Monday, April 10, 2017

Congrats to the 2017-18 recipients of the Bailey Fellowship!

Congratulations to the 2017-18 recipients of the Bailey Graduate and Professional Fellowship for Community Service, Leadership, and Activism

As a Peer Mentor for First Followers, Bethany Britton counsels and advises individuals, facilitates groups, participates in focus groups, collects participatory research project data, and creates video media. Bethany’s passion is to continue to use her personal life experiences to educate and motivate communities, organizations, institutions, and victims through public speaking and programs. Bethany has given testimonies in community churches, on the Justice Reform Community Fines & Fee Panel, and at Treatment centers. Bethany is pursuing a Master’s of Social Work Degree with an emphasis on mental health and substance abuse and is working to establish W.I.N. at C-U (Women in Need at Champaign Urbana) to offer services to homeless women, particularly those who struggle with substance abuse issues.

As an undergraduate and graduate student, as well as a former employee of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Saturnino Rodriguez has utilized his knowledge, skills, and experience to aide in the development and implementation of many campus-wide initiatives created to serve first-generation, underrepresented students - current and future. Thus, allowing him to empower students to overcome structural and personal barriers impeding upon their success on campus and beyond. Nino established a collaboration with Don Moyer Boys Girls Club was to conduct a Youth Participatory Action Research project to expose participants to an alternative to the master narrative about them and their social groups and to empower the participants to use the newly acquired knowledge to strengthen their voices and influence to achieve change in their communities. Nino is pursuing a PhD in Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership.

Learn more about the University YMCA's Fred S. Bailey Scholarship and Fellowship Award program at

Thanks for making the 16th Annual Dinner & Auction a huge success!

We had such a wonderful time with all of you who came out to support the Y and to recognize all those involved this past weekend! Thanks to you, we sold out with 215 people in attendance, raised over $40,000 in support of Y programs and received over $10,000 in individual donations during the Live Auction Paddle Raise for the YMCA New American Welcome Center.

Many thanks to the Y's Dinner & Auction committee and to everyone who made the 16th Annual Dinner and Auction such a great event!

We'd also like to take this opportunity to especially thank Julia Carter, YMCA Development Intern, for all of her hard work in co-coordinating such a successful event in support of Y programs and in strengthening our fundraising efforts at the Y for the past two years. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Congratulations to the recipients of the Y Leadership Awards

Congratulations to all of the recipients of the Y's 2017 Cause-Driven Leadership Awards. We look forward to recognizing these amazing individuals and all those involved in the Y at the 16th Annual Dinner & Auction. Learn more about the Y's work for foster ethical and principled leadership for meaningful change on our website at: You can also learn more about the Y's scholarships and leadership recognition awards at:

Edward Nestingen Alumni Award: Julia Kellman
Associate Professor Emerita Julia Kellman retired from the University of Illinois in 2009 after  nearly 20 years of professional teaching at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, University of Northern Kentucky, and finally at the School of Art + Design and College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While at the School of Art + Design, Julia took particular pleasure in developing and teaching graduate seminars that focused on auto-ethnography, feminist anthropology as a research model and creative non-fiction.
In 2009, Julia edited and published the acclaimed "Reaching and Teaching the Child with Autism through Art," with Beverly Gerber. She has published numerous articles, which serve as resource and inspiration for practitioners in the field of art education as well as many others interested in the role of art for wellness and social change.
In 2013, Julia was chosen by the National Art Education Association’s board of directors to receive the Council for Exceptional Children and Very Special Arts Beverly Levett Gerber Special Needs Lifetime Achievement Award for her career of “outstanding achievement and service” for special needs children.
Julia founded and taught the Expressive Arts program at Carle Hospital and Clinics for people with HIV/AIDS for many years, and currently serves as the chair of the Art @ the Y committee at the University YMCA. Julia is a diligent, thoughtful leader who tirelessly champions the role of art for change, and its exemplification of and contribution to the mission of the University Y.
Julia is largely responsible for bringing the Spring 2017 BED SHOE HOME project to the Y. Julia organized internationally-renowned artist Jane Gilmor’s monthlong visit, where Jane worked one-on-one with homeless members of the CU community to create authentic, heart-felt work culminating in a major installation at the Y. Julia also partnered closely with Professor Tyler Denmead to secure the prestigious Miller Comm award from the campus Center for Advanced Study, bringing both high visibility and significant funding to the project.
Both Julia's life's work and her current significant contribution to the University YMCA exemplify the values and mission of the Y. Julia Kellman is truly an alumna and volunteer who we should be immeasurably proud of and uplift and thank in any way possible.

