Category Archives: Youth

1968 – Not Really So Long Ago or Far Away

“I want kids to see that it wasn’t just Martin Luther King making things happen in the 1960s, it was local folks here as well. Just as it is today.” Katie Snyder, Education Program Specialist, Museum of the Grand Prairie … Continue reading

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Doing SOLHOT as a Reliable Way of Life

“I remember the day I let go of the idea and held on to people it’s much riskier now I really wanna’ take care”  – We Levitate, “Take Care”, How I Feel EP (2016) I am a lover/bandbae/dreamer/Black girl artist/DJ/and … Continue reading

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Hip-Hop and the Black Radical Tradition in CU

i must confess that waltzes do not move me. i have no sympathy for symphonies i guess i hummed the Blues too early, and spent too many midnights out wailing in the rain. Assata Shakur – Culture The tradition of … Continue reading

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Taking Applications for “Open Scene,” IMC’s Youth Media Project

The Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center (UCIMC) and the City of Urbana are happy to launch Open Scene, a project to reimagine downtown Urbana through arts-based dialogues led by youth. Open Scene will be anchored at the UCIMC, a media and … Continue reading

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Incarceration figures

Some figures compiled in the Coalition for Prisoners’ Rights Newsletter (April 2016). Reprinted with Permission. I. Number Incarcerated in U.S., 2014 1.5 million people at an annual per person cost of $80 billion–approximately $51,250 each. (A “free world” minimum wage of $15/hr … Continue reading

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City and IMC Announce $50,000 grant for creative placemaking from the NEA

Downtown Urbana is about to become a lot more creative – thanks to the vision of local youth, the City of Urbana, the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center (IMC), and the National Endowment of the Arts. The NEA has announced awards … Continue reading

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Youth Poetry

MY CURLY HAIR by Amina Alamin My curly hair can do anything it can be in big braids and in little braids and curled in to ringlets and many more things. Some people don’t like my hair and some people … Continue reading

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Chuco’s Justice Center in Los Angeles: Home of “College Prep, Not Prison Prep”

In August I travelled to California as part of my research into the use of electronic monitoring in the criminal justice system. My first stop was a converted factory along the border between South Central Los Angeles and Inglewood, Chuco’s … Continue reading

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The Economic and Political Context of Student Debt

Alan Collinge, author of “The Student Loan Scam: The Most Oppressive Debt in U.S. History and How We Can Fight Back,” recently spoke to students at Lincoln Hall on the UI campus. His argument is detailed, persuasive, and heartbreaking; it … Continue reading

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Motivating High School Students to Become Future Builders

In 2007, I met Tanya Parker, now the publisher of the local magazine, Unity in Action, at a demonstration in front of the County Court House in Urbana.  We were both protesting what we felt was racial inequality in the … Continue reading

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The Fruits of Our Labor: Champaign’s Summer Youth Jobs Program

Jelani Saadiq is a senior at Piney Woods School in Mississippi. He participated in Champaign’s summer youth employment program this summer. This summer I was bamboozled; I thought that the summer employment program would be a boring 9am-1 pm job, … Continue reading

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Preparing Youth for Democracy

Preparing Youth for Democracy (edited) By Gary Storm My wife, Jamie, and I were recently invited to participate in an international conference sponsored by “Initiatives of Change” (IOC) in Panchgani, India. The conference was called “Making Democracy Real–A Dialogue”, and … Continue reading

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The Tunisian Revolution: Dignity, Expression, Gender, and Religion

The Tunisian Revolution:  Dignity, Expression, Gender, and Religion Dignity The Tunisian uprising that deposed dictator Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali is of enormous historical significance for the entire region of North Africa. A recurring and resounding call during the uprising has … Continue reading

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The 1970 Student Strike in Protest of Kent State Killings

University of Illinois students and faculty went on strike 41 years ago this May in response to the killing of four students at Kent State by the Ohio National Guard. The killings at Kent State were seen by many at … Continue reading

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2011 Martin Luther King, Jr. Essays

What is your dream for a Beloved Community? Since 2003, over 2200 local students have been challenged to examine the legacy of Dr. King in their lives, and their role in social justice. This year, students between 4th and 12th … Continue reading

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Local Youth Talk Gay Marriage

On November 30, 2010, the Illinois Senate passed SB 1716, “Illinois Religious Freedom and Protection and Civil Union Act.” This law will grant legal recognition of same-sex couples. Governor Quinn has pledged to sign the bill into law in early … Continue reading

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Valedictorian Speech From The Odyssey Project

Good Afternoon Friends, Family and Faculty. Thank you for taking time to celebrate with the 2010 Graduating class of the Odyssey Project. About 2-years ago I saw the Odyssey Program advertised in the News Gazette paper and I thought WOW, … Continue reading

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Youth Making History at Home

”Our youth are not failing the system; the system is failing our youth. Ironically, the very youth who are being treated the worst are the young people who are going to lead us out of this nightmare.”—Rachel Jackson The Peer … Continue reading

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Aramark™ Makes Horrible Lunches, and Kids Do Something About It

I go to Leal Elementary School in Urbana, and our school lunches suck. Most of the kids in my class think the school lunches are unhealthy, and should not be served at our school, or any other elementary school. For … Continue reading

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Access to Abortion and EC for Teens in Illinois

Obtaining proper reproductive healthcare and education about sexuality and sexual health is essential to keeping teens in our area healthy. In Illinois, teens are lucky to have some access to contraceptives, abortion services and other reproductive care. However, activist groups … Continue reading

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