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May 30, 2024 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Headshot of Mary Pattillio. Her shoulder-length dark hair is curly. She is wearing a black blouse.
Mary Pattillio

Presented as part of Red Line Services’ Designing Belonging series, this Lunch & Learn program features a presentation by Mary Patillio, the Harold Washington Professor of Sociology and Black Studies and Chair of the Black Studies Department at Northwestern University, on her landmark work on the intersection of houselessness and criminality. Her talk will explore the way the lack of affordable housing as well as the scarcity of living-wage jobs means millions of people live in situations of overcrowding, sub par housing, overburdened rents, evictions, and houselessness. She will explore the way that housing is supposedly a civil issue, yet the many laws that govern the use of public space, often criminalize houselessness.

Pattillio’s areas of research include race and inequality, housing, urban politics, education reform, criminal legal studies, and stratification within the Black community. She is the author of two award-winning books—Black Picket Fences: Privilege and Peril among the Black Middle Class (University of Chicago Press, 1999) and Black on the Block: The Politics of Race and Class in the City (University of Chicago Press, 2007)—that focus on class stratification, public housing, education, crime, urban planning, community organizing, and youth culture in African American neighborhoods in Chicago.  She is co-editor of Imprisoning America: The Social Effects of Mass Incarceration (Russell Sage, 2004). Pattillo is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Political & Social Science. Pattillo is currently doing research on the advantages of being Black. She sits on the Board of Trustees of the W.T. Grant Foundation and Chicago Appleseed Center for Fair Courts, and was a founding board member of Urban Prep Charter Academies in Chicago. Pattillo holds a BA in Urban Studies from Columbia University and an MA and PhD in Sociology from the University of Chicago.

A meal is shared after the program. Free and open to the public. RSVP is required.

This is the culminating program of Designing Belonging, an eight-month public lecture series, followed by intensive design + research workshops, that engage houseless artists in the reimaging of Chicago’s public spaces.



Thursday, May 30, 2024
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Category:


Free Admission

Wheelchair Accessible


Red Line Service
312 885 2254
View Organizer Website


South Side
Life-long Learners
Free Admission, Wheelchair Accessible
Event Topics
Activism, Racial Identity, Social Justice




Mana Contemporary
2233 S Throop
Chicago, IL 60608
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