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Urban Academy

Urban Leadership Training

In 1969, a six-week intensive program for training urban leaders was launched to give people visions of possibility and tools to be part of the change dynamic in their urban communities.  

Urban Academy held in the retreat house of a religious order North of Chicago in Norwood, George West, Dean.


The Urban Academy did not go well when the ghetto was so accessible for distraction, escape and drugs. Teutopolis was a small Southern Illinois town. Wests were the only white faces and “rejected” by the “radical” fringe of the participants (believed to be Black Panthers) who turned their backs when we presented (George West, 1992).


The Urban Academy was renamed the Black Academy and was held in a retreat center in the middle of a cornfield fifty miles west of Chicago.

* See Larry Ward’s Urban Academy Report from November 30, 1971.