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Cover of An Agent of Change: CHICAGO COMMONS
An Agent of Change: CHICAGO COMMONS
Frank S. Seever, Ph.D.

An Agent of Change: Chicago Commons is a summary of the remarkable history of the institution, based on previous books by Graham Taylor, founder of Chicago Commons; on an oral history from the period when his daughter led the organization; from notes and other materials from the period following Lea Taylor’s retirement; and an account of Frank Seever’s own experience over three decades.

About the Author
Frank S. Seever, Ph.D. was President of Chicago Commons for over 30 years and retired in 2001. He also stepped down as President of The Taylor Institute of Chicago, founded in memory of Graham Taylor, founder of Chicago Commons, and his daughter, Lea. The Institute engaged in research, public policy analysis and program development in the U.S. and abroad. These projects led to over 30 major reports and publications (including five books) that have influenced policy and practice in community economic development and humanitarian services. Seever's career in social work has included an executive position with the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers. He also served as director of a National Institute of Mental Health project on juvenile delinquency. He is a graduate of Washington University, St. Louis, MO and Bryn Mawr College,Bryn Mawr, PA. Seever has been recognized at the highest levels for social service leadership. Honors include: The Chicago Spirit Award for Outstanding Services Benefiting the Economically Disadvantaged Citizens of Chicago, presented by The Sara Lee Foundation; The Urban Leadership Award for Innovative Programs Serving Urban Populations, presented by the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation; Excellence in Sustained Management of a Not-for-Profit Organization, given by the Beatrice Foundation; The Distinguished Alumni Award, given by the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University, St.Louis, MO.

Paperback:
5 x 8" 240 pages
Published: November 15, 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1467545266
Electronic Editions: Kindle Edition (amazon.com); Nook Edition (bn.com)

 

Autora Frank S. Seever, Ph.D.
 
Reviews
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Bronze Medal for Education/Commentary and Theory

Independent Publishers Book Awards 2014

Frank Seever is a quiet hero, someone who changed lives without asking for recognition. In these pages, he recounts those extraordinary years running Chicago Commons, a place steeped in the tradition of the settlement house movement and he does so with humility, grace and an eye towards celebrating the successes and acknowledging the defeats. We have so much to learn from Frank Seever's experiences and his reflections on a career whose guiding principal was a rather simple but radical one: that life ought to be fair. --ALEX KOTLOWITZ, Author, Chicago, IL

 

There is no question that the modern dilemma of community development, social support and empowerment needs this kind of reinterpretation of the power of the settlement approach. Frank Seever's book is important, insightful and timely. His combination of personal and institutional analysis of the settlement model is unique. The challenges and community approaches that appear in Frank's narrative are strikingly contemporary. Now more than ever we need this reminder of the relevance of Chicago Commons to our communities, social services and policy approaches. This book is sobering and inspiring. We have much to do, but Frank and this history give us renewed ideas about how to do it. --EDWARD F. LAWLOR, Dean, George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University, St. Louis, MO

 

Countless political speeches have been made and untold billions of dollars have been spent unsuccessfully across the country on today's crushing urban problems. There is a crying need to move beyond endless intellectual university studies, government programs and the loud voices of single-focus, organized special interest groups if we are to make lasting change. Frank Seever gives us hope that such change is possible. --RON MANDERSCHIED, President, Northwestern University Settlement Association, Chicago IL

 

There is no question that the modern dilemma of community development, social support and empowerment needs this kind of reinterpretation of the power of the settlement approach. Frank Seever's book is important, insightful and timely. His combination of personal and institutional analysis of the settlement model is unique. The challenges and community approaches that appear in Frank's narrative are strikingly contemporary. Now more than ever we need this reminder of the relevance of Chicago Commons to our communities, social services and policy approaches. This book is sobering and inspiring. We have much to do, but Frank and this history give us renewed ideas about how to do it. --EDWARD F. LAWLOR, Dean, George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University, St. Louis, MO

 

Countless political speeches have been made and untold billions of dollars have been spent unsuccessfully across the country on today's crushing urban problems. There is a crying need to move beyond endless intellectual university studies, government programs and the loud voices of single-focus, organized special interest groups if we are to make lasting change. Frank Seever gives us hope that such change is possible. --RON MANDERSCHIED, President, Northwestern University Settlement Association, Chicago IL

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