Category Archives: Community Forum

First Class Justice vs. “the Cattle Call”

By a Courtwatcher Courtwatch is a group of citizens who volunteer to attend criminal proceedings by request of the defendant or a family member of a jailed defendant. We are there as witnesses to criminal justice in Champaign County, to … Continue reading

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Work Day: Lament for Darius Graves

The below poem was written by Ryan Collins for the project Lament for the Dead (http://www.lamentforthedead.org/), an online community poetry project which marks the death of every person killed by police this summer, and every police officer who loses life … Continue reading

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Courtwatch Report: Sitting in Jail vs. Bailing out

By Courtwatchers In court we support, observe and learn. In the community, we share collected wisdom. Courtwatch is a group of volunteers who sit in on cases at the Champaign County Courthouse to learn how “justice” really works. Regardless of … Continue reading

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Build Programs Not Jails: Community Mobilizes Against $32 Million Jail

The Champaign County Board is entertaining the idea of spending $32 million on new jail construction. Jail architects, Kimme & Associates, were hired by the county for $150,000 to report on the current jails and propose the construction of a … Continue reading

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Rep. Carol Ammons Holds Community Advisory Panels

Newly elected State Representative of the 103rd House District Carol Ammons, is reaching out to Champaign-Urbana community members to bring their passion and expertise to her Community Advisory Panels. Each panel is responsible for following the bills moving through corresponding … Continue reading

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The Anatomy of Gray: A Reflection on Willie Craft, Sr.’s Case

Note: On October 9, 2013, Willie Craft, Sr. suffered a diabetic crash while driving and killed Mimi Liu and injured Spandana Matravadi. Both women were students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. On July 9, 2014, Craft was charged … Continue reading

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The Profound Strength of an Unclenched Fist

Each generation sees masculinity in a new light. At twenty-four, my thoughts reflect those of my grandfather in his twenties, seventy years ago. As the United States anticipated involvement in World War II, a generation of men was drafter into … Continue reading

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What is a nüz/böx?

What is a nüz/böx? First, it’s spelled with an X, a Z, two ümlaüts and a slash/. Even the name calls your attention. The pronunciation of nüz/böx is intentionally ambiguous. How do you pronounce it? Pronunciation, like many aspects of … Continue reading

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Summer Classes at Common Ground’s Flatlander Classroom

Visit Urban Bees! Led by Maggie Wachter $10 owners/$15 non-owners Saturday, July 27th, 1-3pm Min 4/Max 12 Local beekeeper Maggie Wachter will take you on a thrilling journey in her teaching apiary located just a few blocks from the Common … Continue reading

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The Negative Impact of the War on Drugs in Our Community

Two Community Dialogues Thursday, Feb. 28, Levis Faculty Center (919 W. Illinois St., Urbana) Friday night, March 1, Salem Baptist Church (500 E. Park St., Champaign) 5:30-8:30 p.m. both nights Keynote Speakers: Neill Franklin, former narcotics officer and executive director … Continue reading

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