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Reflections from Paul Norrington

Imagine our children growing up, eager and proud to identify themselves as North Lawndalians. I’m not talking about that false, defiant pride; not the pride that tries to hide a sense of inferiority. I’m talking about the pride of accomplishment that will come with having the Obama Presidential Library built in North Lawndale. With this accomplishment, North Lawndale has an opportunity to stand tall with true pride. We have an amazing opportunity to instill that same pride and self-esteem in our children. But we have to do it now. Let’s work to give them a sense of ownership in the Library.
Talk to your schools, churches and community groups.

In math class, talk about our proposed 23 acre site and how area is calculated. In U.S. History, do a segment on North Lawndale and/or the history of presidential libraries and museums. In gym and sports, let the goals be the Library. In English, write essays about our community and the Library.

No matter where in the country you live, you can do the same thing. North Lawndale is a community of 91% African-American and is made up of about 35,000 people in an area once home to 120,000. We have one of the highest percentages of vacant lots scattered across our neighborhood. Our education and employment numbers are horribly low. We are Ferguson, Mo. We are Bed-Stuy in New York and Compton in California. In this competition, North Lawndale stands for you. Show the world what our communities can do. The Power of Community, Build it in North Lawndale.
Parallels in History
Photo of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from Austin Weekly News file. Martin Luther King in front of 1550 South Hamlin, where he lived a year to demonstrate deplorable living conditions.
This just came to our attention. Dr. King moved to North Lawndale in 1966 to correct housing disparities in the North. As a result, the Fair Housing Act was signed into law on April 11, 1968. 46 years later, to the day, on April 11, 2014, that same community formed the North Lawndale Presidential Library Committee.…
The North Lawndale
Presidential Library Committee Town Hall Meeting on CAN TV 
Below are the dates, times and channels the Obama Presidential Library  video will be cablecast on CAN TV. 
  • Sunday, December 28th, 9:00 AM, Channel 21
  • Monday,  December 29th, 10:30 AM, Channel 19
  • Tuesday,  December 30th, 2:30 PM, Channel 21

We recommend you watch for our program announcement in the week prior to the first cablecast by signing up here  for CAN TV's weekly e-newsletter, "This Week on CAN TV." The newsletter goes out to several thousand people, and we invite you to forward it to your list as well. If you do additional promotion in advance of the cablecast, please refer to the channels as "cable channel CAN TV21 (or CAN TV19) in Chicago."  Link to the video here.  We ask that you leave comments on YouTube and share in your networks.
View Video Here
The UIC Bid in the News

Chicago Mayoral, Aldermanic Challengers Court West Side Voters at Local Forum

From Progress Illinois:

Chicago aldermanic hopefuls running in the West Side's crowded 24th Ward race made their pitch to voters at a Tuesday night candidate forum, with many vowing to, if elected, boost employment and economic opportunities in the North Lawndale community. the audience was Paul Norrington, founder of the North Lawndale Presidential Library Committee, which partnered with the University of Illinois at Chicago on a proposal to bring the Obama Presidential Library to North Lawndale. While many of the aldermanic contenders talked about the need for economic development in the ward, few addressed the "game-changing" potential library site and the future community benefits and challenges associated with it, Norrington noted.

If "we get the library, whoever the alderman is, there are also dangers that come with that, because gentrification will follow," he explained. "What are their plans on dealing with that gentrification issue? There will be plenty of opportunities coming to the ward. How will that be managed? Whoever is the alderman this next term, they're going to have a big job just because of the library, and I hope that they can focus in on that."

Read the full story here.

Chicago mayoral and 24th Ward aldermanic hopefuls spoke to West Side residents at a Tuesday night candidate forum. Progress Illinois was there for the event. Photo from Progress Illinois. Story by Ellyn Fortino.

UIC's Two-Site Obama Library Proposal Would Build Over the Eisenhower

From DNA Info

UNIVERSITY VILLAGE — UIC wants to build over part of the Eisenhower Expy. as part of its bid to construct a two-site Obama Presidential Library on the city's West Side. 

Last week, the University of Illinois at Chicago submitted a comprehensive proposal to host the Obama Presidential Library. The proposal was submitted in conjunction with the Steans Family Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving the North Lawndale community
.  More

A UIC rendering shows what the east-west corridor would
look like from Downtown under the university's proposal to
host the Obama Presidential Library. Photo: UIC Media

UIC Releases Ambitious Obama
Presidential Library Proposal

From Curbed Chicago

UIC hopes to connect its campus with the West Side of Chicago, going to City
Limits. The proposed development includes 2 sites--one on UIC's campus and
one in North Lawndale at Roosevelt and Kostner. The Library and related
infrastructure improvements could potentially impact an area that would reach
about 1 mile north of I-290 at its northernmost point, and about 2 blocks south of
Douglas Park at its southernmost point. Photo: Curbed Chicago

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) has publicly unveiled its bid for the future 
Obama Presidential Library. In its proposal, the university wants to bring the institution to the near-south and west sides of the city in a large two-location project. The first site is on UIC's campus near the northwest corner of Harrison and Halsted and the second location is in North Lawndale, near the northeast corner of Roosevelt and Kostner. More
We're Taking This
Show on the Road!

We will be meeting with organizations, churches and schools throughout the North Lawndale community and West Side. We will provide information on the Presidential Libraries, answer frequently asked questions and look for ways we may sponsor joint activities to engage your constituents in promoting the UIC-North Lawndale proposal for the Obama Presidential Library. Here is a link to the video of the standard presentation. We will tailor meetings to suit your needs. For further information, email Marcus De La Fleur at 

Movin' on Up!

The North Lawndale Presidential Library Committee Page now ranks #1 of 114,000 results in the Google search for the North Lawndale Presidential Library Committee .  Two website pages rank #6 and #7. Find the Facebook page and "like" it;  visit and follow the blogs and follow @NLOPL on Twitter to keep up with the latest developments surrounding the bid and how it impacts the North Lawndale community.
Wear the Badge

For a suggested donation of $1.00, you can get your "Build it in North Lawndale" Obama Presidential Library buttons. For further information, email Marcus De La Fleur at
Post the Badge

Do you have a website? Show your support of the UIC-North Lawndale Obama Presidential Library bid by posting a badge on your website and exchanging links with us.  Our website URL is
Check Out Our Social Media!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Follow us @NLOPL. You will be able to get updates, interact with our other followers and view videos of our local heroes sharing North Lawndale stories. We encourage you to ask your Twitter followers to follow this page and engage us in conversation. Post "Bring the and

Find Us on Facebook!

Make sure to "Like" the North Lawndale Presidential Library page and encourage your Facebook friends to do the same. You will get updates and be able to have conversations with other fans and North Lawndale stakeholders.  Please, encourage your Facebook friends to "like" and share this page as well.

Visit Our Website!

Our website went live on December 7, 2014.  When you visit, you will get an overview of the North Lawndale bid, learn about other Presidential Libraries, be able to give feedback about the proposed Presidential Library in North Lawndale, see our Twitter feed and get other updates. Please, visit the website the Chicago Way--early and often! You are encouraged to follow our blogs to get instant updates every time a new blog article is posted.

Thanks for helping us generate a buzz!
Copyright © 2014 North Lawndale Presidential Library Committee, All rights reserved.

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