Joanna Trotter is senior director of community impact for The Chicago Community Trust. Trotter leads the Trust’s strategic focus on closing the region’s racial wealth gap. 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, Trotter 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 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.