Illini Summer Academies plans, 2009

isa_logoIllini Summer Academies is a three-day event providing Illinois teens opportunities to explore the University of Illinois campus, study potential careers, develop leadership skills, and meet with youth from across the state. One of the nine academies will be on Youth Community Informatics, in which youth will learn about GPS/GIS, video editing, and other digital communication tools as means for contributing to their own communities.

alumnicenterThe Academies are open to youth in grades 8-12. They take place from June 29-July 1 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Delegates live in college dormitories and tour the campus. Joint activities for all delegates offer opportunities to meet with those attending different academies and with youth from around the state. These include opening and closing sessions, activities every evening, and a formal banquet at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center.

The Illini Summer Academies are just one among many camps and activities for youth offered by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign during 2009.

eTourism and community informatics

Just saw a notice for ENTER (eTourism) conference, scheduled for Amsterdam in 2009. What caught my eye were sessions on community informatics, user-generated content, accessibility, cultural heritage, online communities, and other topics related to community informatics. One of the speakers is Ulrike Gretzel, who earned her PhD here in 2004 in Communication, with a specialty in etourism.

It’s interesting to reflect on eTourism in relation to community informatics, both in terms of the underlying similarities in approach and because it’s one avenue for students to take. Tourism is the largest business in the world and the most IT-intensive. It’s also the major means of survival for many in impoverished communities.

The mission of our own tourism department is

to understand and promote the development and sustainability of healthy communities and advance quality of life and well-being of individuals, families, and communities through parks, recreation, sport, and tourism.

Compare that to the mission of the Community Informatics Initiative:

works with people to develop information and communication technologies to achieve their goals. It fosters collaborations across campus, local, national and international communities. Together we build innovative community networks, community technology centers, software, and library services.

Community as Intellectual Space: Aesthetics as Resistance

CIS flyer The 4th Annual Community as Intellectual Space symposium is being held this week at Paseo Boricua in Chicago, June 13-15. Events will start at the Puerto Rican Cultural Center (PRCC), 2739/41 W. Division (near corner of Division and California).

This year, the focus is on Aesthetics as Resistance: The Act of Community Building. There will be artist-led tours of the beautiful murals found throughout the neighborhood, the annual People’s Parade, a delicious Puerto Rican dinner, workshops on community-education activities as diverse as urban agriculture and computer programming for children using Squeak, meetings with local Humboldt Park/Paseo Boricua community and government leaders, including Rep. Luis Gutierrez and Rep. Cynthia Soto, and panels on liberatory education. [Click to enlarge the poster or follow the link above for more details.]

Aesthetics as Resistance promises an active dialogue on art, identity, and cross-cultural community building with community leaders, artists, educators, librarians, activists, students, and residents. It expresses the PRCC’s vision to build community grounded in cultural practice, including murals, poetry, music, and the People’s Parade. These practices are both creative and political acts to develop community out of local funds of knowledge.

Paseo Boricua has a motto: ‘Live and help others to live.’ It is known for its multigenerational and holistic community activism around human rights and social change. Education is structured around the belief that ‘the community is the curriculum,’ reflecting the ideas of Paulo Freire and providing a contemporary version of Hull House.

With its many academic partnerships, Paseo Boricua also provides an outstanding example of university-community collaboration in research, teaching and public engagement. For example, last year the community hosted a tour and visit for the John Dewey Society. This furthered dialogue around how the community answers Dewey’s call for critical, socially-engaged citizens, for an active public, and for education as lived experience.

[This announcement is also posted on the John Dewey Society Social Issues blog.]