Distinguished Service Award (non-student): Ricardo Diaz
For the past 6 years, Ricardo Diaz has been one of the most active non-student members of the University Y programs. Initially connected through students leaders in La Colectiva, Ricardo served as a mentor to YMCA students as they began exploring ways to engage in the issue of immigration on campus and in our community.

Soon after his initial involvement at the Y, Ricardo joined the Board of Governors, served as an officer of the Board and eventually became Board President. One of his most important services to this community has been the creation and development of the C-U Immigration Forum, where he currently serves as a Board member. Over the years, Ricardo has been a leader in our community around the issue of immigration, mobilizing the community around ending Secure Communities, pushing for comprehensive immigration reform, and encouraging our community to be more welcoming of immigrants.

Beyond his activities around immigration, Ricardo helped take the lead in supporting efforts at the Y to address issues of diversity and race.  As Board President he led a year-long effort to keep the topic of race and how it impacts our interactions and relationships as an ongoing conversation. He willingly volunteers to help with various programs such as Dump & Run and La Linea.

But most importantly, Ricardo has demonstrated how to build a community at the Y that respects everyone’s contributions, lifts up the work of the students and challenges us all to make that extra effort to make our community a better place to live.

Distinguished Service Award (Student): Lorenzo Grego

Lorenzo Grego, a Senior in Psychology, first became a part of the Y as a volunteer with BikeFace. A passionate leader in his fraternity, Lorenzo challenged the group to see the Greek system as a potential place for outreach and developed a bike library system at his fraternity. He also actively pushed the organization to expand its events to appeal to a broader group of cyclists or those who might just be interested in cycling. Lorenzo is one of the most consistent volunteers at Sunday shop hours at the Urbana Bike Project and he has planned and initiated events like Bicycle Registration on the Quad and midnight rides.
Last academic year, Lorenzo volunteered to serve as the Student Board representative for BikeFace and was one of the most reliable and consistently thoughtful members. That year, his leadership and action on Student Board resulted in his election by his peers as President for the following year.

As Student President, Lorenzo has proved to be reliable and resilient, making it a priority to engage the rest of the Board on issues and events our student programs are organizing around. The staff frequently remark on his follow through on everything from writing the donation thank you letter to his detailed presentations on the work of StuBO at board meetings.
Lorenzo is a consistently positive voice with a strong vision for collaborative community, and the Student Board’s quick response to the rhetoric leading up to the election of Donald Trump was the result of the groundwork he had laid all semester.

Gerry Brighton Young Alumni Award: MJ Altman (nee Molly Stephey)

M.J. Altman received degrees in News-Editorial Journalism and Sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As an undergraduate student, M.J. (who went by Molly Stephey) was elected to run the SECS newsletter, Environmental Resources. Molly had the idea to turn the newsletter into an environmental magazine. The Green Observer has been a Y student group ever since.

Today, M.J. oversees the World Food Programme USA's multimedia projects, reports, op-eds and communications outreach. In addition to writing articles and editing videos, M.J. hosts #HackingHunger, a podcast that explores latest news and innovations on global hunger and food security through interviews with humanitarians, journalists and experts from the field.

