Past Event

Imagine Living Healthy in Englewood

Lead contamination, air pollution, and other environmental hazards have impacted the health of Englewood residents for many years. Community leaders have demanded clean up of contaminated sites since the 1980s, yet despite these efforts, children in Englewood continue to have among the highest levels of lead poisoning in the nation. Lead is still found in contaminated soil, house paints, and even toys and furniture. The adverse public health effects of lead and other environmental toxins extend well beyond Englewood.

Why do Englewood and other low-income communities have disproportionately higher rates of lead poisoning, asthma-related hospitalizations, and other environmental health problems? What can be done and what is currently being done?

Join Imagine Englewood If, the Englewood Community Cultural Planning Council, and the Public Square at the Illinois Humanities Council for a discussion with a distinguished panel of health practitioners, community leaders, and environmental justice activists for an insightful and informative community discussion.


  • Daniel Hryhorczuk, MD, is Director of the Great Lakes Centers for Occupational and Environmental Safety and Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health. As Professor of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences, Dr. Hryhorczuk works to promote a healthy human environment through a combination of teaching, research, and community service in the areas of environmental health, children’s health, and global health.
  • Maureen Damitz, RN, is Director of Community Education for the American Lung Association of Metropolitan Chicago. Damitz’s “Addressing Asthma in Englewood” Project provides education, interventions in schools and families, and increased access to medical care in a neighborhood where asthma-related hospitalizations are more than double the city’s average.
  • Tammy Steels, MPH, is founder and Executive Director of the Urban Sustainability Authority. Steels received her B.S. in Environmental Health from Illinois State University and a Master of Public Health from the UIC School of Public Health. She has created and delivered numerous environmental health programs, such as “Asbestos Abatement,” “Respiratory Protection,” “Hazardous Waste Removal,” and “Environmental Sampling,” for several major U.S. corporations. She recently held the position of Environmental Health Director for the Healthy Schools Campaign, which advocates for policies and programs that allow students to learn in healthy school environments.

The event is part of the Public Square at the IHC’s Know More: Conversations that Matter series. The Know More series is designed to bridge the gap between the arts and social issues that are of current concern to Chicago’s Englewood community. The Know More series is made possible by a grant from The Joyce Foundation . Programming for the Know More series has included visits from hip hop scholar Jeff Chang; Africana Studies scholar William Santiago-Valles; journalist Laura Washington, performer Will Power; and poet Elizabeth Alexander.

Free public health lead screenings for children will be available at the event!

This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. Reservations are not required.