National Writing Project

2014 Urban Sites Network Conference

Urban Sites Network Events

2014 Urban Sites Network Conference

Many Stories, One Focus: Writing a More Just Future

April 25–26, 2014

Loyola University, Chicago—Lake Shore Campus
Chicago, Illinois
Host site: Illinois Writing Project

Why us? Why now?

Education—along with other social supports—is being attacked, narrowed, and de-funded. This impacts all children, not only but especially those in urban schools. Teachers, researchers, and community members must tell our individual and collective stories, but not just to each other: we must strategize about how to thoughtfully inform the public and policy-makers about our work and our students.

Even more importantly, we must help our students to tell their stories, to write a future that is hope-filled and just.

Join us in Chicago to continue conversations begun at the 2013 USN conference—and to begin new ones—as we explore ways that writing can empower students and teachers to enact positive social change in their communities.

Register Today!

You can register for the conference using the button below.

Eventbrite - NWP Urban Sites Network Conference

Featured Speakers

Featured speakers will include Sonia Nieto , Professor Emerita of Language, Literacy, and Culture at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and author of Finding Joy in Teaching Students of Diverse Backgrounds: Culturally Responsive and Socially Just Practices in US Classrooms; Brian D. Schultz , Professor of Educational Inquiry and Curriculum Studies at Northeastern Illinois University and author of Spectacular Things Happen Along the Way: Lessons from an Urban Classroom; and Lila Leff , founder of Umoja Student Development Corporation, Chicago, Illinois.

Conference Highlights

» Friday, April 25, 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

  • Pre-conference activities, including school site visits and professional development workshops at key Chicago cultural sites.
  • Separate registration will be required for these events

» Friday, April 25, 4:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

  • Reception and networking
  • Keynote Speaker
  • Roundtable conversations with teachers and community leaders

» Saturday, April 26, 8:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

  • Continental breakfast
  • Keynote Speaker
  • Multiple rounds of breakout sessions
  • Lunch and keynote presentation
  • Annual USN Town Hall Meeting
  • Student performances throughout the day

Accommodations and Transportation

Hotel accommodations will be available at a conference rate of $155/night for a double room at the Inn of Chicago , 162 E. Ohio St., Chicago, 312-787-3100, and will include in-room Internet access. A shuttle will run between the hotel and Loyola's campus before and after Friday's and Saturday's events, with easy public transportation via Red Line trains running virtually door to door between the hotel and campus at other times.


For more information, contact Katy Smith at
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