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Showing posts from May, 2018

Taking Informed Action, Part 4 of 4

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Foreword by Sonia Mathew, Civic Learning ManagerOver 225 attendees participated in the Democracy Schools Network Convening which took place March 8-9th in Naperville, Illinois with the theme “Informed Action for Equity”. This year, we recognized and celebrated 13 new Democracy Schools that joined the network. The Network now encompasses 67 high schools with representation in Chicago, its surrounding suburbs, the Metro East region outside of St. Louis, and both Central and Southern Illinois.Network members and civic learning partners presented many workshops related to our theme. Pleases enjoy reading reflections from DSN members on various breakout sessions from the convening. These reflections focus on fostering civil discourse and strengthening student voice. Upstanding: What it Takes to Choose to ParticipateTracy Freeman, Social Studies teacher/chair, Normal West High School, Democracy Schools Network Advisory Council memberPracticing what he preached Wayde Grinstead had those who …

Taking Informed Action, Part 3 of 4

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Foreword by Sonia Mathew, Civic Learning ManagerOver 225 attendees participated in the Democracy Schools Network Convening which took place March 8-9th in Naperville, Illinois with the theme “Informed Action for Equity”. This year, we recognized and celebrated 13 new Democracy Schools that joined the network. The Network now encompasses 67 high schools with representation in Chicago, its surrounding suburbs, the Metro East region outside of St. Louis, and both Central and Southern Illinois.Network members and civic learning partners presented many workshops related to our theme. Pleases enjoy reading reflections from DSN members on various breakout sessions from the convening. These reflections focus on addressing civic learning across the curriculum, a key component of being a Democracy School. Literacy is PowerJay Mehta, English Teacher, Wheaton North High School, Democracy Schools Network Advisory Council MemberA day filled with educators creating conversations about democratic …

Taking Informed Action, Part 2 of 4

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Foreword by Sonia Mathew, Civic Learning ManagerOver 225 attendees participated in the Democracy Schools Network Convening which took place March 8-9th in Naperville, Illinois with the theme “Informed Action for Equity”. This year, we recognized and celebrated 13 new Democracy Schools that joined the network. The Network now encompasses 67 high schools with representation in Chicago, its surrounding suburbs, the Metro East region outside of St. Louis, and both Central and Southern Illinois.Network members and civic learning partners presented many workshops related to our theme. Pleases enjoy reading reflections from DSN members on various breakout sessions from the convening. These reflections focus on addressing issues of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion — a necessary step in working towards eliminating the civic empowerment gap. Woke or Broke: Grayslake North High School's Journey Toward Diversity, Inclusivity, and Civic DiscourseJason Janczak, Social Studies Department Chair, …

Fighting for Human Rights in Illinois

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When 18 national and local grant makers join forces, the result is $1.1 million to fuel 37 cutting edge immigrant and refugee organizations. While the fundraising number is always reported, the story at the heart of the Illinois Immigration Funders Collaborative (IFC) is the work of front line organizations ambitiously strengthening our state. What follows are examples of three agencies within the collaborative working tirelessly to serve, organize, and advocate for marginalized, scapegoated, abused, exploited, and mistreated communities. In recent decades, there has been a rapid influx of immigrants moving to the suburbs of Chicago, largely due to an increase in jobs and a lower cost of living. Southwest Suburban Immigrant Project (SSIP) led by two young immigrants, Jose Eduardo Vera and Elizabeth Cervantes, help suburban immigrants access the tools and information needed to effect change and become leaders in their communities. Because of the work done by SSIP, more suburban immigr…

Shining Light, Telling Stories, Having Impact

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The Social Justice News Nexus at Medill partners with journalists to explore issues impacting Chicago communities.by Kari Lydersen, Interim Director of Social Justice News NexusWhen Adriana Cardona-Maguigad walked around the Back of the Yards neighborhood where she was editor of a community newspaper, she would often chat with people living on the streets or in abandoned buildings. She was surprised to hear that many of them had Puerto Rican accents, since the Southwest Side neighborhood has a largely Mexican immigrant population. Cardona, who moved to the U.S. from Colombia as a teenager, started asking more questions. She began uncovering a strange and troubling story: many of the men and women had come to Chicago from Puerto Rico to live in unlicensed drug treatment centers housed in storefronts and residential buildings in Back of the Yards and surrounding immigrant neighborhoods. And some of them had been sent by Puerto Rican government authorities. Around this time Cardona was s…

McCormick House at Cantigny Park Hosting Civic Awareness Series

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Some connections are just meant to be. That seems to be the case with Cantigny Park’s McCormick House and the League of Women Voters of Wheaton. The two struck a partnership last fall, launching a Civic Awareness Series based on a common interest in encouraging local participation in the democratic process. The series features monthly gatherings with guest speakers inside McCormick House, the former home of Cantigny’s benefactor, Robert R. McCormick. Appropriately, the proceedings take place in Freedom Hall, the mansion’s impressive library. Meetings begin at 7 pm and are free to attend, including parking. “We are delighted to be partnering with the League on this series,” said Will Buhlig, interim director of McCormick House. “Civics education and community participation were important to Colonel McCormick, so I think he’d be delighted as well. The Civic Awareness Series also fits with our goal of using McCormick House for community learning opportunities.”Meetings so far in 2018 have…

Taking Informed Action, Part 1 of 4

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Foreword by Sonia Mathew, Civic Learning Manager Over 225 attendees participated in the Democracy Schools Network Convening which took place March 8-9th in Naperville, Illinois with the theme “Informed Action for Equity”. This year, we recognized and celebrated 13 new Democracy Schools that joined the network. The Network now encompasses 67 high schools with representation in Chicago, its surrounding suburbs, the Metro East region outside of St. Louis, and both Central and Southern Illinois.Network members and civic learning partners presented many workshops related to our theme. Pleases enjoy reading reflections from DSN members on various breakout sessions from the convening. These reflections focus on service learning, one of the six proven practices for civic learning recommended by the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools. Beyond the Soup KitchenJamie Nash-Mayberry, Social Studies Teacher, Shawnee High School, Democracy Schools Network Advisory Council MemberBeyond the Sou…