Spotlight . . .


Community - Campus Day of Service

April 5, 2014

On Saturday, April 5th, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign kicked off National Volunteer Week with an inaugural Community-Campus Day of Service. Over 60 students, faculty and staff worked with six community partners on seven projects to complete pre-construction projects, community garden spring preparation projects, flyering in the community, reorganizing classrooms at Tap in Leadership Academy, cataloging choral literature, and preparing a Bee Garden. A big thank you goes out to all who helped on April 5!


Enriching perspectives through community engagement

FAA 391 Fall 2010

FAA 391: Action Research Seminar

Educating for Change: How Housing Issues Become Public Knowledge

Instructor: Abby Harmon
Office: 325 Noble Hall
Phone: 265-6341

Meets: Wednesdays 2-5PM, 317 Noble Hall 
Plus one trip to East St. Louis as needed
(All expenses covered by ESLARP).
Credit hours: 3

This course is designed for upper-level undergraduate students who have an interest in learning how to use research to create social change.  In this course, you will have the opportunity to develop diverse research skills and knowledge, and apply these to real life needs in the community.  This course is embedded within ESLARP, an interdisciplinary project dedicated to improving social issues in East St. Louis and Champaign-Urbana, as well as other communities.   

This semester, we will delve into housing issues in Champaign-Urbana.  During the first 4-week phase of the course, students will learn about housing policy at the community level through exploration of municipal documents and reports, as well as learn about housing issues in the community.  Students will also have the opportunity to share their own experiences to develop a common understanding of the role of housing in our everyday lives.  This knowledge will lay the foundation from which students will embark on the project phase of the course.  No prior knowledge of housing policy is necessary to take this course. 

The remaining 12 weeks of the course are devoted to researching, designing, and executing a 2-part educational workshop for community groups.  City governments produce many policy-related plans and reports that impact the community, but community members are often not able to access the information (anyone who has read a municipal report understands why!).  In this course, we will translate these documents into workshops that communicate the information in the documents in ways that the general public can understand.  These workshops are designed to promote awareness and understanding of housing issues in the community through providing community groups with visually appealing, interactive forms of communication.  This style of workshop is based on a format developed by the NYC-based Center for Urban Pedagogy (  I had the opportunity to participate in a CUP-hosted workshop in 2009 and found it to be very effective in engaging and educating the public.  We will be designing workshops that focus on housing issues in Champaign-Urbana and tailoring it to the community groups with which we interact.     

Course Syllabus

Course Schedule

Students' Final Project Deliverable

Schedule and Readings:

Week 1 (8/25)
Introduction to course principles and ESLARP

Week 2 (9/1)
Quercia, Roberto G., and Bates, Lisa K. “The Neglect of America’s Housing: Consequences and Policy Responses.” Millennial Housing Commission, 2002.

Baker, Dean. “Who’s Dreaming? Homeownership Among Low Income Families.” Center for Economic and Policy Research briefing paper, 2005.

Lecture: The Importance of Housing

** Homework #1 due.

Week 3 (9/8)
Hirsch, Arnold. “Containment on the home front: race and federal housing policy from the New Deal to the Cold War.” Journal of Urban History 26.2 (2000): 158-189.

Lecture: History of Federal Housing Policy

Outreach Weekend Trip to East St. Louis 9/10-9/11

Week 4 (9/15)

What Is Affordable Housing? NYC Edition. Envisioning Development Guide No. 1. Brooklyn: The Center for Urban Pedagogy, 2009. Read pages 8-23, 30-41, 117-120 (Glossary)

City of Urbana and Urbana HOME Consortium FY 2010-2014 Consolidated Plan. Read pages i- vi, 1-3

City of Champaign FY 2010-2014 Consolidated Plan. Read pages ix-xii

Lecture: Local Housing Programs
City CDBG and Home Programs by John Schneider

Week 5 (9/22)
What Is Affordable Housing? NYC Edition. Envisioning Development Guide No. 1. Brooklyn: The Center for Urban Pedagogy, 2009. Read pages 86-116

Housing Resources Scarce, Especially for Families in Need

Affordable Rental Housing Continues to be "Out of Reach" for Minimum Wage Workers

Thousands Live on Edge of Economic Despair in County

Lecture: Using the U.S. Census

Census Laboratory

** Homework #2 due

Week 6 (9/29)
Translating Data Laboratory

** Homework #3 due

Week 7 (10/6)
Continuing data translation with CDBG and HOME data

Week 8  (10/13)
**Finalized workshop materials due

First Workshop Presentation to Uni High Students, 1pm, 10/14, University High School

Week 9  (10/20)
All students will participate in Workshop #1—Date and Time TBD

Week 10  (10/27)
Assemble data from Workshop #1

**Reflection paper due

Week 11  (11/3)
Working with Regional Housing Study Data

Week 12  (11/10)
**Finalized workshop materials due

Week 13  (11/17)
Class optional; TBD

All students will participate in Workshop #2—Date and Time TBD

Week 14  (11/24)-NO CLASS FALL BREAK

Week 15  (12/1)
**Individual report sections due

Week 16  (12/8)
Wrap-up, reflection, ICES

**Report rough draft due

*** Final Report Due By Friday, December 17 at 4:30 pm***


Additional Resources:

Resource Guide



Last updated on 7/22/2011
Action Research Illinois University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Fine and Applied Arts
326 Noble Hall, MC-549 1209 South Fourth Street Champaign, Illinois 61820 (217) 265-0202 Fax: (217) 244-9320