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A History of Disinvestment on Chicago’s West Side

Known as “The Heart of the West Side,” Chicago’s Madison Street once thrived as a commercial corridor lined with businesses from downtown to the city’s western limits. But today, Madison Street and the East Garfield Park neighborhood are filled with empty lots and vacant storefronts — the devastating consequences of generations of government and private sector neglect.

Some trace the decline of Madison Street and Chicago’s West Side to the riots of April 1968, which followed the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., when businesses were destroyed and, in some cases, never rebuilt. But the riots are only part of the story.

Join ProPublica Illinois and Block Club Chicago for a conversation with West Side community leaders, business owners and community developers about the history and current state of the Madison Street corridor, the systemic disinvestment in Black and brown communities across the country since the uprisings of 1968 and how those neighborhoods can be restored. We’ll also take your questions. To submit a question in advance, please email [email protected].

Moderated by Block Club Chicago reporter Pascal Sabino, the discussion will feature:

  • Tony Briscoe, reporter with ProPublica Illinois
  • Siri Hibbler, founder of the Garfield Park Chamber of Commerce
  • David Doig, president of Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives
  • Monte Gray, Out of the Past Records
  • Rev. Marshall Hatch, Jr., Garfield Park Wellness Collaborative

Supported by McKinsey and Company

ProPublica maintains full control over the selection of content, speakers, and timing of all sponsored events. Learn more about event sponsorship opportunities.

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