Your browser is unsupported

We recommend using the latest version of IE11, Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

Introduction to the OCC Heading link

The Office of Community Collaboration (OCC) aims to create an environment where UIC invests in the voices of disenfranchised Chicagoans to improve their quality of life. We are on a mission to mobilize institutional change and community growth through reciprocal collaborations with Chicago’s south and west sides.

  • Pathways
  • Programming
  • Participatory research

Utilizing pathways, the OCC creates support systems to access opportunities for both traditional and post-traditional learners. Our programs focus on activating UIC and community partnerships to respond to evolving community concerns and interests. Lastly, participatory research brings community voices to the forefront by emphasizing participation and action by members of communities affected by that research; it focuses on collaboration and reflection.

Participatory Research through Neighborhood Centers Heading link

The OCC houses two place-based initiatives in the Auburn Gresham and Lawndale communities; through which the 3-P’s framework is implemented. The centers are located at:

  • The Auburn Gresham Center, located at the Healthy Lifestyle Hub suite 312 (839 W. 79th Street Chicago, IL).
  • The Lawndale Center, operating from the MLK Exhibit Center (1558 S. Hamlin Chicago, IL).

The OCC collaborates closely with community-based groups, organizations, and schools to positively impact Auburn Gresham and Lawndale through actively promoting programs in our physical spaces and fostering engagement amongst community members, UIC faculty, students, and staff. Our goals include:

  • Boost Black student enrollment and retention at UIC and other post-secondary institutions.
  • Provide responsive services to address systemic disparities in education, economics, and health in Auburn Gresham and North Lawndale.
  • Act as partners and catalysts for continuous community and economic growth in these neighborhoods.

Call to Action Heading link

Join us in shaping the future of our neighborhood centers, your collaboration is key to our success! Let’s work together to create meaningful programs and services that address our shared goals.


Reserve a space at one of our offices to host community-driven initiative, event, or meeting.

Reservation Form


Upcoming News Heading link

Upcoming Events Heading link

Feb 19 2024

Ancestral Seeds Doula Certification Program: May 6th - June 17th / July 1st - August 12th / October 7th - November 18th on Mondays, 6pm to 9pm

2/19/24, 6:00 pm–11/18/24, 9:00 pm
Auburn Gresham Center, Healthy Lifestyle Hub suite 312
Feb 21 2024

Childbirth Education Classes: July 3rd - August 14th and October 9th - November 20th on Wednesdays, 10:00am to 11:30am

2/21/24, 10:00 am–11/20/24, 11:30 am
Auburn Gresham Center, Healthy Lifestyle Hub suite 312
Mar 22 2024

Post-Partum Education classes (conducted virtually from the center): Fridays, March 22, April 5 & 19, May 3, 5:00pm to 6:00pm

3/22/24, 5:00 pm–5/3/24, 6:00 pm
Apr 2 2024

Ancestral Seeds Postpartum Doula Certification Program: June 25 - July 23 and September 24 - October 22 Tuesdays @ 6:00pm to 9:00pm

4/2/24, 6:00 pm–10/22/24, 9:00 pm
Auburn Gresham Center, Healthy Lifestyle Hub suite 312