Monday, October 19, 2015

Northeastern Illinois University will host a roundtable event on Oct. 29 as part of the University’s Economic Inequality Initiative, a partnership between the College of Arts and Sciences and the Division of Student Affairs. One of the primary objectives of the Initiative is to help students think about and take action to confront the complex causes of growing economic inequality.

The event will include informative speakers from Northeastern and community partners, followed by information-rich and action-oriented roundtable discussions in both morning and afternoon sessions. Attendees are invited to enhance their understanding of income inequalities and how they can take action.

The event encourages the University community to grapple with questions such as: Why should we tackle tax and budget issues head on? How does inequality affect student retention? How can we respond to the health disparities in our community? Can we do something about growing student debt? How can we get more students politically engaged? How can we use curricular innovations to educate engaged citizens?

Event highlights include videos produced by Northeastern students, a student panel on the economic challenges facing students, and previews of upcoming Economic Inequality-related events. 

Kris Pierre, Senior Director for Academic and Community Partnerships, and Katrina Bell-Jordan, Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said the following in a joint statement:

“The roundtable event borrows heavily from the approach we used in the development of our successful Reimagining Food Initiative, in terms of bringing together the University and surrounding community to discuss issues of economic inequality. We hope this approach to the Economic Inequality Initiative will provide similar opportunities for ‘grass roots’ ideas to develop and to facilitate ownership of the initiative by a wide range of faculty, staff, students and community members. We also hope the event will inspire the same kind of innovative, interactive and experiential learning opportunities across our campuses and in the community."

One of 20 campuses selected to participate by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, Northeastern launched its Economic Inequality Initiative in April 2015.  

The roundtable will take place from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. in Alumni Hall on Northeastern’s Main Campus. For more information, contact Katrina Bell-Jordan at or Kris Pierre at