Full Name
Nedra Fears
Job Title
Executive Director
Greater Chatham Initiative
Speaker Bio
Nedra Sims Fears is the executive director of the Greater Chatham Initiative of Chicago. GCI supports housing stability, business and workforce development, and public safety in the Auburn Gresham, Avalon Park, Chatham, and Greater Grand Crossing black neighborhoods. GCI created FoodLab Chicago, which stabilized and scaled 40 black-owned restaurants with $2.8 million in loans/grants. Executed the 75th Street Boardwalk on Restaurant Row, that transformed a 2-block corridor, and received the CNDA, Congress for the New Urbanism and the 2020-2021 Merit Award for Design from the Illinois Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects awards. Marketed Chatham to attract new residents—Chatham’s population increased 2% from 2010-2020.
Previously she financed low- and moderate-income housing for Fannie Mae, City of Chicago, and Community Investment Corporation. She is a Community of Practice Co-Chair for Middle Neighborhoods, and Governor for the Metropolitan Planning Commission.
Nedra Fears