Talk planned October 5 on fair housing, environmental justice

Photo of a 1950s-era housePaula Brkich of the HOPE Fair Housing Center will visit campus Monday, Oct. 5, to talk on “Fair Housing and Environmental Justice: Exploring the Intersection of Housing, Poverty, Activism, and Environmental Justice.”

The talk, scheduled from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Capitol Room of the Holmes Student Center, will provide an overview of the relationship between environmental issues and the provision of fair housing.

Brkich, director of HOPE’s community development program since June of 2013, will pull upon her extensive background and personal interests to engage the audience in learning how these issues continue to face U.S. communities today.

Involved in the housing industry throughout her career, most recently as a housing counselor at DuPage Homeownership Center, her work focuses on developing innovative ways to assist communities to restore neighborhoods hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis.

Hope Fair Housing Center logoBrkich began her career at Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council as a housing specialist and later program director of the Center for Integrated Living. Through her work in counseling buyers who wished to move into suburbs where their race was underrepresented, the local school district was able to realize savings of $3 million in the costs of busing students for desegregation purposes.

She is an alumna of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she majored in geography and geology. She is a past-president of the Wisconsin Metro Audubon Society, and serves on the board of directors of DuPage Habitat for Humanity.

The talk is sponsored by the NIU Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability, and Energy. For more information, email envs@niu.edu.

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