Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Y's Global Health Initiative (GHI) Team goes to Sierra Leone next week to explore possible GHI partnership!

The Global Health Initiative (GHI) team will be visiting Njala University in Sierra Leone at the beginning of February to explore the possibility of a Global Health partnership. The team consists of 3 College of Medicine students, 1 representative of the YMCA and 2 faculty from the university.       

The University YMCA's Global Health Initiative (GHI) started this fall semester with the purpose to launch a community-based international partnership in global health, which will become a long-term focal point for global engagement involving the broader University of Illinois campus community. The project made a call for partnerships in the summer.

We received 6 partnership proposals from current existing partnerships from different campus departments and/or individuals. The six proposals we received consisted of four partnerships from Africa; Malawi, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Uganda and two from Latin America; Guatemala and Panama. 

The University YMCA is currently in the process of visiting the 3 sites this spring semester to meet with different constituents and determine which site to partner with. On February, a delegation will travel to Sierra Leone. Future trips to Uganda and/or Guatemala will be done in late May/early June if necessary.

After visiting the sites, a decision will be made in the summer to select a Global Health partnership. Once the partnership is selected, we hope to begin working on service learning trips for the fall 2014 semester.  

Learn more at universityymca.org/international/partnerships

Monday, January 27, 2014

This Saturday, help us make C-U the most immigrant friendly community in Illinois!

On Saturday, February 1st, please join us for the 2014 C-U Immigration Forum Retreat

We sometimes need a chance to catch up each other on the issues and the news, and to discuss, prioritize the resources, and plan out strategy to meet the challenges. This year, there yet may be reform at the national level but we have the opportunity of very willing state and local governments to be immigrant friendly; we have learned that when we organize, the contribution and plight of immigrants can be changed positively. 

We need your help to plan and execute programs for making Champaign-Urbana the most immigrant friendly community in Illinois. With you, we can make it happen. 

When: Saturday, February 1st from 1-4 PM

Where: University YMCA 
1001 S. Wright St.
Parking is available behind the building. Refreshments will be served.

Please RSVP at the link below:


We have now drafted the agenda and it includes:

-Updating each other in the national debate on immigration reform

-Figure out some of the possible policy proposals that we can prepare for

-Tweak the way we have been helping people with their paperwork for driver licenses, youth brought as children, and on becoming citizens; help people advocate for themselves

-We will also be forming new working groups to smooth out communication, provide for new leaders, and help our monthly meetings be more streamlined

This is a good time to come, get more informed on one particular topic and get involved in another facet of the immigration debate or service to immigrants

We hope to see you there!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Press Release--Beyond GDP Growth: Spring 2014 Friday Forum lecture series announced

For Immediate Release
January 23,2014

[Champaign-Urbana, IL] The University YMCA announces the Spring 2014 Friday Forum lecture series, Rethinking Security: Community Approaches to Economic Development. The series runs from January 31st to April 18, 2014. Notable speakers include Saru Jayaraman, Co-Director of the Restaurant Opportunities Center and author of Behind the Kitchen Door: The Real Cost of Dining Out, Paul Glover, founder of Ithaca Hours, and others.

The Spring 2014 Friday Forum series, Rethinking Security: Community Approaches to Economic Development, will challenge mainstream conceptions of economic security and center economic development on ensuring true security to our communities in areas such as food, housing, income, and health-care.

Why: “This series will bring a year-long look at American security to a close, from rethinking incarceration as means to security to exploring ways to achieve security by bringing economic perspectives to the center,” says University YMCA Program Director Kasey Umland.  “We are looking forward to a series that looks beyond GDP growth and offers economic alternatives that provide true economic security to all members of our society.”

When: Fridays at 12noon during the spring and fall semesters. The Spring 2014 schedule is provided below.

Where: Latzer Hall | University YMCA, 1001 S. Wright Street

Sponsored by: Wesley United Methodist Church, Wesley Foundation at the U of I, Institute of Genomic Biology, Center for Advanced Study, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Resource Center, Center for Business and Public Policy, Russ Rybicki, AIF, of Progressive Asset Management Group, the Socially Responsible Division of Financial West Group, Nancy Dietrich, Graduate Employees Organization, Dept of Recreation, Sport, and Tourism, International Programs and Studies, Prairie Research Institute, College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences, Social Action Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Church, Asian American Cultural Center, Dept of Urban and Regional Planning, Chapel of St. John the Divine, Dept of Latina/Latino Studies, Dept of Sociology, College of Nursing, Dept of French, Dept of Political Science, C-U Branch of AAUW, Channing Murray Foundation, Urbana Champaign Friends Meeting, Jobs with Justice and The Office of Public Engagement and The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Access at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Department of African American Studies

Additional Information: Friday Forum is a weekly lectures series held in the fall and spring semesters that strives to raise awareness about national and international trends and events. Friday Forum lectures are typically followed by a Q&A. The views expressed by the speakers do not necessarily reflect the views of the University YMCA, co-sponsors, or the Friday Forum committee. A sign language interpreter is available with a 72 hours notice (contact Carol Nunn at 217-337-1500). All forums are radio broadcast at 6:00 p.m. on WEFT 90.1 the Monday following the lecture. Video recorded lectures can be found on YouTube.

