Jay Readey

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Jay Readey

1998 Global Fellow
Founder of Urban Solutions with David Lewicki

Jay Readey 1998 Global Fellow

Bold Idea 

Strengthens underserved neighborhoods by supporting small businesses, job creation, diversity and sustainability.


Urban Solutions was established to create access to employment opportunities for teenagers and young adults in socially and economically distressed urban neighborhoods through revitalization activities. Working at the borders of nonprofit and for-profit spheres, Urban Solutions sought to create a self-sustaining revenue structure that would be simultaneously an engine of economic growth, an initiator of community revitalization, and a center for youth development. Urban Solutions closed in 2001.


Jay Readey is a lawyer and social entrepreneur who has worked for many years on issues of racial and socioeconomic equity.  Jay founded and serves as President and CEO of The MetroAlliance, a social venture focused on neighborhood transformation. Through a mix of for-profit strategies and nonprofit initiatives, the MetroAlliance focuses on strengthening dynamic metropolitan communities.  In the course of his work with The MetroAlliance, Jay supports the creation and growth of numerous small businesses and nonprofit organizations. NeighborScapes, the nonprofit arm of The MetroAlliance, is a direct descendant of Urban Solutions, and Jay's co-founder and Echoing Green Fellowship partner, David Lewicki, is a NeighborScapes board member. Jay was a 2012 Fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago and a member of the inaugural 2015 class of Presidential Leadership Scholars through the Bush and Clinton Presidential Libraries and Foundations. He practices law with Ginsberg Jacobs LLC, focused on complex community development finance, and teaches as an adjunct professor of housing and community development law at DePaul University School of Law.  Jay was a 1994 graduate of Yale College with majors in African-American Studies and American Studies. He received a JD from Yale Law School and an MBA from the Yale School of Management in 2004.

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