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Join us for a program supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art's Art Design Chicago program and presented by Chandra Christmas-Rouse

  • Date: 1/25/2024 12:00 PM - 1/25/2024 02:00 PM
  • Location 2233 South Throop Street, Chicago, IL, USA (Map)
  • More Info: 5th Floor


Chandra Christmas-Rouse will share a healing-centered community development framework that includes guiding principles, strategies and practices for community development practitioners to apply a healing-centered lens to their work, with the goal of meeting the needs and priorities of residents and communities most effectively. She will also discuss her creative practice that explores the spaces that make us remember, feel and imagine community in the greater Bronzeville neighborhoods. She will conclude with facilitating an activity about designing spaces that reflect the values, cultures and traditions of our communities.

Chandra Christmas-Rouse is an urban planner, advocate and artist based in Chicago, IL. A background in community development and environmental justice informs her design approach of working with community stakeholders in a participatory process to support capacity building, achieve place-based solutions, and reimagine systems. Chandra currently serves as a Director at the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC). At MPC, she developed and leads the Change Lab initiative which equips advocates, the public sector, and private entities with the knowledge, skills and tools to affect structural change and to institutionalize equity. She also directs MPC’s housing policy work and supports land use planning and equitable transit-oriented development (eTOD) programs by advancing research, policy advocacy, and outreach efforts.

Prior to joining MPC,Chandra developed program, policy, and capital initiatives with local partners that focus on environmental resilience, eTOD, and healing-centered engagement at Enterprise Community Partners. While at Enterprise, she worked with the City of Chicago's Department of Housing to lead the country's first Racial Equity Impact Assessment (REIA) of rental housing developments which are supported by Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC). Her past experiences include integrating policy and strategy consulting with technical knowledge to advance economic mobility and sustainability for a number of organizations and firms including the United Nations and Jacobs Engineering Group. Chandra is also the author of a graphic novel entitled Where the Sidewalk Grows. 

She holds a BA in Environmental Sciences & Policy with distinction from Duke University and a Master of Urban Planning from Harvard University.

After the program, a meal will be shared. 

RSVP is required.

The Designing Belonging series is part of Art Design Chicago, a citywide collaboration initiated by the Terra Foundation for American Art that highlights the city’s artistic heritage and creative communities.