COMMUNITY TRAILBLAZERS IN HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

The Oral History of Housing and Communities

In the Community TrailBlazers Podcast, we are featuring Fellows of the American Academy of Housing and Communities who have had a major impact on world affairs, federal policy, and the development of community culture through courageous action to bring about change. Most have lived through many Presidents, many generations, and many changes. We capture their thoughts on the last 50 years of public policy and discuss what the future may hold.

Kent Watkins founded this honorary society, consisting of the top national and international thought leaders and implementers in the field of urbanism. These include heads of federal agencies and their senior staffs, as well as urbanist leaders in social welfare, health, education, culinary arts, art and poetry, transportation, climate and others who have made an impact on the culture of the areas we live in.  All are considered peers and have achieved success in some unique way. Referred to as the Academy Series, Nan McKay spotlights one of these trailblazers each week.

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Sheldon Schreiberg

Challenges? Not Me! Shel Schreiberg considers himself very lucky for not experiencing any challenges during his career in the affordable housing sector. He is also very modest in all the projects he and his team members contributed to bringing to fruition. He believes in the power of tax credits in ...
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Carol Lamberg

From Ashes to Triumph Ep. 5 - Building housing in New York isn’t easy. There’s lots of red tape and high housing costs, but none of that detracted Carol Lamberg from pushing through projects that later went on to flourish. Carol Lamberg was the executive director for the Settlement Housing ...
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Bob Moss

Innovate to Fix Housing Woes Ep. 4 - Bob Moss believes that in the next 50 years houses will be build overnight and all because of technology. He has been a witness of how technology has changed in the last 20 years and only imagines the future. He discusses that ...
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Denise Muha

Respect on Capitol Hill Denise Muha believes that the current conversations about affordable housing should provide a solution to the growing population that is unable to afford to rent decent housing. Denise Muha has been executive director of the National Leased Housing Association for more than three decades, working on ...
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John H “Jack” Sullivan

The Good Fight Ep. 45 - Meet John H. (“Jack”) Sullivan – if it’s part of his passion – watch out!  If he wants something enough, he’ll fight for it until he gets it!  He tells about his activism in many arenas – internationally in 65 countries, as head of ...
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Marcia Blum

Omaha's Tireless Giver Ep. 44 - Meet Marcia Blum, a retired social worker and mental health therapist. Listen as she describes pioneering adoption, hospice care, and grief programs. Listen to her gift to listeners as she gives us 4 end-of-life reflections to help a dying person. She continues to work ...
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Stockton Williams

State and National Role in Housing Ep. 43 - Stockton Williams feels there is a devolution of housing to the state and local level. COVID-19's effect is being felt and details the severe housing affordability challenge coming. He feels there will be a rise in delinquency and defaults in the ...
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David Smith

Sure! I Can Do That! Ep. 6 - A visionary, David Smith feels we need to answer "Sure! I can do that!" to create value in the sky. His vision of changes needed for the future to supply affordable housing include transportation, more highrises in urban areas, zoning and infrastructure. ...
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Elisabette Calero

High Priestess of Culture in Puerto Rico Ep. 9 - Elisabette Calero came back to Puerto Rico, after a star-laden history as a dance prodigy in the States, because of her mother's illness. She stayed and during the course of her still-evolving career, spent time dodging gangs' bullets ricocheting against ...
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Malcolm “Mike” Peabody

The Freedom of Choice Ep. 42 - Malcolm ‘Mike’ Peabody’s life has been founded on giving people the freedom of choice. He is known as the man who reinvented Public Housing. Top Takeaways: Giving people the ability to be like everyone else without discrimination The power of giving people the ...
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Monica Sussman

Break the Housing Gridlock Ep. 7 - Monica Sussman details how rising income inequality, neglected infrastructure needs, and excessive turnover at HUD fuel the challenges. She offers hope that young people will rise up to tackle these challenges, work hard, and not be discouraged by the seemingly huge odds against ...
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Joyce Cowin

Never Stop Learning Ep. 41 - Joyce Cowin of New York City is a 90-year-old Fellow of the Academy going on 55. She never ceases to amaze those around her with her activities and achievements. Top Takeaways: How to start a project that supports women no matter how small - ...
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Dwight Ink

The Indiana Jones Of Public Administrators Ep. 40 - Meet Dwight Ink, a 97-year-old activist who has had a fascinating life and one of the best storytellers ever! His government career serving 7 Presidents is magnificent! Top Takeaways: How to learn to fight for what is right even when you ...
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James W Loewen

Racial History and Sundown Towns Ep. 39 - James Loewen's gripping retelling of American racial history as it should, and could, be taught, Lies My Teacher Told Me, has sold more than 1,500,000 copies and continues to inspire K-16 teachers to get students to challenge, rather than memorize, their textbooks. ...
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