Todd Swanstrom knows the value of communities working together. He is, after all, the E. Desmond Lee Endowed Professor of Community Collaboration and Public Policy Administration at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. Swanstrom put that title to work recently when he met with leaders at more than 30 St. Louis Community Development Corporations to help facilitate collaboration.

CDCs are nonprofit community-based organizations that work on a variety of initiatives related to housing, commercial development and youth programming.

Leaders from those CDCs will continue to gather at UMSL over the next few months for “Community Development Corporations: What’s Working in St. Louis Neighborhoods,” a series of conversations to explore how they are making a difference in their neighborhoods. The second session, “Focus on Rental Housing,” will be from noon to 1:15 p.m. Wednesday (Feb. 1) in 202 J.C. Penney Building/Conference Center.

Panelists will include Tom Pickel, executive director of DeSales Community Housing Corporation, and Ernecia Coles, president of Northside Community Housing. Swanstrom will lead the discussion.

The event is free and open to the public. Free parking is available in Lot C.

Attendees are welcome to bring their lunches. Drinks will be provided.

“Community Development Corporations: What’s Working in St. Louis Neighborhoods” is part of the UMSL Community Partnership Project’s Brown Bag Series. Upcoming sessions will include:

• March 7: “Focus on Art as a Revitalization Tool”
• April 4: “Focus on Youth and Summer Programs.”

Call 314-516-6392 or e-mail for more information.

Ryan Heinz

Ryan Heinz