Collaborating for Equitable Development in Chicago
moderated by Brandis Freidman (WTTW)
Panelists: Kendra Freeman (MPC), Kevin Goldsmith (JPMorgan Chase), Christen Wiggins (We Rise Together), Andraya Yousfi (By The Hand)
Tuesday, Apr 23, 2024
Doors Open at 11:30 am / Event Begins at 12:00 pm
Save to calendar
Register now Seating is limited
111 W. Grand Avenue
Chicago, IL 60654
Map and directions
Kendra Freeman is the Vice President of Programs and Strategic Impact at the Metropolitan Planning Council. Kendra provides strategic leadership, management, and guidance to the MPC’s policy and systems change initiatives through collaborative research and advocacy, meaningful community/stakeholder engagement and intentional technical assistance to support policy implementation.
With more than 20 years of experience in program development and operations, Freeman has held leadership positions in the private and nonprofit sectors with a focus on equitable development and capacity building. Prior to MPC, Kendra worked in affordable housing development and management, where she invested in people to improve the quality of life in their communities. As executive director of Holsten Human Capital Development, NFP, she oversaw the nonprofit’s daily operations, including an annual budget of more than $1.5 million and 25 staff serving more than 1,200 households living in subsidized housing.
Kendra is a Chicago native and licensed real estate broker. She holds a bachelor’s in sociology and a master’s in public administration from DePaul University. She serves on the steering committee of Elevated Chicago, is on the advisory committee for Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Greater Chicago, and as Chair of the Board of Directors for Storycatchers Theatre.
Kevin Goldsmith is the Managing Director for Community Development Tax Credits (CDTC) and Intermediaries Lending at Chase. In his role, Kevin oversees a national team that originates and structures NMTC and HTC equity investments and debt facilities for CDFIs. Kevin's team works with industry partners and business units throughout Chase to identify, screen and underwrite community development projects.
Christen Wiggins is the program director of We Rise Together: For an Equitable & Just Recovery. In her role, Christen oversees strategy, grantmaking, and partnerships toward the goal of building thriving neighborhoods for a stronger Chicago. She joined the initiative in 2021 with more than 20 years of experience working with and for non-profits in the fields of community development and affordable housing. She began her career on the U.S. Senate Banking Committee and worked on policy and advocacy for Habitat for Humanity International and Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago. She ran an independent consulting firm dedicated to helping non-profits translate their vision for change into actionable plans for over a decade. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia and holds a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Chicago.
Andraya Yousfi is the Chief of Partnership and Development for By the Hand Club for Kids. Andraya works to expand the mission of By The Hand by supporting the development of new construction, programs and partnerships to reach more children and their families—mind, body and soul.
Founded in 2001, By The Hand Club partners with local schools to support students who are not meeting reading standards. By The Hand serves nearly 1,800 children across Chicago, providing transportation, meals, reading intervention, mentorship, eye care, dental care, mental health counseling and enrichment activities such as art, dance, STEM, sports and field trips.
As Chief of Partnerships and Development, Andraya acted as a key member on the development team for the North Austin Community Center, specifically supporting community engagement, fundraising, and compliance. Prior to joining By The Hand, Andraya served as chief of staff at an education policy organization, working towards educational equity throughout Chicago. She leverages over a decade of experience in policy creation, project management, community outreach, education and equity-based urban development. She began her career teaching high school special education and has dedicated her life to ensuring that all barriers are removed so that the brilliant children of Chicago have a clear path to achieve their God-given callings.
Andraya has a Bachelor of Arts from Wheaton College in psychology with a certificate in Urban Studies and her teaching certificate with a Learning Behavior Specialist endorsement from National Louis University.
Brandis Friedman is a co-anchor and correspondent for Chicago Tonight, and the host of Chicago Tonight: Black Voices, both on Chicago’s PBS affiliate, WTTW. Her reporting on education and criminal justice has appeared on PBS’ NewsHour and NPR’s The Takeaway. Before joining Chicago Tonight, Brandis worked as a reporter and anchor for WBBM Newsradio 780, and as a producer/reporter for WJLA-TV/ABC-7 in Washington, DC. In addition to earning multiple regional Emmy Awards for her work, she has earned multiple Peter Lisagor Awards, recognizing excellence in journalism, from the Chicago Headline Club.
Originally from Mississippi, Brandis’ work has taken her to numerous cities including Kansas City, Missouri, Little Rock, Arkansas and Wichita Falls, Texas. She has served on the board of the Chicago Headline Club, which is the local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and is a member of the Education Writers Association and National Association of Black Journalists. Brandis is a graduate of Dillard University in New Orleans, where she earned a degree in Mass Communications, and Columbia University in New York City, where she earned her Master’s Degree in Journalism. Brandis lives in Evanston with her husband and two sons.
Illinois Supreme Court
Tuesday, Feb 27, 2024
Doors Open at 11:30 pm / Event Begins at 12:00 pm
Panelists: Nichole Benolken (M56 - 360Chicago), Deanna Pusatier (Starbucks), Stan Nitzberg (Mid America Real Estate Corporation) and Kimberly Bares (The Magnificent Mile Association)
Wednesday, Feb 28, 2024
Doors Open at 11:30 am / Event Begins at 12:00 pm
City Club of Chicago event tickets are non-refundable. Tickets are transferrable.
Our venues are wheelchair accessible. To request any other accessibility, please contact Amanda Agosti at email@example.com