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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 Mary Pattillo.

  • Date:5/30/2024 12:00 PM - 5/30/2024 02:00 PM
  • Location 2233 South Throop Street, Chicago, IL, USA (Map)
  • More Info:5th Floor


Mary Pattillo's landmark work on the intersection of houselessness and criminality will serve as the basis for this culminating Designing Belonging presentation. Her talk will explore the way the lack of affordable housing as well as the scarcity of living-wage jobs means millions of people live in situations of overcrowding, sub par housing, overburdened rents, evictions, and houselessness. She will explore the way that housing is supposedly a civil issue, yet the many laws that govern the use of public space, often criminalize houselessness. 

Mary Pattillo is the Harold Washington Professor of Sociology and Black Studies and Chair of the Black Studies Department at Northwestern University. Her areas of research include race and inequality, housing, urban politics, education reform, criminal legal studies, and stratification within the Black community. She is the author of two award-winning books – Black Picket Fences: Privilege and Peril among the Black Middle Class (University of Chicago Press, 1999) and Black on the Block: The Politics of Race and Class in the City (University of Chicago Press, 2007) – that focus on class stratification, public housing, education, crime, urban planning, community organizing, and youth culture in African American neighborhoods in Chicago.  She is co-editor of Imprisoning America: The Social Effects of Mass Incarceration (Russell Sage, 2004). Pattillo is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Political & Social Science. Pattillo is currently doing research on the advantages of being Black. She sits on the Board of Trustees of the W.T. Grant Foundation and Chicago Appleseed Center for Fair Courts, and was a founding board member of Urban Prep Charter Academies in Chicago. Pattillo holds a BA in Urban Studies from Columbia University and an MA and PhD in Sociology from the University of Chicago