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In July 2020, a community engagement-working group formed under the auspices of Chancellor Michael Amiridis’ Advancing Racial Equity Task Force.  The group was charged with generating big and bold ideas for how UIC could/should address systemic racism across campus and in particular its community engagement practice. Working as a diverse group of staff, faculty and students in August 2020, the group ideated on how UIC could advance racial equity through a process of truly reciprocal community engagement. It tried to imagine what it would mean for UIC to transform its structure to redress past wrongs where communities have been acted upon and not heard, while also acknowledging the significant and varied community engaged research and service happening across campus.

As a result of this group’s work and recommendations, the Office of Community Collaboration (OCC) was formed to build upon and strengthen UIC’s current community engagement efforts.  OCC’s focus is to create infrastructure, institute channels to improve cross campus communication and collaboration, as well as, facilitate a unified philosophy and a set of values for community practices and partnerships.  OCC serves as a catalyst for true partnerships and reflect a commitment to establish reciprocal relationships and provide opportunities for partners to be involved in defining and, as necessary, redefining the terms of engagement and measures of equity.

Development Highlights Heading link

  • June 2, 2022

    Auburn Gresham Neighborhood Center build out is completed!

  • May 18, 2022

    Lease fully executed for the MLK Exhibit Center

  • May 5, 2022

    Crystal Stevenson, Auburn Gresham Community Coordinator begins.

  • March 28, 2022

    Awarded $16,560 by Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement for Auburn Gresham Neighborhood Center Mural Project

  • June 2021

    The lease for the Auburn Gresham space was fully executed in June 2021.

  • June 23-24, 2021

    A retreat with more than sixty (60) community and UIC stakeholders was held on June 23- 24, 2021 to foster relationships, identify and prioritize community needs and set the stage for long-term collaboration.

  • August 2021

    Retreat report was distributed to stakeholders.

    Read the retreat summary

  • November 1, 2021

    Community Coordinator, Khameron Townsend-Riley, was hired and began Nov. 1, 2021

    Awarded $85,000 grants from Circle of Service and Steans Family Foundation to support the hiring of a second community coordinator.

  • November 10, 2021

    University of Illinois System President Timothy Killeen and UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis visited the location of the Auburn Gresham center.

  • November 15, 2021

    The second convening of community and UIC stakeholders was held on Nov. 15, 2021, where community feedback was enlisted on the design elements of the Auburn Gresham center and prospective site for the North Lawndale location.