Visioning Statement

Computers and connectivity are crucial to access a range of  online information and tools that individuals need not just to  survive, but also to thrive.  Access to computing devices and  internet connectivity are now essential for modern life and should be a basic human right for all people in our  community.

Accordingly, our vision is for this campus-community compact  to establish and fund sufficient community resources to ensure that all residents, regardless of race, ethnicity,

neighborhood location, economic status or other identities will  have access to computing devices, digital literacy training, and dependable, affordable internet connectivity.

Priority Areas

  • Establish and staff an IT hub that will provide both onsite and community-based support and services through satellite sites, with a goal of insuring that all people in our community have effective access to and use of internet technologies. This new  community IT support- network will help connect underserved individuals with  affordable, recycled computing devices; offer community help desk services, and  deliver digital literacy training programs for all people in a location close to where they  live.
  • In addition, the staff of the IT hub will serve as an IT resource to help plan and implement IT components of community initiatives advanced by other focus areas within the campus-community compact.
  • At the same time, the staff of the IT Hub can help identify BIPOC youth in our community who show interest in further education; the staff will work to connect or establish pathway programs to work (trades, certification, etc.) and college for all  BIPOC youth. The staff will collaborate with local service providers to develop  internships and job opportunities.
  • Finally, the staff of the IT hub will work with all local internet service providers (ISP’s) to improve service for previously underserved individuals and will work especially closely with i3Broadband and the UC2B board to more fully utilize our existing all-fiber  backbone network.

We envision a future in which the university and  community strive to be mutually interactive – where the  university is a welcoming place that shares expertise and  resources, and in which the community and university  forge a vibrant partnership to combat racism and  systemic inequities.

Priority Areas

  • Carefully listening to diverse community members in establishing compact priorities and providing resources for sustainability and for clearly communicating results to key stakeholders.
  • Creating dual and mutually reinforcing strategies for opening up our campus to diverse community members while simultaneously engaging our campus with community initiatives on racial issues.
  • Establishing critical values to guide all endeavors associated with the compact, such as broad inclusion in framing and implementing initiatives, assuring a focus on those most impacted  by racism, consistency of commitment and participation, and high-quality dissemination of information and projects.
We – the university and Champaign County community – commit to more  equitable economic growth in our community through the deliberate  identification of historical barriers to economic growth in underserved  communities, providing cultural and equitable access to all resources,  empowering those directly impacted to create real economic change, and the  commitment to creating a pathway to ongoing inclusion. Culturally-responsive outreach efforts create a systemic and centralized  apparatus for communicating and coordinating efforts to empower minority-  owned businesses to develop and flourish. The economic revitalization of  communities has lasting downstream consequences for community economic  well-being and resilience. Efforts are driven and rigorously measured by  county-level metrics (e.g., unemployment and poverty rates). UIUC and  Champaign County become a model for how universities can leverage their  resources to create economically inclusive and flourishing communities. UIUC  should ensure that its resources are equitably available to all segments of our  community, with special attention to those underserved. Priority Areas
  • Broadly help small and micro-businesses develop and achieve sustainability.
    • ◦ Business incubator
  • Grow business and expand economic activity in neighborhoods
    • ◦ Create incentives for generative businesses to move to areas where there  are voids in the community, which in turn can foster additional economic  growth (e.g., by attracting other businesses, or utilizing federal  (opportunity zones; and state  funding (R3; programs.
      ◦ Create opportunities for residents to gain and maintain employment in  those businesses.
  • Increase minority participation in the workforce through means other than workforce development – both at the micro and macro levels.
      ◦ Examine how major employers in Champaign-Urbana, such as the University of Illinois, can employ more members of the CU community  (e.g., through hiring practices, policies, and procedures).
  • Make economic development information accessible and culturally responsive.

Our vision of Champaign-Urbana is one of a community that welcomes increasingly diverse cohorts of students who represent a wide array of cultures and ethnicities; a community that invests in and offers an  accessible and engaging array of learning and individual growth  opportunities.

Priority Areas

  • Restoring opportunity
  • Community based information delivery service
  • Professional development
Champaign area residents understand what it takes to thrive in the  workforce and have a clear understanding of the career pathways  available to them at various stages of their careers and the resources they can take advantage of as they navigate these pathways. Priority Areas
  • Job readiness skills
    • ◦ Including soft-skills, job-seeking skills, and the ability to see oneself in a career
  • Educational attainment
    • ◦ Including high school graduation and pursuing other post- secondary vocational development opportunities
  • Barriers to employment
    • ◦ Including things like transportation, childcare and criminal record
  • Intentional collaboration
    • ◦ There are 25+ local workforce programs – how can they better collaborate?
  • The goal of assuring physical, mental, and emotional health and wellness for all  communities and all community members faces immense threats from structural inequities  that disadvantage communities of color and other marginalized, underserved communities  through their disproportionate exposure to violence, trauma, adverse life experiences, and  adverse community environments. These critical social determinants, together with  structural inequities in access to health care*, create increased risk of chronic disease and  poorer life outcomes. Our 5-year vision is to establish a Center for Community Health that, with dedicated  community-campus partnership, collective and committed public-health oriented  education and action to address structural inequities, and shared leadership of community-health and health-equity programs with sustainable infrastructure support, will make our  communities demonstrably more safe, more healthy, more resilient to adversity, and more  just, and will be nationally recognized as a model.

    *“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane”- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

    Priority Areas
    • Work with mental, behavioral, physical health care and other wellness providers, funders, organizations, and stakeholders to make health equity and addressing violence a strategic priority.
    • Develop formal and informal structures that address health equity and structural inequities.
    • Work collaboratively with the community, partners, and key stakeholders on targeted campaigns and initiatives to address structural inequities and the social determinants of health.
    • Develop strategies and solutions that address racism in our helping and heath care systems, organizations, and provider network.
    • Work collaboratively with communities, community organizations and providers that have been historically impacted by racism and structural violence to create equitable structures and sustainable solutions.
      *Modified from the Institute of Health Care Improvement – Achieving Health Care Equity