Accelerate 77 Share Fair Celebrates Sustainability in Chicago

Looking for a cool sustainability-themed event this coming weekend? Here you go: this Saturday from 10am to 4pm at Truman College on Chicago’s North Side, the Institute for Cultural Affairs will host the “Accelerate 77” Share Fair that brings together people and organizations working on all kinds of sustainability initiatives in each of Chicago’s 77 community areas.

Back in the spring of 2012, my SUST 210 Honors seminar at Roosevelt’s Chicago Campus did on-the-ground research in small groups in 5 different communities in Chicago: Fuller Park, Rogers Park, Little Village, and the North and South halves of the Loop. Their research added to that of students at several other Chicago colleges and universities, as students fanned out across the city to learn about urban sustainability initiatives and meet people from every walk of life, in every neighborhood of the city.

As the ICA Share Fair’s website describes, there’s a ton going on this Saturday:

Exhibitors: Come Meet Your Neighborhood Assets

The main room will be filled with representatives of all 77 communities of Chicago. These representatives have been identified as leaders in their respective communities, but a leader can be embodied in many ways. We work towards realising a sustainable Chicago, the foundations of which rely on economic, cultural, and social sustainability. You can expect to see examples of urban agriculture, green technology, and alternative energy, but then also so much more! Each leading program has their own methodology in how to encorporate/encourage environmentalism in their neighborhoods. True to the richness of the Chicago community, we expect a lot of different ideas to come out in our exchange of best practices. To see a full listing of the organizations that have signed up already check out the See Who’s Coming page. 

Connection Seminars: Q&A with Citywide Stakeholders 

In “breakout rooms” located outside of the main fair space, there will be representatives of programs which work all across Chicago. If you’re part of an organization, these will be great opportunities to learn more about exciting programs across the city and gain some “how to” at the same time.  To see a full listing of the organizations and topics covered, head over to the Connection Seminars listing page.

The Reception: Celebrate and Learn

After the Share Fair, a reception will be held at the ICA, located at 4750 N Sheridan Ave. Come and learn about Chicago’s very own GreenRise and help us celebrate the Institute of Cultural Affairs’ 50th anniversary. To learn more about the GreenRise tours, head over to the GreenRise Tours page.

During the spring semester of 2012, the 20 students in Prof. Mike Bryson’s SUST 210 Sustainable Future honors class conducted a semester-long community-based research project in conjunction with the ICA’s effort during 2011 and 2012 to map and describe as many sustainability initiatives and assets as possible in each one of Chicago’s 77 official Community Areas. Two RU students, international studies major Dylan Amlin and sustainability studies major Ngozi Okoro,  pursued summer internships with the ICA by conducting community research in several South Side neighborhoods.  As Dylan notes about the Share Fair:

It will be an excellent networking opportunity for students as well, and we could really use some youthful energy in the room. If students are interested in volunteering, they can contact me directly asap ( They also can go to the Accelerate 77 website to learn more about the project and to register.

Join Dylan, Ngozi, and lots of other students, faculty, sustainability professionals, grassroots activists, and area officials for this singular event!

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