Dan S. Wang (王念華) is a writer and artist who splits time between Madison and Chicago. His critical texts have been published internationally in journals, exhibition catalogues, and book collections. He has lectured at many vanues, including the Salzburger Kunstverein, Art Institute of Chicago, Rockbund Art Museum (Shanghai), Documenta 12 (Kassel), the Central Academy of Fine Arts (Beijing), and the Third Creative Time Summit (New York). Wang produces traditional print media for circulation through art networks and for use in functional activist situations. He was a co-founder of Mess Hall, an experimental cultural space in Chicago, and named a 2013 Fellow in Arts and Culture Leadership by the Rockwood Leadership Institute. Currently, he works with Madison Mutual Drift, a group that writes about race, development in Madison, and movement politics.
Naomi Davis is an urban theorist, attorney, activist, and proud granddaughter of Mississippi sharecroppers. She is the founder/CEO of BIG™—a national sustainability network and community wealth building initiative based in West Woodlawn, born to advance “green‐village‐building.” Naomi authored and teaches BIG's course in Grannynomics™ and The 8 Principles Green-Village-Building™ in lectures and workshops around the country. She trains activists and everyday neighbors to lead where they live in establishing “walkable-villages” within ‘The City of Villages’—where every household can walk-to-work, walk-to-shop, walk-to-learn, walk-to-play. Calling My Children Home is their campaign to resettle middle class black families, empty nesters, millennials, and returning citizens into urban center legacy communities to buffer the nationwide trend of city gentrification. Through advocacy, programs, and BIG’s emerging Urban Homestead Lifestyle™ developments, Davis works to usher in an “Age of the Neighbor Investor” where residents own, develop, and manage the property in their community, live the conservation lifestyle, and thus narrow America’s racial health/wealth disparity. She is a Van Jones/Green For All Fellow and lives in the shade of BIG’s West Woodlawn Botanic Garden & Village Farm.
Shirley J. Newsome
Shirley J. Newsome has been a resident of North Kenwood-Oakland since 1979. She began community involvement work in 1981 with the organization of the Lake Park-Berkeley-Ellis-Drexel Block Club Association. Newsome has been involved in the overall development and revitalization of the community area since 1988, and has participated in the 80 planning meetings that led to the designation of North Kenwood-Oakland as a Conservation Area, with Historical/Landmark designation. She also served as the Planning Committee Co-Chair, and was later appointed Chairman of the Conservation Community Council, following City Council designation.
Newsome is a former Director of the University of Chicago Charter School Network Governing Board; Juror on selection team for design and architects/engineers of the Downtown and Lake Shore Drive Traffic Bridges and Pedestrian Overpasses; member of Burnham Lakefront/South Lake Shore Drive Planning Committees; member CPS Mid-South Planning and Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) MINCS Coordinating Council and City of Chicago Empowerment/Enterprise Zone Committees; member 2016 Chicago Olympics Planning Committee and Mayor’s Tech Park Task Force (Michael Reese Site); member City of Chicago Affordable Housing Reform Task Force, and Alderman (Retired) Fourth Ward, City of Chicago.
Presently serves on the 002d (formerly 021st) Chicago Police District Advisory Committee (DAC); is a member of the Williams-Davis Park Advisory Committee, Ida B. Wells Commemorative Art Committee and Oakwood Boulevard Neighbors Association (OBNA); is the North Kenwood-Oakland community legacy representative of the Lakefront (Sullivan Station), Washington Park, and Oakwood Shores Working Groups for the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) Plan for Transformation; Board Director, Oakwood Shores 3750 Senior Apartments; Board Chair of the Quad Communities Development Corporation (QCDC) and South East Chicago Commission (SECC; Commissioner of the City of Chicago Community Development Commission (CDC) and member of the Obama Presidential Library (OPL) Community Advisory Committee.