Noted journalist and author Alex Kotlowitz will speak on education and related regional concerns at 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 6 at Concordia University in River Forest.

The free event — part of Concordia’s 150th Anniversary Speakers Series — will take place in the Chapel of our Lord. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. A book signing and reception will follow at 8 p.m. with books available for purchase. 

A longtime resident of Oak Park, Kotlowitz will share his views on matters he has written about for years. He will talk about his book, There Are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing up in the Other America, a story about growing up in the Henry Horner Homes and how that shaped the lives of two young men. The book was listed as one of the most important books of the 20th century by the New York Public Library.

In addition, he will show clips and talk about the award-winning documentary, The Interrupters, a PBS Frontline episode that concentrated on three former gang members and their efforts to stem inner-city violence in Chicago.

In addition, he will talk about contemporary Chicago as he portrayed it in the book Never a City so Real

More important, he will show how all of the issues in the three books are interrelated, said Eric Matanyi, assistant vice president for university communications and marketing at Concordia.

“The topic of his talk is fitting for this area and its proximity to Austin,” Matanyi said. 

Free, handicap-accessible parking is available in the visitors’ lot north of the university parking structure, just south of Division Street on Bonnie Brae.

—Deb Kadin

Join the discussion on social media!