Police Chiefs Updates:
The Police Chiefs Updates began at the 4:30 minute mark in the video. Topics included the first homicide in Champaign, a separate shooting incident at Marketplace Mall, the County Sheriff's annual report and other topics. UIPD's interim chief introduced himself after Chief Stone moved back to Ohio. and talked about the upcoming Youth Leadership Camp (more information and application for that program here). WCIA had coverage that highlighted the chiefs talking about safe spaces at local police stations for on-line and other sales exchanges. From WCIA earlier this week:
Champaign, Urbana and the U of I’s police stations are all “internet exchange purchase locations.” In other words, they are “safe zones.” That means you can go there to meet up with a buyer to make sure things go off without a hitch.Full article here with a video segment. Urbana Police also noted the recent training completion for the new School Resource Officers (more on that at a recent Cheat Sheet post here).
However, police officers have other tips you can use to protect yourself. “You obviously don’t know who you’re selling this stuff to, so don’t have them come to your house,” said Matt Myrick, Interim Chief of Police for UIPD Don’t let them know where you live, or your personal residence is. Meet them at a public place. If you don’t want to come to the police departments, that’s fine. But at least meet them at some kind of public place, where there’s lots of people around that you can use to get help if you need it.”
A Community Schools presentation is available at the 27:00 minute mark of the video. The Community Coalition has a tight schedule so she wasn't able to make her full presentation at the meeting. A full presentation with slide links and Q & A with the Unit 4 school board is available from last week at this Cheat Sheet post here for additional information.
Jameel Jones highlighted an empowerment program for teen girls that's part of the That's What She Said Project whose national director was recently highlighted in the News-Gazette here. A quick description of the teen program from its website:
That’s What Teens Say is a 3-Day immersion program – no cell phones allowed – that takes girls through confidence building exercises, improv games, and developing and writing their personal stories….which culminates in a final story-sharing performance...More information available from the That's What Teens Say program website here. More information on the whole That's What She Said project at their main website here.
That’s What Teens Say was originally created by Jenette Jurczyk of The She Said Project and Erin Tarr of Be the Benchmark in Champaign, Illinois. Be the Benchmark offers in depth teen and tween mentoring and confidence coaching.
Karen Simms had an update on the Trauma Resiliency Initiative (at the 48 minute mark of the video) that included a call for more volunteers to work on-call with those affected by trauma in partnership with Carle. More information from a TRI facebook post:
We are still looking for individuals who might be willing to provide a meaningful role in supporting individuals and families impacted by gun violence.Contact information and additional details at that facebook post here. Simms also highlighted Helen Neville's work with the #PowerUp project, "a youth participatory action research project exploring youth civic and community engagement." There are couple specific neighborhood safety meetings coming up in Urbana March 3rd at Salt & Light and Champaign the month after that. More details on those safety meetings to come.
Whatever your gifts are – we need for you!
However, we are especially looking for individuals who :
· Might be willing to participate in our response efforts at Carle & in the community*
· Who want to make a commitment to serve on a care team to provide support to a family/individual impacted by gun violence,
· And/or individuals who want to part of our mental health support network*!
Facilitator Tracy Parsons spoke after Karen Simms and had an overview of the violence response work being done to build infrastructure and address the needs of the community through TRI and other Community Coalition efforts.
Lodgic Everyday Community had a presentation on their non-profit facility in town (introduced at the 55:50 mark in the video), the Kids Camp, events and other services. The video presentation begins here at the minute mark. A quick overview from Lodgic's about page on their website:
Lodgic is an ambitious new concept to do more of what the Moose have been doing since 1888. The Moose is one of the original fraternal service organizations that shaped the 20th century in America. We were doing great things for communities across America long before Fred and Barney joined Bedrock’s Water Buffalo Lodge.More information at their website here.
We’ve been supporting communities, inspiring working families, and caring for at-risk children for more than 100 years. Lodgic is an all-new way for a new generation to participate in the timelessly good things we've always stood for — to work hard, take care of each other, and have fun.
There was also an overview of the upcoming 2020 Census work and the importance of getting everyone counted locally at the 1:09:30 mark in the video. It included information about what to expect, what questions Census takers don't ask and how they identify themselves. It also had an update on the ongoing hiring for Census workers and how to apply at the 2020 Census hiring website here.
Other Community Programs in the News:
An area Peace Meal program was looking for volunteers, especially for delivery in various locations in the County. From WCIA:
A program that delivers meals to seniors is in need of volunteers. It’s called the Peace Meal program, and it’s about more than just food. These volunteers also check on clients and make sure they’re doing okay. That lets them be independent longer.More information at the full article here. More contact information on the program at its website here and older overview from the Rantoul Press here.
Most of them would be delivery drivers. The meals will already be packaged and bagged. All volunteers will have to do is pick them up and hit the road. These volunteers can have a short conversation with the clients and make sure they’re doing okay. This is important because most of the clients are seniors and need someone to check on them. It also lets family members know they don’t have to worry. In many cases, meal deliveries are the best part of the clients’ day.
There was an update on the Peace Pilgrimage of Centennial High School students to the non-violence training center in Atlanta. From the News-Gazette last week:
The trip is hosted by Centennial’s after-school Empower club, which works to dismantle rape culture and gender-equality issues.More at the full article here. The group made a presentation at the December 2019 Community Coalition covered in a Cheat Sheet post here.
Most of the students heading to Atlanta today are members of Empower, but others volunteered, had violence impact their lives in some way or were nominated by school administrators.
With every trip comes a price tag, but Hindes said all participants have been actively raising funds to keep costs as low as possible. Every student attending is on a scholarship, so no one has to pay full price for the trip.
The United Way was in the news for it's support of local dental care and expanding services for the homeless. From a WCCU blurb:
The agency said it has committed $50,000 for three years to help Promise Healthcare cover the salary of a second dentist at the Smile Healthy Dental Center.Full blurb available here with a brief video segment. The News-Gazette had additional coverage and details here. The United Way also recently honored the Champaign County Community Coalition's facilitator, Tracy Parsons, as a "Difference Maker." More on that from News-Gazette coverage earlier this month:
Another $50,000 over three years will go to C-U at Home, to help merge with Austin's Place.
“It’s very humbling to receive an award like this,” said Tracy Parsons, who also serves as Champaign’s community-relations manager. “There are a lot of people that I work with through the Community Coalition that helped make this happen, so it’s not an individualized award, but it’s certainly humbling, and I’m very appreciative of the recognition.”More information about the event at the full article here. Parsons reiterated his view at this February meeting that the recognition belongs to the people who attend and work through the Community Coalition to help each other.
The Community Coalition works with various local groups to improve youth development and community engagement, and curb gun violence...
The United Way of Champaign County noted that Parsons works at all hours to help those affected by trauma from gun violence and that he also mentors young people and supports after-school opportunities.