Join us at our 2017 Annual Luncheon as we proudly celebrate our impact on children, families, and communities.

The luncheon will feature a conversation with award-winning journalist and author Ta-Nehisi Coates — whose latest book, “We Were Eight Years in Power,” will be released October 3  — moderated by celebrated journalist, author, and filmmaker Alex Kotlowitz. We also will honor Erikson Life Trustee Susan Wislow with the Spirit of Erikson Institute Award, recognizing her longstanding commitment to improving the lives of children and families.

Event Details

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Registration begins at 11 a.m.
Luncheon program begins at noon.

The Drake Hotel
140 E. Walton Place
Chicago, Illinois

Valet parking available for $26

Luncheon Chairs:
Eric Adelstein
Ashley Hemphill Netzky

Business attire

If you would like additional information or need assistance, please contact Anna Akers-Pecht at 312.893.7152 or email

Location of the Drake Hotel

Support our 2017 Annual Luncheon

Featured Speaker

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Between the World and Me, winner of the 2015 National Book Award for Nonfiction. He is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and has received the National Magazine Award and the Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism, and the George Polk Award for his Atlantic cover story “The Case for Reparations.” His newest book, We Were Eight Years in Power, scheduled for release October 3, was developed from the many articles he wrote about Barack Obama. He lives in New York with his wife and son.

Conversation Moderator

Alex Kotlowitz is the award-winning author of three books, including the national bestseller There Are No Children Here, which the New York Public Library selected as one of the 150 most important books of the 20th century. His book The Other Side of the River received the Heartland Prize for Nonfiction. A former staff writer at The Wall Street Journal, his work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine and on This American Life. His documentary The Interrupters premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was named one of the top 10 films of 2011 by numerous publications. He’s received honors in all three mediums, including an Emmy, two Peabodys, two Columbia duPonts, a Film Independent Spirit Award, a George Polk Award, and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism prize. The recipient of nine honorary degrees, he’s a writer-in-residence at Northwestern. Kotlowitz is currently at work on another book.

Spirit of Erikson Honoree

Susan Wislow is a Chicago civic leader and a longtime friend of Erikson Institute, having served on our Board of Trustees as both a member and a leader since 1996. As a former Head Start worker and teacher in the Chicago Public Schools, Susan has seen educational environments up close, and her passion for making an impact in the early years continues as one of Erikson’s life trustees. A former businessperson and founder of Corporate Relocation Coordinators (now known as Corporate Facility Solutions), Susan has served on the boards of Chicago institutions including the Goodman Theatre and the Chicago Children’s Museum.

Support our 2017 Annual Luncheon

If you are unable to attend the Annual Luncheon you can still support Erikson’s work.