UIC’s Stacey Sutton Recognized for Supporting Social Justice and Communities of Color
The College of Planning and Public Affairs has named Stacey Sutton, Associate Professor of Planning and Policy, as the recipient of the 2021 Edward Blakely Prize, awarded by the Planners of Color Interest Group of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning.
The Edward Blakely Prize is awarded to a laureate who has supported the cause of social justice, particularly in urban planning or development, for communities of color. The award recognizes dedication to the cause of social justice, especially for communities of color; creative or innovative approaches to pursue such ends; and exceptional service / achievement in terms of town planning or development.
“I am honored to be the recipient of the 2021 Edward Blakely Award. This award validates my commitment to racial and economic justice and the endless possibilities for activist scholarship,” said Sutton.
“Stacey’s combination of activist research and institution building is a model of impactful and engaged scholarship that is motivated by fundamental commitments to social equity and racial justice. Likewise, its search for alternatives to unjust systems, pursued in partnership with affected communities, is an example of how the Urban Planning Scholarship can broaden our horizons of action, ”said Nik Theodore, Director and professor of the department of town planning and politics.
In addition to his position as Associate Professor, Sutton is also Director of Applied Research and Strategic Partnerships at UIC’s Social Justice Initiative. Her scholarship and teaching focus on community economic development with a central focus on racial and economic justice; economic democracy and workers’ cooperatives; the construction of movements and the solidarity economy; gentrification and dispossession; dynamics of small neighborhood businesses; and the disparate effects of punitive municipal policy.
Its research and community engagement frameworks consist of advancing “cooperative cities” and the solidarity economy and criticizing “punitive cities”. In a recent study on cooperative cities, Sutton examines how local governments in 12 cities create enabling environments for worker cooperatives and community wealth development by supporting the development and sustainability of worker-owned businesses and deepening the cooperative ecosystem. Through the Real Black Utopias Project, Sutton’s latest research on cooperative cities, she explores the infrastructure, ideologies and practices of Black-led cooperatives and solidarity economy ecosystems.
“’Punitive Cities’ summarizes my research and community engagement regarding the racially disparate effects of universal urban policies and place-based initiatives,” Sutton said. “This includes studies such as the distribution effects of red lights and automated speed cameras, and the economic burden of fines and camera ticket fees for black, Latinx and low-income residents of Chicago. It also includes studies on racial transition amid gentrification; the impact of business improvement districts on small businesses in New York City; and how municipal enforcement of common land use rules, building codes, ordinances and regulations accelerate the closure and relocation of neighborhood small businesses.
Sutton partners with local and community organizations committed to racial and economic justice, equitable development, the fight against displacement, participatory democracy and the cooperative economy. She led American Planning Association award-winning student projects for the UIC Urban Planning Department’s Plan Making Studio course and co-developed feasibility studies for community partners in her Solidarity Economy course .
She was the principal investigator of a Mellon Foundation Sawyer Seminar (titled Urban Edges – Dreams, Divisions, and Infrastructures: Comparative Cross-Disciplinary Dialogues about 21st Century American Cities) that brought together leaders within and beyond the academy to advance fairer visions and equitable cities. Sutton has supported the work of many community organizations in Chicago and has been appointed to the Community Wealth Building Working Group, Office of Equity and Racial Justice, City of Chicago Mayor’s Office.
As part of the Social Justice Initiative and Maroon University portal project, Sutton is deliberating and strategizing with academics, organizers, researchers and artists across the country on daunting questions such as how society moves from injustice to justice, what lasting transformative change might look like. , and strategies to bridge the gap between knowledge production in the academy and the work of organizers in communities.
“Over the course of two years, we will question ‘the moment, the movement and the future’ with a focus on three critical and interconnected areas of struggle: abolition, economic democracy / racial capitalism and climate / environmental justice”, a- she declared.
Sutton received his BA from Loyola University in Baltimore, an MBA from New York University, an MSc from the New School for Social Research, and a joint doctorate. in Urban Planning and Sociology from Rutgers University.
She currently teaches a number of courses at CUPPA, including “Researching the City”, “Urban Space, Place and Institutions”, “Plan Making Studio” and “Solidarity Economy: Policies and Practices”.