|Stanley James Hallett|
October 6, 1930|
New Hampton, Iowa,
|Died||November 24, 1998
|Alma mater||Dakota Wesleyan University
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
|Organization||Center for Neighborhood Technology
Northwestern University's Center for Urban Affairs and Policy Research
North Park University
|Movement||Civil Rights Movement|
|Spouse(s)||Anne Carlson Hallett|
|Children||Michele Hallett | Mark Hallett | James Hallett | Brian Hallett|
Stanley James Hallett (October 6, 1930 – November 24, 1998) was an American urban planner and specialist in urban community development who helped seed numerous innovative initiatives and organizations throughout his career. With the bulk of his professional work taking place in Chicago, Hallett began by working in church civil rights and later turned increasingly toward community economic and environmental sustainability. He and colleagues together created Chicago's Center for Neighborhood Technology, South Shore Bank (later ShoreBank), Northwestern University's Center for Urban Affairs and Policy Research and other institutions. During his career he worked alongside numerous activists, journalists and religious leaders, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Saul Alinsky, George McGovern and Studs Terkel.
One of the key concepts that Dr. Hallett would add to urban planning was the idea that there is an 'economy of neighborhoods,' Scott Bernstein, a Hallett disciple and co-founder of the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) in Chicago, told Chicago Enterprise magazine. Bernstein, who now heads CNT, said: "Most economists don't admit to an economy of cities, let alone neighborhoods. Stan saw neighborhoods as a place where money flows in and out."
"What's clear to anybody who worked with Stan is that he was an immensely creative and original character," John P. Kretzmann told the Chicago Tribune in 1998. A senior researcher at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University where Hallett was a visiting scholar, Kretzmann said, "It's so hard to categorize his work. He never had what you'd call a career. He bounced around from being a minister to being a banker to being a civic developer to being an inventor to being a businessman. But there was a consistency to it. He was always looking for ways for a city to be more humane."
Stan Hallett was born in New Hampton, Iowa, on October 6, 1930. His parents, Reverend Reveley and Stella Hallett, had five children: Edward, Stanley, Beverly, Thomas and David. The family moved from town to town in Iowa and finally settled in Rapid City, South Dakota.
During World War II, with many young men serving military duty, Hallett began his church career preaching to a congregation in Wall, South Dakota at age 14. At a Methodist Youth Conference in Clear Lake, Iowa, Hallett roomed with future civil-rights leader ("Jim") James Lawson. The two would room together four consecutive years at this annual weeklong program.
Hallett received his B.A. from Dakota Wesleyan University in 1950. In 1954, he received his S.T.B., magna cum laude, from Boston University's School of Theology. He did a photo study on the Roxbury neighborhood and became acquainted with fellow theology student Martin Luther King, Jr. Hallett was influenced by Dean Walter Muelder. Hallett also said of Muelder "...he was way before his time on the status of women in the church, and he had a very strong commitment to dealing with questions of race".
From 1957 to 1959, Hallett served as associate pastor to a church in Newark, N.J. He led a campaign against an industrial park that would displace 10,000 residents. ("You develop a special relationship with people as a pastor... And you get angry at the racism they experience. I began to probe myself at levels I didn't even know were there. I discovered that my perceptions of race were like an onion.")
From 1961 to 1962, Hallett studied urban planning at Harvard University.
The Chicago years
In 1962, Hallett moved to Chicago to take a job as director of research and planning for the Church Federation of Greater Chicago. Church Federation executive director Rev. Edgar Chandler became a mentor; Chandler would later help organize King's Soldier Field rally and would organize a march on the segregated Rainbow Beach, along with Monsignor John Joseph Egan and Rabbi Robert Marx.
At the Urban Training Center for Christian Mission, Hallett taught organizing strategies to civil-rights activists heading south. ("There's a tendency in a movement to go with the flow and respond to problems – we were trying to think ahead... When you start asking where do you want to be in a year and a half, what are the steps to get there, and what is everyone's role in making that happen, it builds in a discipline that's not externally imposed but that's in the nature of the work.")
