Dear Friends and Supporters of the National Public Housing Museum:
We are delighted to announce the appointment of Charles Leeks as the NPHM Executive Director.
Charles has a long history in community building and engagement. As a strong advocate of asset-based community development he saw the value of utilizing the powerful stories of communities and the physical environment as ways to foster social justice within communities and to affect policy that helps determine outcomes in those communities. This was particularly true in Chicago ’s North Lawndale community where Charles has been director of the program for Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago (NHS). In addition to the NHS focus on community revitalization through homeownership, Charles also focused on image, physical conditions, and community engagement in the affordable housing arena as a way to change perceptions about such communities.
During his tenure at NHS in North Lawndale, he participated in projects and partnerships with the University of Illinois at Chicago considering outcomes for Chicago Housing Authority developments, including Ogden Courts, Harrison Courts, and the Lawndale Complex. He developed the Historic Chicago Greystone Initiative, and developed Lawndale exhibits featured at the Chicago Architecture Foundation. His understanding of historic preservation, his ability to create strong community, and his understanding of how to build institutions will serve NPHM well as we move forward to securing our building and creating the permanent museum.
A resident of public housing in his early childhood, he developed abiding respect for the broad societal benefits offered by an opportunity to provide quality housing to those families that were outside the private market looking in.
The Museum team is strong. Todd Palmer, who has served as interim director for the past year, has done an exceptional job in this transitional year. He has provided essential direction for programs, site development, and fund development. We are delighted that Todd will be staying on as Associate Director and Curator.
Those who attended our Telling Belongings event last night were able to meet Charles in person and we look forward to formally introducing him at an event early in 2015. If you have any questions, please call the Museum at (773) 245-1621.
Thanks for your support and interest in the work and promise of the NPHM. Look for more exciting news about our programs on "The Public Good" in the new year.
Wishing you the best for the holiday season,
Sunny Fischer, Chair
For the NPHM Board of Directors