U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver
U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver

A university-sponsored economic development forum Aug. 26 will focus on what west Louisville needs, how to finance projects and ways to turn community vision into reality. A Missouri congressman who worked for Kansas City redevelopment will give the program’s keynote talk.

UofL’s College of Arts and Sciences is offering the public event, “The Future of Our Community: West Louisville Economic Development Forum, Part II,” at the Muhammad Ali Center, 144 N. Sixth St. The program runs from 8:30 a.m. check-in to 2:30 p.m.

“This whole intent of ‘The Future of Our Community’ really brings together the community leaders with the people who have resources and have the ability to make things happen,” event organizer Clest Lanier said.

“People need to say what they want. I think we’re going to learn a whole lot,” she said.

Forum breakout sessions will focus on identifying community needs, financing large projects, helping small businesses and updating the status of current and new projects. Panelists will include area residents, developers, financiers, entrepreneurs and government and community organization representatives.

The program concludes with a 1:15 p.m. luncheon talk by U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, a development activist and city council member who became Kansas City, Missouri’s first African American mayor in 1981 and now is serving his sixth congressional term. The congressman will talk about championing redevelopment efforts for Kansas City’s 18th and Vine jazz district that was once the heart of the city’s black business zone.

Advance registration is required by Aug. 15 for the forum, which includes breakfast and lunch. Participants should visit http://uofl.me/wledf-2016 and pay by check; fees are $60 for corporate representatives, $50 for individuals and $40 for students.