and Historian David Golland led the engagement and presented the paradox, “If Chicago is home to many key industries, why is there high unemployment and segregation?”

Frequent responses included business and arts promotion, as well as a wide-spread investment in a technology and innovation.

For a historical perspective, Golland suggested the group read Thomas Sugrue's “The Origins of the Urban Crisis'', which illustrates the roles of race, housing, job discrimination in the decline of Detroit.

Community devastation creates trauma to residents that must be addressed to re-build, West, a public health educator, told the group.

“When you talk about preparing human capital, you also must talk about healing human capital,” she said.