Winter 2015 Newsletter
From the Director, Joseph K. Hoereth, Ph.D.
Friends of IPCE,
We have a very exciting semester ahead of us. Our 2014 closed on a high note following with a semester of impactful dialogues and empowering youth engagement workshops.
IPCE hosted several important campus dialogues designed to engage UIC students and the community in conversations on civic issues most important to them. In November, we hosted an intimate conversation with students on community violence. Students were encouraged to share their experiences and ideas about the impact of community violence. In October and December, IPCE and our campus partners—including the African-American Cultural Center, Department of African-American Studies, Great Cities Institute (GCI), Institute for Research on Race & Public Policy (IRRPP), Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, and the Social Justice Initiative (SJI) —hosted several conversations regarding the death of Michael Brown and subsequent confrontations with law enforcement in Ferguson, MO. Creating the space and opportunity for dialogue on policy responses to current hot button events is an important part of our role on campus.
This fall we awarded our 2014-2015 discourse grants to five UIC faculty and staff. We also kicked off our annual Lunch talk series with presentations by 1) Isabel Cruz (Department of Computer Science, College of Engineering) on “Big Data Integration to Enable Citizen Participations in Smart Cities”; 2) Meghan Burke (Department of Special Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and Linda Sandman (Developmental Disabilities Family Clinic, UIC) on “Training Parents of Students with Disabilities: Using Technology to Enhance Civic Engagement”; Elaine J. Yuan (Department of Communication, College of Liberal Arts and Science) and Miao Feng and Xiyuan Liu (graduate students) “From Revolution to Evolution: The Role of Social Media for Civic Engagement.”
Our semester wrapped up with several great and engaging events. Several hundred high schools students in the Global Citizenship Initiative (GCI) in CPS visited UIC for a workshop to learn more about policy and social movements, a process relevant to their curriculum. We re-developed our youth model to deliver a fun and interactive workshop for students to learn how they could make a difference through policy change and social movements. And lastly, we finished up with our annual community convening on dialogue and deliberation, opening with a report on the findings of a recent study on the Community of Practice, which is available on our website.
We’re keeping the momentum going with our planning for spring! We’ll continue hosting a series of lunch talks featuring recent civic engagement research and campus dialogues. We’ll also have research poster presentations from our Urban Public Policy Fellows in April. Please watch our website and social media platforms for further information.
IPCE is also excited to continue the collaboration with the Chicago Community Trust on their upcoming “On the Table” project in celebration of the Trust’s 100th anniversary. Last year, the Trust kicked off On the Table with more than 10,000 Chicagoland residents at 1,000 dinners across the metropolitan area. IPCE will assess the conversations and deliver another impact report on the findings. We’re excited to support the Trust again on this project and to play an important role in creating a dialogue on such a large scale.
I hope to see you soon at one of our spring events.
Joseph K. Hoereth, Ph.D