Civics Day Home

City Civics Day - Connect. Learn. Engage. - Free Event - November 4 - Epiphany Center for the Arts

Thank you for attending the inaugural City Civics Day!

Featuring seminars, workshops and panels involving top City of Chicago officials and distinguished community voices, the event welcomed more than 500 people for a day of civic dialogue.

City Civics Day was presented by the Department of Planning and Development in collaboration with the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

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Converting Old Rails to Community Trails

Representatives from Grow Greater Englewood, the Major Taylor Trail Keepers, and the Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail discussed how they organized to transform former railroad lines for public benefits.  


  • Dr. Brenda Dixon, Major Taylor Trail Keepers
  • Ben Helphand, Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail
  • L. Anton Seals Jr., Grow Greater Englewood

Moderated by Caroline O’Boyle, Trust for Public Land.

Why Local Media Matters

Journalists from Block Club Chicago, City Bureau, and City Cast explored the key role media plays in informed civic engagement.


  • Bettina Chang, City Bureau
  • Jacoby Cochran, City Cast Podcast
  • Jen Sabella, Block Club Chicago

Moderated by Deborah Douglas, Midwest Solutions Journalism Hub, Northwestern University

Connecting with Chicago's Cultural Histories

Panelists from The Legacy Project, Chicago Public Library, and the Chicago History Museum spotlit their approaches to preserving the stories of diverse communities. 


  • Rebekah Coffman, Chicago History Museum
  • Raquel Flores-Clemons, Chicago Public Library
  • Victor Salvo, The Legacy Project

Moderated by Bonnie McDonald, Landmarks Illinois

Community Connections and Public Places

On City Civics Day’s keynote panel, a visual artist, a skate park meetup founder, an urban planner and an architectural designer shared how they activate the public realm to bring people together. 


  • Justine Ingram, Humboldt Park Skate Meetup
  • Aylen Pacheco, Human Scale
  • Hac Tran, HAIBAYÔ/Argyle Street
  • Amanda Williams, AW Art

Moderated by Sasha-Ann Simons, WBEZ's "Reset"