Spring 2014 Friday Forum lecture series schedule:

January 31-Addressing Food Insecurity in the United States
Craig Gundersen, Soybean Industry Endowed Professor of Agricultural Strategy
Executive Director, National Soybean Research Laboratory

February 7-The Power of Community Currency
Paul Glover, Founder of Ithaca Hours

February 14-Global Poverty: What is to be Done--and Why?
David Schweikart, Professor of Philosophy, Loyola University Chicago

February 21-Behind the Kitchen Door: The Real Cost of Dining Out
Saru Jayaraman, Co-director of the Restaurant Opportunities Center

February 28-Redefining Security and Abundance Through a Permaculture Lens
Bill Wilson, Lead Certifying Instructor and Co-founder of Midwest Permaculture

March 7-Working to Make Chicago the Most Immigrant Friendly City in the U.S.
Adolfo Hernandez, Director, Chicago Office of New Americans

March 14-Domestic Microfinance, Credit Unions, and Payday Loans
A panel featuring Robin Greiner of Accion Chicago. More panel speakers to be announced.

April 4-Dreaming Beyond the Rolling Jubilee: Towards a Debt Strike and Global Jubilee
Thomas Gokey, Co-founder of Rolling Jubilee and organizer for Strike Debt

Aprill 11-Cooperatives-Creating a Community of Wealth
Jacqueline Hannah, General Manager of Common Ground Food Co-Op

April 18-Consumer Futures in the Healthcare Marketplace
Daniel Yunker, CEO, Land of Lincoln Health

For media inquiries, contact:
Megan Flowers, Communications Director
[217-337-1500, email: 


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Press Release: LGBT religious leaders speak out through photography exhibition

Press Release
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, January 14, 2014

For Media Inquiries, contact:
Megan Flowers, Communications Director
[office: 217-337-1500 cell: 251-209-2615, email: 

We Have Faith
LGBT Religious Leaders Speak Out 
Through Nationally Touring Photography-Text Exhibit

Who: Organized by the Family Diversity Project, the University Y’s Art@theY program hosts We Have Faith. Sponsored by: C/U PFLAG, Channing-Murray Foundation, Chapel of Saint John the Divine, Diversity Education, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center, McKinley Presbyterian Church and Foundation, Saint Andrew's Church and Lutheran Campus Center, Saint Matthew Lutheran Church, Sinai Temple, Social Action Committee of the Unitarian-Universalist Church of Urbana-Champaign, UCC Campus Ministry, University YMCA, UniPlace Christian Church, Wesley United Methodist Church 

What: We Have Faith! explores the experiences of LGBTQ clergy and religious leaders from many traditions and denominations including Christians, Jews, Muslims, and others. They unite their personal stories and histories with their commitment to peace, justice and civil rights through their work in religious establishments of all kinds.

When: Thursday, January 23, 2014 from 5pm to 7pm

Where: Murphy Gallery | University YMCA | 1001 S. Wright Street | Champaign, IL 61820

Why: We Have Faith offers an authentic, faith-based witness for full equality and inclusion of LGBTQ people in light of gay rights controversies and policies and practices that the University YMCA finds oppressive and dehumanizing. 

Details: Parking lot on 6th between Daniel & Chalmers - Free after 5pm, Parking garage on 6th & John -Free after 5pm, Street parking on Wright, Chalmers, & 6th Streets for 75¢ per hour, Municipal lot on Green & 5th Streets for $1 per hour

Additional Information: Art @ the Y is an initiative of the University YMCA, 1001 S. Wright Street, Champaign, IL 61820. All Art @ the Y events are free and open to the public.


About Murphy Gallery: You may not think of a YMCA as the first place you’d go to view an art exhibit, particularly one showcasing a unique variety of work from people who are just starting out, established, or feel compelled to use art to speak out about and engage people in growing concerns of our communities.  Murphy Gallery is a space that not only reflects the work of the University Y towards social justice, environmental protection, interfaith advocacy, and global engagement, but also encourages informed action.