This discussion will focus on solutions communities around the US have used to address gentrification and its root causes. We will begin with a panel, followed by a Q&A and discussion. Panelists are Father Paul Abernathy, Barbara Koenen, Debbie Trocha, Rachel McIntosh and Joe Bowling.
Meet the Panel
Father Paul Abernathy is an Orthodox Christian priest and the Director of FOCUS Pittsburgh, an Orthodox Christian non-profit focused on human development in the Hill District, Pittsburgh Pa. He has B.A. in International Studies from Wheeling Jesuit University, and holds a Master in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh as well as a Master of Divinity from St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. Since its inception in 2011, FOCUS Pittsburgh has distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars in food, clothing, furniture, transportation assistance, Identification, and emergency relief to the Greater Pittsburgh Community which includes a Back Pack Feeding Program that distributes food to 2,500 children every weekend during the school year. Paul is also the CEO of the FOCUS Pittsburgh Free Health Center which offers free primary and free behavioral health care to Pittsburgh’s uninsured and underinsured with an initiative currently underway to address Community Trauma called Trauma Informed Community Development. A former Non-Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Army, Father Paul is a combat veteran of the Iraq War and has received community awards to include the New Pittsburgh Courier’s 2013 Fab 40 award, Pittsburgh Magazine’s 40 under 40, and Wheeling Jesuit University’s Fr. Pedro Arrupe Distinguished Alumni Award.
Barbara Koenen is an artist, activist, entrepreneur and former bureaucrat based in Chicago. The focus of her 20+ year tenure at the City of Chicago was on developing programs, projects and policies that supported artists and arts organizations, including the Chicago Artists Resource, Creative Chicago Expo, Square Feet Chicago, and others, and advising on the development of numerous artist live/work spaces in Chicago. www.barbarakoenen.com
Debbie Trocha joined the Indiana Cooperative Development Center in August, 2006 after serving as Executive Director of the Indiana Small Business Development Center. She has over 20 years of economic development experience. Debbie coordinates the annual Indiana Cooperative Summit, bringing together professionals from all co-op sectors. Under her leadership, ICDC promotes cooperatives as a vibrant model to address economic and social needs. ICDC provides start-up, management, and technical assistance to a wide variety of co-ops in agriculture, arts, childcare, education, energy, and housing sectors. ICDC also provides training opportunities designed to bring together groups of people involved in co-op development.
Joe Bowling is the co-director of Englewood CDC. Learn more at http://englewoodcdc.com/
Rachel McIntosh has nearly 20 years of experience in comprehensive community economic development, working worldwide. Over her career, she served as Senior Program Officer with Local Initiatives Support Corporation. In that capacity, she worked to advance a broad range of community revitalization efforts, managing investments in targeted neighborhoods and community-driven real estate projects. In addition to her time with LISC, she served as a program officer for the Annie E. Casey Foundation where she helped manage the design, implementation and evaluation of community capacity building programs, social investments and grantmaking for the foundation’s signature place-based initiative spanning the United States and Latin America. She also serves as the US representative for the SOIF Foundation in Togo. Ms. McIntosh has a Master of Arts in Philanthropic Studies and a Master’s in Public Affairs with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from Indiana University.