EAST ST LOUIS ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT

[ Update ]

Newsletter

September/October 2002

Contents

Since August, the East St. Louis Action Research Project team has expanded to include three new staff at the Neighborhood Technical Assistance Center (NTAC). Ms. Billie Turner has been hired to coordinate activities for non-profit organizations, including the establishment at NTAC of a not for profit "incubator" which will provide members of boards with resources and training. East St. Louis is Billie's home, and she has quickly become a valued participant in coordinating U of I outreach weekends in the community. Billie has a degree in History from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and is currently working on a Master's in History.

Ms. Carole Mayhall also joined the NTAC staff in August. Carole is primarily responsible for managing two major grants. The first is The Bonner Foundation National Higher Education Community Based Research Project. Dedicated to connecting campus-based faculty and students to community-based organizations (CBOs), this project seeks to empower community-based organizations while engaging faculty, students and community members in addressing significant neighborhood issues. The second project involves the Illinois Workforce Advantage Program (IWA), a multi-faceted program, designed to enrich and strengthen social services and programs to help individuals, families and neighborhoods become more self-sufficient. ESLARP will make available several mini grants for developing and implementing local community development projects in the East St. Louis/Enterprise area. Carole earned a BA in Sociology from Principia and a Master of Social Work degree from Washington University, St. Louis.

On November 14, Mr. Chad Thilborger will assume the leadership of the NTAC office as Visiting Director. Chad is responsible for managing NTAC and for facilitating communication among community partners, NTAC and campus faculty and staff. Chad earned a BA in Philosophy from St. Louis University followed by a Master's degree in communication, also from SLU, where he holds an appointment as an adjunct instructor in the Department of Communication. He has been active in several professional organizations including the Metro East Lead Collaborative and the Latino Roundtable. Most recently he served as Director of Community Health Education at Saint Mary's Hospital. His leadership experience, knowledge, and passion for the community of East St. Louis, Chad is well suited to the role of Visiting Director.

Mike Andrejasich and Jassen Johnson Receive the Campus Award for Excellence in Public Service

The Campus Award for Excellence in Public Engagement recognizes faculty members, academic professionals, staff, and students who, in exemplary ways, have engaged society around critical issues in a manner that contributes to the public good. Those recognized with the campus award have used their knowledge and skills to address the technological, social, and economic challenges in Illinois. Each of our award winners has responded to a critical issue in society in ways that created interaction between the University and its communities of scholars and the communities of citizens.

Professor Andrejasich and Jassen Johnson were presented the Campus Award for Excellence in Public Service on Monday, September 23, 2002. The reception began at 4:30 p.m., with a welcome from Steven Schomberg, Associate Chancellor and Award Presentations by Nancy Cantor, Chancellor. The reception was located in the Atrium of Temple Hoyne Buell Hall.

Read more about it at: http://www.eslarp.uiuc.edu/news/campusaward2002/index.htm

ESLARP Co-Sponsors Rays of Hope Conference

The Rays of Hope Conference was a two-day conference held at the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Boys & Girls Club on Oct. 22-23. The general focus of the conference was using traditional and nontraditional approaches to building sustainable communities, to attracting businesses to the inner city and to redeveloping brownfields. The conference was co-sponsored by the Community Affairs department of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's East St. Louis Action Research Project.

Read more about it at: http://www.eslarp.uiuc.edu/clips/raysofhope02.html

Fall Semester Courses/Studios

ARCH 373 Graduate Design Studio -a comprehensive study of the Alta Sita neighborhood and a complete design of a housing development project

UP 260 Social Inequality and Social Welfare Planning - East St. Louis Oral History Project (South End Neighborhood)

LIS 315 Introduction to Networked Information Systems - Creation of Community Technology Centers (CTC)

View course descriptions at: http://www.eslarp.uiuc.edu/courses/

September and October Outreach Weekends

During two weekends in Sept. and Oct. the ESLARP team headed down to East St. Louis to engage in some rigorous projects. Over 150 students, staff, and volunteers worked side by side with residents in order to complete 14 projects. With hard work and dedication we were able to cleanup the tennis courts in Lincoln Park, clear garbage and weeds off a number of lots, fix-up a house, clean the Illinois Ave. Playground, Bolden Community Garden and Jones Park Fountain, paint the basement of Bride of Christ Church, design and construct NO DUMPING signs for the SENDO Organization, assist with the Clean Water Action publicity event, and assist with a resident survey in the Edgemont Neighborhood. Both weekends were a total success and ESLARP will be organizing another Outreach Weekend in November.

See photos from the weekends at:
http://www.eslarp.uiuc.edu/outreach/0209/
http://www.eslarp.uiuc.edu/outreach/0210/

Digital ESL Collaborative

The Digital ESL Collaborative led by NTAC staff and Prairienet staff (from campus) has been quite active. In East St. Louis and the surrounding communities six new computer labs were established during the last semester. This semester another six labs are being established. These bring the total to 20 new public computer labs within the last two years. NTAC has also started a program with Americorps. Two young people have joined NTAC for one year to learn about technology and assist with the technology needs of Digital ESL members. This provides education and experience for the Americorps youth and training and trouble shooting assistance for the computer labs. One of the major difficulties faced by the Digital ESL Collaborative is access to the Internet. NTAC and Prairienet are completing a wireless network, which will provide Internet access for up to 24 collaborative members. The first phase (10 labs) will be operational this month.

Take a look at the DigitalESL website: http://www.digitalesl.org

ESLARP Conducts Study on Abusive Lending Practices

Faculty and student assistants from ESLARP began a yearlong study of mortgage lending and foreclosures for St. Clair County, during the summer of 2002. ESLARP's study is part of a larger examination of "fair housing" in St. Clair County, funded by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). ESLARP's study is examining the extent and distribution of mortgage foreclose in St. Clair County and investigating abusive loan practices that have resulted in increasing mortgage foreclosure, home loss, and vacant properties.

New NTAC Brochure Available Online

We have updated our NTAC Brochure. It includes an updated Mission Statement, Program Activities and information about the DigitalESL Collaborative. You can view the brochure online and print a copy for yourself at: http://www.eslarp.uiuc.edu/ntac/NTACbrochure.pdf

East St. Louis News From The Web

News items have been added to the website. Headlines include:

Links to articles can be found at: http://www.eslarp.uiuc.edu/update/#fromtheweb


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Last modified: 04 April 2002, Deanna Koenigs
EAST ST LOUIS ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT