In the News

Adler Center Director Shares 
 Solutions for Chicago Community With 
 'Same Life Expectancy as Iraq' 03.01.18
Adler Center Director Shares
Solutions for Chicago Community With
'Same Life Expectancy as Iraq'
03.01.18

Chicago Magazine reporters recently looked to the leader of a key Adler University center for insight about socioeconomic factors that are dramatically impacting life expectancies in one of the city’s communities.

Dan Cooper, Ph.D., executive director of the Center for Equitable Cities, shared how residents’ access to certain resources — or rather, lack thereof — are gravely affecting people of all ages. While the report references statistics covering all of Chicago, it specifically investigates the city’s West Garfield Park area, contending it has, “the same life expectancy as Iraq.”

"Residents here live on average to 69, according to the most recent census, a full 16 years less than that of residents in the Loop just six miles to the east,” the article said. “It’s a neighborhood that has been plundered for years by housing discrimination, segregation, and police violence. It is struggling with poverty, school closings, drug addiction, and shootings."

Cooper shared several solutions for improving health and safety on the West Side. Among them are “serious government intervention” and criminal justice reform, which would redirect funds from the Illinois Department of Corrections $1.6 billion budget to communities.

"If you look at when crime started going up, it’s when factories started leaving,” he said. “When you have higher poverty and people can't afford to own homes, you have more crime and disorder."

Cooper’s center works in concert with communities that are most historically disadvantaged by years of failed policy and disinvestment. It serves as a policy leader, collaborative research convener, and resource hub dedicated to drawing out the connections between different forms of urban inequality, and advancing, equitable solutions.

For more information, read the full investigative report, “A Second City”, in Chicago Magazine.

About Adler University

Adler University educates students to engage the world and create a more just society. Established in 1952, it enrolls more than 1,400 students in master’s and doctoral programs for social change through its campuses in downtown Chicago and Vancouver, as well as an Online Campus. Adler University’s mission is to continue the pioneering work of Alfred Adler, the first community psychologist, by graduating socially responsible practitioners, engaging communities and advancing social justice.