January VISTA Spotlight

I had the pleasure of speaking with Jesenia Hiraldo, a former VISTA who just completed her service year at Columbia College in November. She served as the Communications department’s communication coordinator and before she left, I had the opportunity to speak with her about how she liked her service year and any plans she has post-VISTA. During her service year, Jesenia got to participate in Columbia’s Giving Tree, a clothes & book drive, she helped out with that hosts showcases for other Illinois based schools. She also helped with electronic compliance binders that help record important information for grants and…

Martin Luther King Day Service Opportunities

Some of Campus Compact Illinois’ member institutions will be holding days of service on Martin Luther King Day. Below you can see all the opportunities to serve and events honoring the day throughout Illinois. The University of Illinois Springfield is holding a food distribution service project named Feed the Funnel. Participants will help pack healthy meals for local non-profits. Other activities will include participation in the MLK Unity March and a Community Forum. To register, click here. Northwestern University will be holding several events, such as featuring a talk by #MeToo movement creator Tarana Burke, where she recounts her personal…

December VISTA Spotlight

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Sharonda Simmons, a current VISTA who serves as the Coordinator for National Louis University’s Veteran’s Department. She recently helped with her organization’s Veteran’s Week and I also got to see what else she’s been up to as her service year has progressed.  Veteran’s Week is a week that acknowledges this country’s veterans, both living and dead. Agencies and community partners help salute veterans by participating in week-long activities such as Snack and Write and the week also gives civilians a chance to thank veterans for their service. During that week, Sharonda had the…

Meet The Interns!

Meet our new Illinois Campus Compact interns! The new interns at Campus Compact Illinois have been working hard on our fellow’s program in efforts to increase census education and awareness on college campuses. They are all students at Chicago’s Adler University and this internship is part of their Social Justice Practicum. Kevin handle social media, Derek is the web designer, and Nolynn does blog posts. Adler University is an institution that holds heavy importance on its students becoming socially and culturally competent mental health professionals. The Social Justice Practicum (SJP) is a 200-hour internship that places students at sites throughout…

Illinois Campus Compact: 2020 Census Update

Hello from downtown Chicago! We are Campus Compact Illinois and we are working to increase awareness and education surrounding the upcoming 2020 census in historically hard-to-count areas. It’s already the end of November, and *spooky season* is long gone; however, the scariest thing of all is that the state of Illinois has lost a seat in the United States House of Representatives after every census since 1960. EEK! Illinois is also projected to lose another two seats, if we don’t exercise our civic duty by participating in the upcoming census. Illinois losing more seats would mean a lack of representation…

Building Democratic Skills Through Deliberative Dialogue

In the face of ever-increasing polarization and divisiveness, there is a great need and desire for an effective, accessible, and inclusive tool for diverse people to engage across difference in pursuit of common ground for action on major social issues. A Deliberative Dialogue Forum brings people together in a small gathering to deliberate about challenging public issues. The process is guided by a neutral moderator and a discussion guide that presents multiple approaches to addressing the problem. Deliberative Dialogue provides an effective framework for mutual understanding and a common purpose that allows people to discuss difficult issues, weigh options, and…

October VISTA Spotlight

I recently had the opportunity to interview Ernest Jefferson, an ILCC VISTA currently serving at North Park University. He is about to finish up his service year in November, so it was nice to catch up with him to discuss his service year and post-service year plans. J: Where did you serve and what is your title during your VISTA service year? E: North Park University, Chicago IL. My title is Catalyst on Campus Coordinator.  J: What projects/tasks did you work on during your service year? E: I was primarily responsible for coordinating the Catalyst on Campus program. Catalyst 606…

A Focus on Faculty: Practical and Research-Informed Strategies for Faculty Development in Community Engagement (Webinar)

As S-LCE professionals, many of us are adept in navigating the complexities of working with students, community partners, and broader members of the community. Often, our work with faculty partners and academic departments can be more daunting, in large part due to a dearth of frameworks guiding this work. Building upon the presenters’ recently released edited volume, Reconceptualizing Faculty Development in Service-Learning/Community Engagement, the overarching goal of this session is for participants to analyze and situate their work with faculty partners in an array of best practices, institutions emerging with ideas, resources, and support structures that advance S-LCE faculty development…

Let’s play Votes & Ballots: Creating quality action plans for democratic engagement through gamification (Webinar)

In this webinar, participants will be introduced to Votes & Ballots, an interactive activity that takes the guesswork out of on-campus democratic engagement. Players are tasked with creating a comprehensive action plan while keeping in mind their institution’s historical voting rates (via NSLVE data), their resources, and the unique challenges faced by student voters. Votes & Ballots has been primarily played among students and staff, but, with an eye toward deepening faculty engagement, a Votes & Ballots: Curricular Edition is in development. Participants will learn about multiple ways through which they can incorporate Votes & Ballots into their work and…

Decolonizing Approaches to Inclusive Discussions and Trainings: Lessons from Indigenous Perspectives (Webinar)

