[RECORDING] BGA Community Forums: Navigating the History of Cabrini-Green

[RECORDING] BGA Community Forums: Navigating the History of Cabrini-Green

At our Cabrini-Green community virtual event on Saturday, we suffered a horrific attack – what many are calling a “Zoom bomb” – that forced us to make a difficult but necessary decision with our partners, CatchLight Local and City Cast Chicago, to cancel the schedule originally set as a public event.

As soon as we became aware of the situation, we closed the meeting to attendees and reported the attack to the FBI Cybercrime Unit. Additionally, we updated the nearly 200 registrants and any other members of the public through Eventbrite, our social media platforms, and our Weekly Watch newsletter.

We are truly sorry to everyone who experienced the atrocity of the hijackers’ indecent images and words of our Zoom meeting.

Yet this experience has not deterred us from our commitment to public service and community building. We, along with the panelists and our partners, have agreed to use the resources we have and keep the conversation offline. This program was essential to better understand the impacts of government policies and actions on the Cabrini-Green neighborhood and its community, especially black residents.

Left to right: Moderator Jacoby Cochran with panelists Carol Steele, Charles Price, Davon Clark and Shermann “Dilla” Thomas listen to Alejandra Cancino share a response during the offline conversation. (Olivia Obineme/BGA)

You can listen to an in-depth discussion on Cabrini-Green, hosted by City Cast Chicago podcast host Jacoby Cochran. Panelists included Alejandra Cancino, former BGA senior investigative reporter and author of “Cabrini-Green: A Story of Broken Promises”; Davon Clark, local member of CatchLight 2020; Carol Steele, longtime Cabrini-Green resident and lawyer; Charles Price, public housing activist and former Cabrini-Green resident liaison; Shermann “Dilla” Thomas, Chicago urban historian; and Shakira Johnson, oral historian and assistant educator at the National Public Housing Museum, who joined us via Zoom.

They discuss the Cabrini-Green story, the findings of the BGA investigation, and the city’s public housing record. They also dive deep into the stories of Cabrini-Green residents and what stories are missing in the narrative of one of the largest land grabs in Chicago history that forced many black residents from their homes and jobs. .

Shakira Johnson, an oral historian and assistant educator at the National Public Housing Museum, joined the conversation via Zoom. (Screenshot provided by the BGA)

At a time when we have all become more reliant on virtual spaces to host our once entirely in-person programming, we are all more vulnerable to cybersecurity issues. As we remain steadfast in our commitments to community engagement and building community voices, please know that we will strengthen all of our defenses moving forward.

We hope you’ll take a moment to listen to the recording of the conversation and if you’d like to share any comments or have any questions, please share them with us using our form below.

“BGA Community Forums: Navigating the Story of Cabrini-Green” was in partnership with CatchLight Local and City Cast Chicago.

City Cast Chicago recently produced a two-part series on Cabrini-Green ahead of the event. Part one, “‘They Want That Skyline’: How Cabrini-Green Residents Were Relocated”, features WBEZ’s Natalie Moore and Cabrini-Green attorney and former resident JR Fleming on the history of Cabrini from the 70s to the 90s. Part 2 will be available on Tuesday, February 1 at 6 a.m. – you can find it here: https://pod.link/citycastchicago.

It stems from our investigation, “Cabrini-Green: A Story of Broken Promises,” reported by Alejandra Cancino. Photos for the story were taken by Davon Clark, local member of CatchLight, a fellowship between CatchLight and the Institute for Nonprofit News.

Harry L. Blanchard