End of 2018 letter from Director Joseph Hoereth

Rounding up 2018

Friends of IPCE,

I hope everyone has had a great end to their fall semesters. As always, I'm excited to share what we here at the Institute have been working on this past semester, and to look forward to what's next in the new year.

This Fall has been one of revitalization: new research projects, a newly designed website, and a new speaker series.

We had a busy semester of research, collaboration, data collection, and analysis as we partnered with the Interactivity Foundation and Ballotpedia, as well as Chicago United for Equity (CUE) on two projects related to the 2019 Chicago elections. We utilized a digital survey platform in order to collect key questions for mayoral and aldermanic candidates on behalf of Interactivity Foundation and Ballotpedia. These questions will be answered by candidates and posted on the Ballotpedia website to increase voter education as well as inform candidates about the things that Chicagoans care most about. In our partnership with CUE, we designed a voting process  centered on the question: “Which idea would best help build a Chicago that works for all of us?” The results of voting process will be used to create an equity voter’s guide and to pose questions regarding equity policies to candidates for the 2019 municipal elections.

The Institute underwent a digital makeover this semester, as well. In November IPCE launched its newly redesigned website! In addition to being easier to navigate, you'll also be able to find information about our programs and research areas, learn about our mission, find contacts within the Institute, and read our blog updates. We also have an archive of past research projects and photos for perusal. In addition, the website is a central space to get information about our UPPF program and Civic Engagement Research Awards.

We hosted a thought-provoking Civic Engagement Lunch Talk this November with Dr. Dalal Katsiaficas of the College of Education. She presented her research on civic engagement within immigrant-origin student communities, and illuminated new ideas about how civic engagement can manifest itself in those communities. We look forward to working with Dr. Katsiaficas further, and thank her for sharing her research with us. For more information about her talk and to see a video catch-up, see our IPCE blog. We will also host Dr. Therese Quinn from Architecture, Design, and the Arts this upcoming February to present her Illinois Deaths in Custody Project. Stay tuned to our site and follow us on our social media channels for more details on Dr. Quinn's lunch talk.

We welcomed 24 undergraduate students in the Urban Public Policy Fellowship program for the 2018-2019 academic year in August, and they are already hard at work at their internship sites. This cohort represents a large array of policy and research interests, and I am excited to see their progression as leaders as they navigate their internships and research projects throughout the academic year.

IPCE is happy to announce a new speaker series that will join our repertoire of events. The series focuses on community voices within different Chicago neighborhoods with the intention of amplifying those voices and expanding their reach across different networks. Our inaugural Community Voice is activist Robert Douglas from Roseland, who visited UIC on November 8 to present his study on civic engagement in Roseland. The study highlighted his own work and provides suggestions for communities going forward. To read the study, learn more about Robert, and see a video wherein he and I talk about the ways we can enhance engagement across communities, please see our blog and news sections.

I'm also happy to announce that a number of IPCE staff traveled to Denver in November to attend the National Conference on Dialogue and Deliberation. The conference was a great opportunity for us to reconnect with old friends and colleagues, make new connections, and develop new ideas. Staff came back from the conference refreshed and with a renewed focus on our mission. We look forward to conferences like these in the future!

Please keep us on your radar as we continue to announce upcoming IPCE and IPCE-sponsored events and initiatives, and bookmark our newly refreshed website for updates on all things about the Institute!

Have a wonderful start to your new year,

Joseph K. Hoereth, PhD