Prior to joining WFP USA, M.J. worked as a writer-reporter for TIME magazine in New York, where she covered a wide variety of issues, including social justice, politics and the environment. She has also worked at the Smithsonian Institution, where she researched, wrote and pitched stories about indigenous history, art and culture as a public affairs producer. In addition to TIME and the Smithsonian, her work has been featured on MSNBC, CNN, The Huffington Post, the Associated Press and National Geographic.

Since graduating, Molly has served as an application reader for the Y’s Fred S. Bailey Scholarship program. M.J. has always been passionate about using media to raise consciousness and support action around the environment and social justice. Throughout her career, she has sought out opportunities that have allowed her to apply her skill as a journalist while also building awareness and inspiring action.

J. Fredrick Miller Award for Distinguished Volunteer Service: Ann-Perry Witmer
Ann-Perry Witmer, a faculty member in Engineering, has served as the faculty advisor of the University YMCA’s Engineers Without Borders Chapter (EWB) for several years. In 2002, Ann went back to school two decades after she earned her first two bachelor's degrees to get a degree in civil engineering. In 2013, Ann left her industry position as a consulting engineer to join the University of Illinois staff as an instructor with the IEFX (Illinois Engineering First-Year Experience) program. Ann also established the Honduras Water Project Course, a year-long, multi-disciplinary engineering design course in international service project development and implementation with a community in Honduras.

This past year, Ann spearheaded a course in Quito, Ecuador that studies the effectiveness of the EWB model of development and is working to identify a community-driven project in Quito. Developing and teaching these courses is in of itself impressive, but Ann was also on the List of Instructors Ranked as Excellent in Spring 2016, Fall 2015, Spring 2015, and Fall 2014. Currently, Ann is pursuing a Ph.D, focusing her research on developing a stronger understanding of conditions and characteristics that lead to long-term success and sustainability of engineering projects that serve the developing world.
Ann has been one of the fiercest faculty ambassadors of the Bailey Scholarship program, recruiting countless qualified applicants for the undergraduate, travel and internship scholarships. As the EWB project advisor, Ann is insightful, patient and proactive. Students admire her and consider her a “constant source of wisdom,” and she regularly gives workshops and other trainings for the program.

Ann has also shown exceptional leadership on the YMCA’s Global Engagement Committee, which she chairs. She is a source of careful consideration, engineering expertise, and project management all while working for a meaningful and fair partnership between two culturally and geographically distinct partners, the University YMCA and the YMCA of Sierra Leone.

Harold W. Colvin Award for Undergraduate Leadership: Monica Saavedra
Monica Saavedra wants to be an immigration attorney who advocates for just and humane immigration policy while helping others through direct service. Monica, a third-year student studying Global Studies and Spanish, started volunteering with the Y’s La Línea Community Helpline Program over two years ago through Professor Ann Abbott’s Spanish for Business course. Beyond the Y, Monica serves as the President of Mi Pueblo, a campus group that focuses cultivating conversations in Spanish. Monica is currently studying abroad in Costa Rica this Spring 2017 semester and plans to return to her love of volunteering at the Y during her senior year at the University of Illinois.

At the Y, Monica’s team leadership skills have flourished as she led the La Línea student volunteer team week to week as a YMCA Bailey Internship Scholarship recipient. Under this internship, she sought out other opportunities to learn about capacity-building through fundraising, communications, community outreach, and collaborated in the grant writing process for the program.

Beyond her internship, she continues to work with the La Línea program through providing resource referrals to clients as a phone operator. She has also taken advantage of leadership development opportunities that the Y has provided through key trainings provided by the YMCA of the USA and the Immigration Project on immigration policy and newcomer integration strategies.

Currently, Monica is helping YMCA staff apply for Department of Justice accreditation for the organization, which will allow the YMCA to provide limited but critical legal immigration services. Monica is a truly dedicated leader working for a world that is welcoming to all people, receiving communities and newcomer communities alike.

