Joanna Trotter


Joanna Trotter is senior director of community impact for The Chicago Community Trust. She leads the Trust’s strategic focus on Growing Household Wealth. This includes systemic and programmatic efforts to build income and assets in communities of color and for people of color, and addressing debt and fee practices that target and strip wealth.

Prior to joining the Trust, Trotter served as director of neighborhood development for the University of Chicago’s Office of Civic Engagement, where she guided and coordinated University investments largely in the Woodlawn and Washington Park communities. At the University, she forwarded efforts to develop an arts corridor in Washington Park, develop a new school facility, support community engagement around the Obama Presidential Center and revamp the University’s longstanding Employer-Assisted Housing Program to better align its incentives with neighborhood reinvestment goals. Trotter also spent ten years forwarding the Metropolitan Planning Council’s community building work across the seven-county Chicago region. By providing technical assistance and support to communities, she worked to inform and increase opportunities consistent with MPC’s broader policy goals of creating a more equitable, sustainable and competitive region, such as enhancing local connections between housing, employment and transportation. In 2013, she was promoted to vice president of programs, directing MPC’s community development activity and providing leadership to the organization as whole as part of MPC’s management team.

Trotter is a 2019-2020 Lincoln Land Institute Fulcrum Fellow and 2018 Funders Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities PLACES Fellow. She serves as the Co-Chair of the Elevated Chicago Capital and Programs Working Group and on the investment committee of ARC Chicago. Trotter served on the 2019-2020 City of Chicago Inclusionary Housing Task Force and is a member of the City of Chicago Neighborhood Opportunity Fund Advisory Committee, Cook County Bureau of Economic Development Advisory Subcommittee, the Community Investment Corporation Preservation Compact, and the IFF Local Market Advisory Committee.

Trotter holds a M.A from the University of California Los Angeles in Urban and Regional Planning and is raising her two children in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood with her husband Shaan.