ULI Partners with Project REAP
ULI & Project REAP
The 2021 ULI Chicago Product Councils kicked off their year last week with a conversation between Rami Nashashibi, Executive Director, Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN) & Julia Stasch, Immediate Past President, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Julia, who moderated the conversation with Rami, began the discussion with an overview of Rami’s background and accomplishments as well as with details of the organization Rami founded, Inner-City Muslim Action Network, or IMAN. IMAN, which is headquartered in Englewood, supports people directly affected by and deeply invested in social issues affecting communities of color. In their efforts to change their neighborhood and support community organizations, IMAN fosters health, wellness and social justice within their communities. The organization continues to grow with this approach in holistic healing.
Rami stated the three fundamentals that have supported his work are “working with the community to radically reimage what is possible, to connect the disconnected, to believing in the power of connecting disconnected communities, and the power of convening people across different barriers, and lastly the power of healing together, to creating circles that heal communally and spiritually together.”
Rami’s Go Green on Racine was a 2020 Finalist for The Pritzker Traubert Foundation’s Chicago Prize. Located at the intersection of Englewood and West Englewood, the project’s goal is a holistic approach for a vibrant neighborhood, including:
Julia stated, “real estate is all about place”, and the name Go Green on Racine reflects that focus, being situated near the Green Line and Racine.
The project includes two strategies: transit advocacy and housing. In 5 years Go Green aims to create the momentum, density, and investment that will lead to the re-opening of a new Racine Green Line Station – the original station “temporarily closed” 27 years ago. Residents would finally have improved service, reduced walking times and access to nearby new amenities. There’s also plans to convert the abandoned historical landmark that is the old station into an art gallery that celebrates the great artistic renaissance underway.
Housing is another component to this vision. Rami further detailed how he has been in discussions about “how an address on the North Side looks comparatively to the same address on the Southside” and how we as a real estate community can change that conversation. Rami spoke of his work figuring out how to get beyond the racial geography of the city and how we can connect our communities with other communities in the cities, like a “Sister City.”