Skip to main content

Space, Equity, and Lessons Learned from the Housing Field

Register Today 

Please join the Kreisman Initiative on Housing Law & Policy and the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation for a conversation exploring the definition of spatial inequity, as well as the ideas, professions, and institutions that address it.

MPC Vice President Marisa Novara will join panelists from academia, practice, policy, and activism to discuss housing as a driver of spatial equity, as well as opportunities to bridge research and evidence to create affordable and equitable spatial access for all. This event is free and open to the public, but please register online in advance. 

The Kreisman Initiative on Housing Law & Policy, a partnership between the University of Chicago Law School, Office of Civic Engagement, and the Mansueto Institute, brings together the fields of urban science and law to advance housing scholarship and generate new ideas about cities and housing. Kreisman Initiative Events seek to build a community of scholars interested in issues of housing and to create educational opportunities for training the next generation of housing researchers and practitioners. This panel discussion is co-sponsored by the International House Global Voices Series.

Register Today 

Please contact Diana Petty with any questions. Persons with disabilities who need assistance should contact the Office of Programs and External Relations in advance at 773.753.2274 or e-mail


Anni Beukes
Resident Fellow, Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation

Anni’s research interest lies at the nexus of poverty, place, and politics. She focuses on understanding how the processes and technologies of knowledge making, especially the creation and use of digital mapping tools, affect communities and populations living in marginalized neighborhoods internationally. Before joining the Mansueto Institute, Anni spent four years with Slum Dwellers International (SDI) where she was responsible for SDI’s data ecosystem, from community managed data collection, to data platform management, analysis and partnerships. She led SDI’s efforts at the intersection of organized community groups, researchers, technologists, and software developers to create and refine tools, methods, and practices for community-driven knowledge production. Anni holds degrees in social anthropology from University Stellenbosch in South Africa.

Juan Carlos Linares
Executive Director, LUCHA

Juan Carlos Linares is the Executive Director of LUCHA, a Chicago-based affordable housing development agency which offers housing counseling, foreclosure prevention, and legal assistance to over 8,000 clients annually in the Midwest. Juan Carlos also serves as Chair of the Illinois Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He has a mayoral appointment to the Chicago Low-Income Housing Trust Fund Board, and serves on the Boards of Urban Theater Company and The Woodstock Institute. He also serves on Northeastern Illinois University’s El Centro Campus Advisory Council and is on the Adjunct Faculty of the University of Chicago Law School. Juan Carlos holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, a JD from DePaul University and an LL.M. in International Business Law from The John Marshall Law School.

Nicole Marwell
Associate Professor, University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration

Nicole Marwell is an Associate Professor in the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. Her research examines urban governance, with a focus on the diverse intersections between nonprofit organizations, government bureaucracies, and politics.  Her current projects explore spatial inequality in government contracting to nonprofit organizations in New York City, political patronage and political exchange in a municipal legislature, and collaborative governance in child welfare. Prior to beginning her academic career, Professor Marwell worked in the field of nonprofits and philanthropy, including New York City’s Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art, the AT&T Foundation, the Levi Strauss Foundation, and Nike. She received her PhD in sociology from the University of Chicago.

Marisa Novara
Vice President, Metropolitan Planning Council

Marisa Novara directs MPC’s housing and community development work, and manages technical assistance and support to communities facing development challenges related to housing, transportation, transit-oriented development, and economic development. Marisa’s writing has been published by the Chicago TribuneChicago Sun-TimesHuffington Post, Crain’s Chicago Business, Next City, the American Planning Association and Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. Marisa serves on the Community Development Committee of The Resurrection Project and is on the board of Chicago United for Equity. She was a 2014 Marshall Memorial fellow and a 2016 Leadership Greater Chicago fellow. Marisa has a Master’s degree from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration, a certificate in Affordable Housing Finance, Development and Management from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a Master’s in Urban Planning from the Istituto Politecnico di Milano.


Ianna Kachoris Ori
Director of Strategy and Academic Partnerships, University of Chicago Office of Civic Engagement 

Ianna is responsible for guiding the strategic program direction for the Office of Civic Engagement’s programs. In addition, she is focused on facilitating urban research collaborations with UChicago faculty and civic partners in the community, city, and nationally. Prior to joining the University in 2017, Ianna served as a senior program officer with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, leading the foundation’s multi-year, $25 million How Housing Matters to Families and Communities housing policy and research initiative. She also led the MacArthur’s engagement with other foundations to sustain and expand resources for housing efforts nationally, including as co-founder of Funders for Housing and Opportunity. Ianna has served as senior policy advisor to U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy on economic development. She earned a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from Emory University.