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The spike in violence that has stricken a number of Chicago’s neighborhoods over the past several years has affected all of us. America's Urban Campus (AUC) presidents and member representatives discussed the complex, intertwined problems of poverty, racism and violence throughout 2016, and decided in 2017 to take action. First, AUC assembled a snapshot of the activities currently undertaken by our institutions to address these issues*. Second, AUC convened a working session of the institutions’ faculty, staff and students and other organizations, governments and community groups make recommendations for strengthening the partnerships addressing the issues.
AUC held the working session, “Forging Partnerships to Prevent Violence in Chicago” on May 23, 2017 at Roosevelt University. Over 80 invitees spanning all of AUC’s institutions and including many neighborhood partners attended event. The final report summarized the best practices and challenges in creating true partnerships between universities and community groups, and made a number of recommendations.
Working with the support of MIcrosoft's Chicago Office, AUC's institutions produced a heat map providing the geographic location of each university's programs, outreach and internship, student teacher host. This locator enables community organizations and others to find resources near them and promote joint action
On March 5, 2018, AUC joined with Illinois Campus Compact, Asset Based Community Development, University of Chicago and University of Illinois Chicago to host “Campus Meets Community: Sustaining Reciprocal Partnerships.” This conference attracted 100 community organization and university representatives and successfully implemented one of the recommendations from the “Forging Partnerships” event.
*not all relevant programs may be found in this initial version of the Snapshot.