From the Director, Joseph K. Hoereth, Ph.D.
Friends of IPCE,
Summer is just around the corner, and that means we're wrapping up another busy semester of exciting IPCE programs and events. From faculty research to student dialogues to noteworthy lectures, IPCE provided the community with plenty of opportunities to escape the brutal weather outside and head indoors for meaningful conversations and learning opportunities.
We kicked off the semester with a continuation of our Civic Engagement Lunch Talks series, which gives UIC faculty and staff who have been awarded our competitive Research Fund grant an opportunity to share their research findings with the community. Angela Odoms-Young (Kinesiology and Nutrition) presented on how neighborhood food systems reconceptualized are transforming communities in Chicago. Lisa Dirks (Urban Transportation Center) provided an analysis of emerging digital infomediaries within an era of big data and open data initiatives. And Kelly LeRoux (Public Administration) shared findings from the 2012 U.S. election on the relationship between nonprofit organizations and voter mobilization. We also originated a second event series to coincide with the airing of CNN's newest original docuseries, Chicagoland. Exploring across eight episodes how changemakers in Chicago are addressing economic, educational, and safety challenges, Chicagoland provided a unique opportunity for us to host conversations on these issues deeply affecting our communities and city. Every Monday, March through April, we screened the most recent episode and followed-up with an intimate dialogue examining the problems highlighted and analyzing the efficacy of the demonstrated solution, if any, that key Chicago players are promoting. Our Chicagoland post-screening and discussion series attracted both campus and community members alike, and we're particularly excited that Darrius Smith, a Fenger graduate featured in Episode Three, and friends joined in several of our conversations.
In March, we were pleased to partner with the Chancellor's Lecture and Event Series and the Social Justice Initiative at UIC to bring Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. to campus for a public lecture. More than 300 people packed the room to hear Jackson address the unfinished business of the Civil Rights movement. His empowering talk, which aimed to mobilize the audience to vote, emphasized the collective authority of voting as a way to not only make choices, but to dismantle social injustices.
This spring saw a particular emphasis on youth programing at IPCE, from leadership development opportunities to organized campus dialogues. Undergraduate fellows wrapped up their participation in the Urban Public Policy Fellowship (UPPF) program in April by presenting their research posters at the 2014 IALHEA Diversity Dialogue and Research Forum. Students across campus gathered together twice this semester for facilitated conversations on health care and community violence. And high school students in the Global Citizenship Initiative (GCI) in CPS visited UIC for a two-day workshop to learn about "issue framing," a process relevant to many civic engagement efforts.
While campus turns quiet over the summer months, IPCE will be busy preparing for the 2014-2015 academic year. Right now we're accepting applications for our UPPF program and our Civic Engagement Research Fund Awards. Please see our website for more information on submission guidelines and deadlines. And stay tuned later this summer for announcements regarding upcoming fall programs and events.
Have a safe and wonderful summer!
Joseph K. Hoereth, Ph.D