John W. Price Award for Volunteer Service to International Understanding: Hannah Jarman
Hannah Jarman, a Senior in Global Studies, has demonstrated her passion for international understanding since her first week at the University of Illinois when she joined the YMCA program Invisible Conflicts (IC). Invisible Conflicts, a small organization, supported the education of 12 children in Uganda orphaned by the civil war. The group did not have the membership to continue into the next year, so Hannah spearheaded an effort to integrate its social justice work and fundraising into the Y’s Amnesty International Chapter.
Now President of Amnesty, Hannah is incredibly dedicated to building coalitions, leading Amnesty to work with other campus groups to raise funds for and awareness of immigration issues, Haiti relief, and safe water issues in Detroit and around the world. This year, Amnesty plans to raise $2,000 for the White Helmets, the Syrian civilians providing vital medical care.
Beyond fundraising, Hannah keeps education and grassroots organizing at the heart of the Amnesty mission. She has lent her leadership to Amnesty’s Write for Rights campaign for prisoners of conscience, which has resulted over 560 letters written and collected for their cause.
In addition to her work at the Y, Hannah participated in an individual research project on humanitarian intervention, worked as an Intercultural Horizons intern, established a Chamber of Commerce in Masatepe, Nicaragua as part of the student group Enactus, and spent a semester studying and volunteering in Quito, Ecuador. This semester she has been working with Enactus on the Oasis project, a website that aims to connect immigrants to social services. She also volunteered to visiting the Sierra Leone YMCA this May to help start a self-sustaining business for youth in Sierra Leone.
Hannah is a unique, thoughtful and inclusive leader who combines modesty with persistence and drive and will undoubtedly become a significant change agent in the global social justice movement.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Press Release/PSA: New American Welcome Center coming to C-U

Press Release
For Immediate Release
March 28, 2017

For media inquiries, contact: Megan Flowers, University Y Communications Director

New American Welcome Center coming to C-U
Community Leaders Join University YMCA Initiative

[Champaign County, Illinois] The University YMCA was recently selected to be one of six YMCAs in the United States to develop a New American Welcome Center (NAWC) in 2017. Launched in 2016 by YMCA of the USA, the New American Welcome Centers are designed to help immigrants fully integrate into American society and prepare receiving communities to be welcoming and inclusive. The University YMCA invites the public to a first opportunity to support this work. Celebrate and support the elevation of this community initiative in Champaign County by joining the University YMCA for their 16th Annual Dinner & Auction: WELCOME HOME on April 8, 2017. Please RSVP by March 31st at Questions about the event? Contact Jennifer Romine at

Pictured left to right include some members of the University YMCA NAWC Advisory Committee: Koeli Goel, Board of Trustees, Hindu Temple and Cultural Society of Central Illinois; Deb Feinen, Mayor of Champaign; Amanda Harris, Urbana Adult Education Center; Julie Pryde, Health Administrator, CU Public Health District, Megan Flowers, Communications Director, University YMCA; Rebekah Niblock, Attorney, The Immigration Project; Mike Doyle, Executive Director, University YMCA; Ricardo Diaz, Chair, University YMCA Advisory Committee; Lucia Maldonado, Board Member, CU Immigration Forum; Laurel Prussing, Mayor of Urbana; Carol Ammons, Illinois State Representative for the 103rd District; Joe Omo-Osagie, Board Member, Champaign County Mental Health Board.
In support of the Y’s cause to strengthen communities, NAWCs foster an environment that encourages newcomer integration and community cohesion. NAWCs accomplish this by scaling sustainable newcomer inclusion programs through a blend of direct and referral services, engaging community partners and leading community bridge-building efforts that connect new immigrants and the receiving communities. Champaign-Urbana will join the success of the national Y’s NAWCs that already serve communities in Boston (MA), Charlotte (NC), Columbus (OH), Houston (TX), Long Beach (CA), Los Angeles (CA), Minneapolis-St. Paul (MN), New York (NY), Portland (ME), Seattle (WA), and Snohomish County (WA).

