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Jenna Pollack, MUPP, MA is a Researcher and Organizer with the Chicago Community Wealth Building Ecosystem, currently incubating in the Solidarity Economy Research, Policy & Law Project at the Center for Urban Economic Development at University of Illinois Chicago (UIC). 


She recently graduated from UIC with her second masters degree in Urban Planning and Policy, where she had a dual-concentration of economic development and community development. Jenna is committed to the post-capitalist integration of cultural, communal, and civic infrastructure.

Between 2021 - 2023 she was a a graduate research assistant for Dr. Stacey Sutton and for the UIC Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement (IPCE), Community Researcher at Borderless Workshop for their ongoing Creative Grounds project, Researcher at Arts Alliance Illinois on their Illinois Creative Workforce Activation (ICWA) program, and the Summer Studio Manager for the UIC City Design Graduate Program for their community charrette which won the 2022 American Planning Association of Illinois Student Project Award.

Chicago Community Wealth Building Ecosystem

/   Researcher and Organizer

The Chicago Community Wealth Building Ecosystem (CCWBE) is the ‘hub’ for Research & Convening for worker-owned cooperatives, community land trusts, limited equity housing cooperatives, community investment vehicles, and other ecosystem partners. CCWBE aims to advance models of local, democratic, and shared ownership and control throughout Chicago but especially on the south and west sides of our city. The CCWBE hub does this by convening community wealth building (CWB) working groups, developing tools and other resources, connecting and building the capacity of ecosystem partners, conducting research and communicating the impact of community wealth building.

In 2022 the City of Chicago Office of Equity and Racial Justice (OERJ) launched the Community Wealth Building (CWB) Initiative in 2022, a $15 million investment in CWB enterprises, infrastructure, and capacity-building. You can read their report here.

University of Illinois Chicago Graduate Portfolio snippets - view full version here

/   Master of Urban Planning and Policy

     Double Specialization: Economic Development and Community Development

\\ Previous Work Highlights

McKinley Park Charrette 2022

McKinley Park Charrette 2022
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McKinley Park Charrette 2022 - UIC Master of City Design Summer Studio (English subtitles)
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McKinley Park Charrette 2022 - UIC Master of City Design Summer Studio (Subtítulos en español)
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McKinley Park Charrette 2022 - UIC Master of City Design Summer Studio (中文字幕)
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As the Studio Manager for UIC Master of City Design's summer 2022 charrette capstone, Jenna aimed to capture the spirit of the design process through the community’s desires. Available with English, Spanish, and Chinese subtitles to support ongoing engagement with the neighborhood, put in your headphones and dive into the rhythms of this thriving working-class neighborhood on Chicago’s southwest side.


If you live in McKinley Park, stay tuned for next steps on deepened community participation, policy recommendations, and pathways to implementation that will be shared on the McKinley Park Development Council (MPDC) website shortly. Click below to view the June 10 planning document with your input. UIC's efforts are intended to offer in-kind resources and generate further discussion amongst community members so that you may ultimately shepherd a future brought by collaboration and self-determination.

“These are ideas that are coming from the neighborhood, not ideas that a developer is bringing into the neighborhood. We want it to be what people who live here actually want.”
- Kate Eakin, MPDC

'35th Street Reimagined: Codesigning Neighborhood Improvements with McKinley Park Neighbors' won the 2022 Student Project Award from the Illinois Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA-IL). Read the full announcement here

35th at Hermitage
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