Joann Williams, MS CED

Community Engagement Liaison

President, Hearst Community Organization

Community Engagement Liaison, AGC Community Wellness & Sustainability Hub

Joann Williams has played a central and longstanding role in organizing community collaboration and the engagement of local voices. As a resident of the community for 54 years, Joann currently serves as Founder and President of the local Hearst Community Organization, established in 1987, and a Community Engagement Liaison for the Community Wellness & Sustainability Hub. Joann has also facilitated fresh produce and healthy meal distribution in partnership with the Academy for Global Citizenship’s programs to increase food access among senior citizens, those experiencing homelessness and large families within the community.

Joann has been instrumental with ensuring that neighborhood resident voices are heard throughout the design and planning process of the LeClaire redevelopment. In addition to representing the community in ongoing monthly meetings with the project leadership team, Joann is playing a leading role in developing a Community Benefits Agreement with another key developer in the LeClaire Courts community and was actively involved in executing our current operational Memorandum of Understanding along with other local community organizations and residents. In addition to outlining extensive community engagement and support, these comprehensive documents include partnership commitments such as local hiring practices and community voice and inclusion with expanded programming.

The Community Benefits Agreement outlines hiring CHA residents and resident-owned businesses, community use of AGC facilities, and community voice and stakeholder engagement in project planning. Additionally, the MOU in place with the Hearst Community Organization and LeClaire Courts Local Advisory Council commits to inclusionary hiring and business participation, focused on community minority and women-owned businesses and local workers, a Union Project Labor Agreement, and monthly meetings with community leadership for ongoing collaboration.

In her letter of support, Joann has shared that she is “excited about AGC’s mission to cultivate the next generation of globally environmentally minded leaders who are making our world a better place while also emphasizing a healthy living life-style with their food and nutrition programs. We look forward to working with you to see this groundbreaking project bring benefits to our community for generations to come.”