"At the Y, we believe communities are strongest when everyone feels valued, has support to reach their potential and can fully participate in society. The University YMCA in Urbana-Champaign is a champion of newcomer inclusion and building bridges between communities and we are thrilled to welcome them to the Y's national New American Welcome Center network," said Tom Valentine, Vice President, International Group, YMCA of the USA.

In an effort to engage key community stakeholders, the University YMCA has recruited a broad cross section of community leaders including elected officials, public and private sector institutions, immigrant and religious leaders as well as non-profits working with local immigrant communities to serve on the NAWC’s Advisory Board (see attached list).

“The University YMCA is excited with the positive response we have received from community leaders who have expressed a real desire to work together to lift up and build out our collective welcoming efforts. There is a recognition that our community is more vibrant and prosperous when everyone feels welcomed and can fully participate,” said Mike Doyle, Executive Director of the University YMCA.

American communities are changing rapidly. By 2050, the Asian population in the US will grow by 300% and Latinos will make up 30% of the US population. Right now, 24% of children in the U.S. live in an immigrant family. Effective engagement of newcomer and immigrant communities is a crucial part of local municipalities’ abilities to attract and retain newcomers, remain relevant, and make a positive difference in the lives of community members.

Ricardo Diaz, Chair of the University YMCA NAWC Advisory Committee speaks about the importance of this work
at the NAWC launch press conference on Monday, March 27, 2017 at the University YMCA. Pictured left to right:
 Deb Feinen, Mayor of Champaign, Assata Zerai, Associate Chancellor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,
Mike Doyle, Executive Director of the University YMCA, Carol Ammons, Illinois State Representative of the 103rd District,
Laurel Prussing, Mayor of Urbana, and Bob Rasmus, Pastor, St. Matthew Lutheran Church. 

“We are in a pivotal point in time to advance our shared mission to serve everyone, including newcomers, and local leadership understands that To cooperatively and proactively welcome and support immigrant communities is an investment in the thriving future of our towns, our university, our economy, and our neighborhoods. That’s why it’s so important to reach out, build understanding and trust, and tailor programs, practices, and policies to meet the needs of all community members,” said Ricardo Diaz, Chair of the University YMCA NAWC Advisory Committee.

New American Welcome Center
Advisory Committee Members
Partial List - 3/20/17

* Scott Bennett, State Senator
* Carol Ammons, State Representative
* Pius Weibel, Board Chair, Champaign County
* Deb Feinen, Mayor, City of Champaign
* Laurel Prussing, Mayor, City of Urbana
* Assata Zerai, Associate Chancellor, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
* Don Owen, Superintendent, Urbana School District
* Julie Pryde, Health Administrator, C-U Public Health District
* Joe Omo-Osagie, Board Member, Champaign County Mental Health Board
* Jen White, President, Champaign Federation of Teachers, Local 1925
* Craig Rost, Executive Director, Champaign County Economic Development Corp.
* Laura Bliell, Associate Director, UI research Park
* Mauricio Salinas, Owner, El Oasis
* Luis Cuza, St. Patrick Catholic Church, C-U FAIR
* Ousmane Sawadogo, Imam, Central Illinois Mosque & Islamic Center
* Bob Rasmus, Pastor, St. Matthew Lutheran
* Alan Cook, Sinai Temple Rabbi, Interfaith Alliance of Champaign County
* Koeli Goel, Board of Trustees, Hindu Temple & Cultural Society of Central Illinois
* Ricardo Diaz, Board Member, University Y
* Bob Kirby, ESL Program, First Presbyterian Church
* Rebekah Niblock, Attorney, The Immigration Project
* Thomas Mbongo, Community Leader, Congolese Community
* Amanda Harris, ELA Coordinator, Urbana Adult Education
* Lucia Maldonado, Board Member, C-U Immigration Forum
* Ha Ho, Co-Director, East Central Illinois Refugee & Mutual Assistance Center
* Antonio Juarez, Community Leader, Mayan/Guatemalan Community

* Confirmed as NAWC Advisory Committee Member

Please note: Meetings with other community stakeholders are scheduled and additional invitations are expected to be extended in the coming weeks.

