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Eco-Justice: An Expansive View


Read about each session!

Urban Ecology: Native ecology including wildlife habitat in Uptown’s coastal zone - Read about the event here!

Cycling Uptown: Using bike rides to benefit health, reclaim public space, and improve access to the coast - Read about the event here!

Underutilized Community Spaces: Discover underutilized spaces on Uptown’s lakefront - Read about the event here!

Urban Agriculture:
Farming as infrastructure for human and coastal health - Read about the event here!

Alternative Transit: Transportation infrastructure and how it impacts accessibility of the coast - Read about the event here!

Historic Preservation: Connect past and present through the history of coastal Uptown - Read about the event here!

Mental Wellness & Uptown's Coast: Explore the therapeutic benefits of nature-based recreation - Read about the event here!

Green Infrastructure: Building by design to blend structure and nature - Read about the event here!

Eco-Justice: An Expansive View


Anthony from Chi Nations Youth Council talks about the native prairie

On March 31st, 2018, ICA and the Uptown Coastal Initiative hosted the eighth installment of the Out and About Uptown’s Coast series, Eco-Justice: An Expansive View.


The session started with a collective unpacking of the term “eco-justice.” Attendees brainstormed words associated with “eco” and “justice” and new associations that stood out. The ideas that deepened understanding of eco-justice were balance, wisdom, equity, and reciprocal relationship.


Melanie Eckner from Uptown Coastal Initiative started the presentations by sharing a historical perspective of Uptown’s coast. Fawn Pochel from the American Indian Center shared an indigenous perspective on eco-justice to revise their human-centered approach to environmental justice. Starting with the context that North America and Chicago are stolen lands, Fawn connected the colonialist mindset of owning and commodifying land to laws that prioritize profit over nature. To re-think eco-justice, attendees were encouraged to recognize humans as part of nature and responsible for ensuring that human activity does not interfere with nature’s right to thrive.


Youth leaders from the Chi Nations Youth Council led a walk to the coast, highlighting native plants and the connections to their own stories as indigenous people. One key discussion was around the park district’s acknowledgement and protection of native plants that erases the influence of and connection to native people. The Chi Nations Youth Council walk was filmed as part of the Garden for a Changing Climate project. See the full video here (Chi Nations Youth Council starts at 5:38).

With Expertise from our Partners:


This event is a collaboration with Nourish (comm)Unity, a Chicago Sustainability Leaders Network series that connects people from across Chicago to explore ways that sustainability organizations nourish their communities.

Ask us about future Nourish (comm)Unity events including:


·Intergenerational Connectivity

·Civic Technology



About Out and About Uptown's Coast 

Out & About Uptown's Coast partnered with the Uptown Coastal Initiative to raise awareness of Uptown's lakefront and parks through nine experiential, educational sessions that offer attendees rich opportunity for meaningful engagement with the ecology and culture of this Great Lakes coastal community.

The project connected residents, workers, and visitors, and strengthen links between the well-being of the coastal ecosystem and the health and well-being of those who live, work, and visit Uptown’s coast.

Highlighting local expertise and creating a space for diverse attendees to learn about and explore the area together, each session’s unique lens targeted different subjects and circle back to universal accessibility to and stewardship of Uptown’s coast across a spectrum of disciplines.

At the close of Out & About Uptown's Coast, the Uptown Coastal Initiative team created a toolkit highlighting the different approaches taken and lessons learned to help inform future programming as well as participant stewardship and engagement around sustainability in the coast.

For more information about Out and About Uptown's Coast, contact