EAST ST LOUIS ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT

[ Update ]

News From ESLARP's Eastern Front

by Ken Reardon
ESLARP's Ithaca Correspondent

As all of you know, Kathy and I are spending our sabbatical year in Ithaca, New York where I am working on a book-length manuscript on ESLARP's empowerment planning efforts in ESL and Kathy is completing her last six credits for a Masters in Industrial and Labor Relations. I have written almost 65,000 words for the ESL book which I have tentatively titles, "Wading in the Water: The Emergence of Empowerment Planning In East St. Louis". While in NY, I have had the opportunity to share our ESLARP experiences with many different audiences. During the Summer, I worked with Kirk Goodrich and Michelle Whetter, two former ESLARP RA's, to offer a seminar on particpatory planning methods for ninety leaders from various NJ-based CDCs. They were very interested in ESLARP's "bottom-up, bottom-sideways approach" to planning and design. Recently, I did a second seminar for these leaders which focused on specific outreach techniques!

In September, I participated in the Campus Compact's National Advisory Board Meeting in Providence where I met several representatives of major foundations who I hope we can interest in our work. Last month, I spoke at the second Community/University/Corporation Partnership conference held in Salt lake City which was funded by the GE Fund. The thirteen local partnerships funded by GE were very interested in the collaborative methods and techniques we have developed to involve local residents in the neighborhood planning process. Last week, I prersented the ESLARP slideshow to a group of twenty-five university faculty from eight campuses in NJ, NY and PA funded by the Kellogg Commission. They were particularly interested in the way we use participatory action research methods in the planning process.

Last weekend I returned to East St. Louis to represent ESLARP at the Annual Meeting and Awards Presentation of the East-West Gateway Coordinating Council where two of ESLARP's longest community partners were honored - Ms. Ceola Davis and EPDC. It was very touching and moving for Kathy and I to witness Ms. Davis receive her award in recognition for her thirty years of selfless service to the people of ESL. We were also delighted to see Mr. Ricard Suttles receive a second achievement award on behalf of EPDC for their comprehensive neighborhood planing and development efforts. During our visit, we had a chance to hear about the outstanding work being done by Cathy Klump, LaTonya Burton (Webb) and Craig Miller.

We will try to keep you posted regarding our activities as the year progresses! If any of you are in the Ithaca area, please feel free to drop by! ESLARPIANS and FORMER ESLARPIANS are always welcome!!! Just consider our apartment - the Sar Est Wing of the Ramada Inn.

Last modified: 22 November 1999, Deanna Koenigs
EAST ST LOUIS ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT