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Chicago Urban League Focuses on Solutions for the State of Black Chicago

The breakfast event will feature two panels addressing wealth building and honor former U.S. Secretary of HUD Marcia Fudge with a Humanitarian Award

Nearly 300 business and civic leaders will join the Chicago Urban League for the 2024 Policy SUMMIT on Friday, May 17. This year’s breakfast event will focus on the “State of Black Chicago: Solutions” and take place at the Marriott Marquis Chicago from 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. Two panels will address wealth building as it relates to homeownership and careers. In addition to the thought-provoking panels, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge will be honored with a Humanitarian Award. 

“Last year during a special press conference, we presented findings from the State of Black Chicago. While we are committed to addressing problems directly, we are equally focused on presenting solutions, which is the focal point at this year’s Policy SUMMIT,” said Karen Freeman-Wilson, President and CEO of the Chicago Urban League. “We are happy to feature engaging panels from industry leaders, including some of the League’s own, that will tackle solutions to achieving wealth from a housing and workforce standpoint. It’s sure to be a great convening.”

In the 2023 State of Black Chicago report, it was cited that the racial gap in home values in the Chicago area increased from $50,000 in 1980 to an astounding $325,000 in 2020. This led to the Chicago Urban League establishing an Appraisal Bias Taskforce comprised of leaders from the mortgage lending, realtor, and property appraisal industries late last year.  At SUMMIT, panelists will discuss the group’s work and offer recommendations during the first panel of the morning titled “Increasing Access to Homeownership as Wealth Building Tool.” Additionally, per the report, it was cited that the average annual income from Black households in Chicago was $35,965 compared to $82,294 for white Chicago residents. The second panel of the morning, “Family Sustaining Careers as a Wealth Building Tool,” will highlight the League’s daily efforts to train and certify Black Chicagoans in emerging industries with jobs that pay livable and family-sustaining wages.

The panels will feature the following industry leaders:

• Increasing Access to Homeownership as a Wealth Building Tool

o Wil Hendrix-Griffin, Senior Vice President, Affordable Lending for PNC Bank

o Lutalo McGee, Real Estate Broker and Owner and CEO for Ani World LLC

o Moderator: Pamela Stalling, Vice President, Housing & Financial Empowerment for the Chicago Urban League

• Family Sustaining Careers as a Wealth Building Tool

o Marion Jones, Vice President, Workforce Development & DEI Engagement for Nexamp

o Robert McGhee, Senior Vice President, Community Impact Territory Manager, North Region for Fifth Third Bank

o Moderator: Andrew Wells, Vice President, Workforce Development for the Chicago Urban League

In recognition of her work in addressing racial bias in home appraisals at the national level, former HUD Secretary Fudge will receive the Humanitarian Award during the program.

“I am personally excited to celebrate the Honorable Marcia Fudge for her outstanding work through the years. She’s been a champion in addressing housing rights,” continued Freeman-Wilson. “While we normally present our Humanitarian Award at our annual Golden Fellowship Dinner in November, it was necessary and very timely for us to present this award as discuss solutions.”

In addition to the Golden Fellowship Dinner, SUMMIT is another one of the Chicago Urban League’s signature annual fundraisers that support the organizations work to help people find jobs, secure affordable housing, enhance their education and leadership skills, and grow their businesses. 

Tickets are $200. To view the full program and purchase tickets, visit The 2024 Policy SUMMIT’s top sponsors include GCM Grosvenor and ITW, and iHeart Media Chicago will serve as a media sponsor.

To learn more about other upcoming programs and events from the Chicago Urban League, visit You can also follow the League on Facebook and Twitter.

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