Links from the Youth Community Informatics (YCI) program relating to local African-Americans

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Links from the Youth Community Informatics (YCI) program relating to local African-Americans





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Champaign teens document community’s perspective on poverty.

Location: Champaign, IL

Three Champaign Centennial High School students are producing a three-part radio series addressing the topic of poverty in their community with the help of GSLIS student and former reporter Moustafa Ayad. The students, Raisha Mitchel, Clorissa Mainor and Christina Coleman are part of a community journalism project, funded by the Youth Community Informatics (YCI) IMLS grant, called Community Care and Research. The project is providing the students with research techniques and community-based journalism skills that allow them to explore topics that are important to their lives.

Ayad and his students recently visited Amplified Librarians, a Monday night radio show on WRFU hosted by two GSLIS students, to share the first part of their series. The segment discusses why the group chose to focus on the topic of poverty, how the topic personally affects them and their community and the background research they performed to prepare for their project.

Part two of the series chronicles the group’s visit to a North Champaign polling place on Election Day to talk to local residents about poverty. Interview subjects discussed how poverty affects their health and the community at-large, as well as how they believed the presidential candidates would address poverty in America.


In Search of Hip Hop Express Upcoming for Summer 2010

(Above is a mock up of the wrap design for the “In Search of Hip Hop Express”)


Youth, particularly African Americans that live in the northern parts of the community, have expressed that young people get into trouble for two main reasons. The first is that they do what others do in their community as a means to survive. The second is that they have never really seen anything other than what is on their block or in the community. This project was conceptualized to address those two issues.

Project Philosophy

In Search of Hip Hop Express is conceptually designed to function as a modern day Jessup Wagon. The Jessup Wagon was a school on wheels developed by the great agricultural scientist, George Washington Carver, to educate black and white farmers in the early 1900s and later adopted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Morris K. Jessup, a philanthropist from New York funded the project. Both Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver believed that if farmers wouldn’t come to Tuskegee, then Tuskegee would go to them. Now, Fast-forward a century, In Search of Hip Hop Express is steeped in that same philosophy. However, our mission is to extend the civic engagement and service mission of the University of Illinois by utilizing the aesthetic elements of urban America culture, namely Hip Hop to “scale up” the idea of the Jessup Wagon to reach potentially at-risk young people.

Approach and Goals

University of Illinois students will serve as multi-media mentors to young people involved in the project, working particularly with Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club to identify young people involved in their Comcast Media Lab to inspire them to learn how to use media to promote and develop responsible events that build and sustain community for young people.




"Links from the Youth Community Informatics (YCI) program relating to local African-Americans," in eBlack Champaign-Urbana, Item #272, http://eblackcu.net/portal/items/show/272 (accessed July 14, 2020).

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