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City Club of the Mahoning Valley Hosts Panel Discussion at Youngstown Playhouse

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

On Tuesday, September 11, three national experts spoke on a panel at the Youngstown Playhouse about strategies to improve the revitalization efforts in Youngstown for the City Club of the Mahoning Valley’s Brews and Views Series.

Author Alan Mallach spoke about his book The Divided City: Poverty and Prosperity in Urban America before the panel began. Joining Mallach were Presley Gillespie of Neighborhood Allies in Pittsburgh and Evelyn Burnett of Third Space Action Lab in Cleveland. The talk was moderated by Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation Executive Director Ian Beniston. The panelists discussed the importance of considering race and power when talking about struggles to direct resources and funding toward neighborhood development. They also touched on investing in lifelong workforce development and rethinking job requirements like background checks and soft skills training that prevent impoverished and minority workers from entering the workforce. All the panelists stressed that regular people have the power to bring about change, but sometimes that power isn’t fully harnessed. The panelists then answered questions from the audience about how Youngstown should move forward with revitalization efforts in the face of corruption, environmental concerns, and resistance. We’d like to thank Alan Mallach, Evelyn Burnett and Presley Gillespie for coming to Youngstown to share their knowledge with us! We would also like to thank the City Club of the Mahoning Valley for organizing the talk and the Youngstown Playhouse for hosting the event.