In 1963, Hallett received his Ph.D. from Boston University. His dissertation was entitled "Ethical Issues in Urban Planning and Development." He spent that summer in the south, at the invitation of Ed King. Hallett says, "I had another friend from Boston, Ed King, who was a pastor at Tougaloo College in Mississippi. ...Ed told me 16 civil rights workers had been killed—this was the summer of '63—and he felt the news wasn't being reported. ...I said, 'What can I do?' He said, 'The most important thing is for you to come down here. We have to get outside credible sources in here to get the news out.' I went down and spent a week in Mississippi with Ed. When I came back, I reported it to a meeting of the Church Federation of Greater Chicago. I gave probably the best speech of my life. And then we began to organize a delegation of clergy to go there from northern cities with the purpose of keeping down the violence. The clergy would come back to Detroit or Baltimore, and then there would be an article in the local papers from somebody they trusted. One after another the major metropolitan dailies started to report what was going on. Nicholas von Hoffman was a reporter for the Chicago Daily News. When we were working on desegregating churches in Mississippi, I would talk to Nick every night. Nick would suggest what to do next because he knew what would make the news. And we'd act it out. He was the only reporter I knew who'd help make the news so he could write about it." That year Hallett also worked as a consultant to developer Jim Rouse on the planning and development of Columbia, Maryland.
In 1965, Hallett worked to bring clergy from Chicago and other northern cities to the call of the Civil Rights Movement. He and other "bishops, rabbis, ministers, priests and nuns felt the call to march in Alabama with Martin Luther King." Hallett was quoted in the Time Magazine article of Friday, April 9, 1965, entitled Churches: The Selma Spirit—"It was a breakthrough into a whole new spirit," he says, "a sense of being part of a community at a level and depth that we've never known before."
In 1968, Hallett's church, the Church of the Holy Covenant on Diversey Street in Chicago, provided lodging for protesters during the Democratic convention.
In 1971, Al Raby, who headed the Coordinating Council of Community Organizations, introduced Hallett to Ron Grzywinski, Milton Davis and Mary Houghton, who would together establish the South Shore Bank's community banking program. He served as a Founding Board Member for the ShoreBank Corporation from 1973 to 1975, and was vice-president of South Shore's holding company in its critical first five years.
In 1973, Hallett led the fight to save the South Shore Country Club.
In 1974, Hallett took a position at Northwestern University's Center for Urban Affairs and Policy Research. The center was one of 16 research centers started by the Ford Foundation in the wake of the 1968 riots. He developed analysis of credit flows and economics in urban neighborhoods. Hallett became an Adjunct Faculty member at the Kellogg School of Management.
In 1976, Hallett was co-founder, along with Scott Bernstein and Dr. John Martin, of the Center for Neighborhood Technology. CNT grew from a project at the Center for Urban Affairs examining appropriate technology for city neighborhoods, initially looking at food production, solar energy and conservation. ("A lot of environmental groups are good at saying, 'Stop, don't do this.' But the question of what we should be doing instead requires that you really take a look at technological development." He served as a Board Member until his death in 1998.
That same year, Hallett helped launch Woodstock Institute. He served as a Founding Board Member until his death in 1998.
Hallett helped lead a coalition of civic organizations in battle against the Deep Tunnel Project. ("You start with the assumption that if a project is that big it must be really well thought through. The more you look, the more you begin to come to the conclusion that any project that big is almost certainly not thought through. You get this great mobilization of business, union, and political forces to do things that make no sense.")
In 1985, Hallett and brother Tom launched Pathfinder Systems, Inc., a personal rapid-transit system, to free cities from the enormous toll of the automobile. The concept for Pathfinder would become a consuming, lifelong interest. ("It's clear to me that the automobile is a terribly polluting destructive machine. It is impossible to keep going like this – even the electric cars, the hypercars, are too polluting... Can you imagine what this city would be like if we could convert some of these streets into gardens and tennis courts?")
From 1995 to 1997, Hallett served on the Governor's Task Force on Human Resources Reform.
Hallett died on November 24, 1998.
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