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LISC Launches Community Development Institute

LISC/Chicago will manage a new venture for the national LISC network, the Institute for Comprehensive Community Development.

An idea originally hatched in Chicago, the Institute will provide training, research and policy development related to comprehensive community initiatives that are taking root in cities across America.

The keynote speaker at the ICCD Inaugural was Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement.

“Practitioners in Chicago have long taken a holistic view toward their work,” comments Andrew Mooney, LISC/Chicago’s Executive Director who will also be the Institute’s Managing Director. “Now many others in the field are taking a similar approach, which creates a real need for the kind of work the Institute will do.”

The Institute formally announced itself at an Inaugural event in Washington DC on April 16. Former LISC
Board member and now Senior Advisor to the President, Valerie Jarrett, gave the keynote address. “What a perfect partner for us to have at the national level,” said Jarrett. “We couldn’t be more committed to this effort.”

Other speakers included Julia Stasch, Vice President of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and Michael Rubinger, LISC’s national President.  Along with Chicago’s Mayor Richard M. Daley, Rubinger will also co-chair an Advisory Committee composed of leaders in community development practice and research from across the country. 

Eileen Figel, an urban planner with extensive experience in neighborhood development, will be the Institute’s Director. Joel Bookman of LISC/Chicago’s staff will be the Deputy Managing Director, and Jim Capraro, who is retiring from 30+ years at the helm of the Greater Southwest Development Corporation, will be the Institute’s first Senior Fellow.

The Institute has already begun operations, with a series of training programs that will be offered throughout the year, as well as an extensive communications effort that will inform the field about best practices and local approaches. The Institute’s website is

This article first appeared in the Spring 2010 issue of Working Capital, LISC/Chicago's quarterly newsletter. To see the full issue, please click here.

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