The future of community engagement work requires a framework that is strengths-based, centers historically underrepresented groups working towards justice on their terms, and includes an analysis of power, positionality, systemic causes of disparities, needs for institutional changes, and critiques of inclusion assumptions. This session will provide decolonizing practice resources, concrete examples, and a chance to reflect on how to apply the practices to your context. Examples include an interactive session focused on how instructors, trainers, and supervisors can create environments that feel relevant, welcoming, and safe to all participants. The session is relevant to instructors, researchers, AmeriCorps Vista trainers, and Campus…

The Importance of Non-Profits

By Jordan A. Washington (Campus Compact Illinois)             Non-profits do a lot of important work and sometimes, as a society, we often forget that. They provide many resources and services to those who may have not had access to them otherwise and they help engage communities and society to help make this country a better, more informed place. Reducing the presence of non-profits within our society will only lead to grim outcomes not only for the present but for the future as well.  Non-profits often fill the space between people and the governments that represent them….

Tyson Foods 2019 Summer Community Internship Program

  Over this past summer, Campus Compact Illinois gathered our Tyson Foods Summer Community interns and their supervisors to recap on their summers and all the work they accomplished. At the closing event, each of the interns explained their main duties and told us a little bit about what they learned from their site. Throughout the summer, we asked the interns to share information and photos about their days working at community organizations across the Chicagoland area. These photos showcased events and activities that the interns participated in. From these posts, we learned a lot about what their days looked…

January 2019 Spotlight – Illinois Campus Compact 2018 Recap

As we start the New Year we want to look back at all the success and work done in 2018. Illinois Campus Compact, along with our partners and members, took on new events, launched several new programs, and continued important civic engagement work. At the beginning of 2018, on March 5th, ILCC held the Campus Meets Community Event in collaboration with the University of Illinois at Chicago, America’s Urban Campus, the ABCD Institute, and the University of Chicago’s Office of Civic Engagement. This event gave community based organizations (CBOs) a place to converse about their experiences with higher education institutions….

Tyson Foods Summer Internship Sites

Campus Compact and Tyson Foods announced the nonprofit organizations that were selected for the 2019 Summer Community Internship Program. Grantees will receive funding to support a full-time college student summer intern. This is the second year of this program, which provides a valuable opportunity for college students to gain professional experience in nonprofits while making a positive impact in local communities.  Illinois Campus Compact selected 20 organizations throughout the Chicagoland Area to receive one intern for the summer.  Below is a list of the organizations and a description of the intern position.  Illinois Tyson Grantees Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry: The…

December Membership Spotlight

Neighbor2Neighbor (N2N) is a Northwestern University initiative that promotes learning and service rooted in the local community. This initiative started last year and continues to develop and expand thanks to the current Illinois Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA, Kaitlynn Durham. This initiative began to help Northwestern become better neighbors to their surrounding communities. The goal of Neighbor2Neighbor is to create ethical and mutually beneficial relationships with communities, the focus being on the North of Howard area within the Rogers Park neighborhood, just south of Northwestern University.   Neighbor2Neighbor currently works with seven community partners throughout the North of Howard neighborhood. Using…

November Membership Spotlight

This week we spoke to Habacuc Rico, the Illinois Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA at McHenry County College. As the Veterans Coordinator it was a big week for Habacuc. On Tuesday his office hosted a Veterans lunch and on Friday, November 9, Habacuc is helping host a Veterans Day ceremony. This ceremony will honor veterans, as well as allow them to mingle during the reception. The keynote speaker is retired Sgt. Major Thomas Morrissey, who served more than 30 years in the U.S. Army Special Forces, with his last 14 years of service with the Illinois National Guard. This week isn’t…

Veteran’s Day Events

Looking to honor our Veterans? Below is a list of events that you can attend to do so! National Louis University is holding multiple events throughout the week. You can learn more about these events at their site here. The Mission Continues is hold a Veteran’s Day Project, register here. McHenry County College is hosting a Veteran’s Day Ceremony. Learn more about that here.

Webinar Resource: Campus Voter Engagement

Illinois Campus Compact, State Matters, BallotReady, and Campus Election Engagement Project teamed up for a Webinar on Campus Voter Engagement. This webinar discussed the tools and resources that these organizations use to engage students voters. You can watch the entire webinar below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8wm7ApqQP4&t=43s

VISTA Spotlight, Millikin University

My name is Angie Bravo I am the AmeriCorps VISTA at Millikin University. So far my experience as the VISTA has been AMAZING! I am so happy to be doing something important in the Decatur community, but also within Millikin University. With being a 2018 Millikin graduate I hold this university very close to my heart. It is exciting for me to come back and do something I never saw myself doing. As a student I never really understood what the AmeriCorps VISTA did. I knew that we had one every year, but I never found myself searching for the…

October Membership Spotlight – North Central College

This year, Illinois Campus Compact teamed up with the Campus Election Engagement Project (CEEP) to offer member institutions mini grants to increase voter engagement. One of the six schools that received this grant was North Central College. We spoke to Josh Simmons, a North Central student who is working as the college’s CEEP Fellow. Josh is a junior studying political science and economics. His main goal as a CEEP fellow this fall is to raise voter awareness on campus. Before voter registration ended, one of Josh’s duties was to register students. He did a lot of outreach through tabling on…