For more information, read the University YMCA's NAWC Frequently Asked Questions sheet (pdf) and

Monday, February 20, 2017

Press Release/PSA: Welcoming Our Neighbors, Building Bridges at the Int'l Dinner & Performance Night

Press Release/PSA
For Immediate Release
February 20, 2017

For media inquiries, contact:
Megan Flowers, University YMCA Communications Director

Building Bridges at the International Dinner & Performance Night in Champaign

At this critical time in history, the YMCA of the University of Illinois stands by its work as a builder of bridges between campus and surrounding communities. In Champaign County, we can show all that our differing identities are actually assets in making our communities and nation stronger. In light of our collective work to lift up the welcoming efforts of our communities, we see the Y’s International Dinner and Performance Night as a key community bridge-building event that raises awareness of the benefits of welcoming everyone and bringing together newcomers and U.S.-born residents in a spirit of unity.


At the 34th Annual International Dinner, we will have some fun, community bridge-building and story sharing activities planned in addition enjoying an evening of great food and live music in celebration of the diverse cultures that make up Champaign-Urbana.   

The University YMCA and the International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) are co-hosting the 34th Annual International Dinner & Performance Night, which will take place on Sunday, March 12 from 6pm to 8pm at the University YMCA, 1001 S. Wright Street, Champaign, Illinois.

“Welcoming celebrations like the International Dinner & Performance Night are part of a powerful and growing movement in Champaign County and across the nation,” said Mike Doyle, Executive Director of the University YMCA. “Communities recognize that they are more vibrant and prosperous when everyone feels welcomed and can fully participate. In the spirit of our collective efforts to be welcoming, the University YMCA looks forward to seeing new and long-time residents build bridges to make the campus community and the communities of Champaign County stronger.”  

Tickets are $15 and are on sale now at the front desk of the University YMCA, 1001 S. Wright Street, Champaign, IL (checks payable to the University YMCA). Tickets are also available for online purchase for $16 on our webpage at: Tickets sell out early and seats are limited; please plan to purchase well in advance. Proceeds from the event will benefit the University YMCA’s Global Engagement programming. For more information about the Y’s Global Engagement Programming, visit:

A finalized program and menu is To Be Announced. For more information and updates on the menu and performance schedule, visit:


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Amnesty's Write for Rights Campaign at Friday Forum

Andy Swinkunas, Priya Vaikuntapathi, and Ashley Williams (left to right), who are members of Amnesty International UIUC,  ask Y staff, Emily Cross and Kasey Umland, to add their voice to the #Write4Rights Campaign.

Featured Y Student Program News:
Amnesty International UIUC Chapter Writes For Rights

Last semester, Amnesty International UIUC, a student program of the Y, asked the campus community to turn their pens into weapons as part of the Amnesty International USA's Write For Rights Campaign.

The way this process works is by sending letters to officials with the ability to free wrongfully imprisoned people. They receive letters from concerned citizens from all over the country requesting that cases be reopened or demanding that people be released. With enough letters for a duration of time, this puts the pressure of our attention upon them. The campaign has been very successful.

Amnesty International USA's Write for Rights campaign is an example of grassroots efforts creating tangible change in the lives of people who have been wrongfully imprisoned. If you're looking for a way to use your voice, consider dropping by their website at:

In light of the recent executive order on the refugee ban, Amnesty International UIUC is hosting a Write for Rights campaign this Friday, February 3 between 11:15am-1:15pm at the University YMCA.  If you are coming to this week's Friday Forum, which is about the state of incarceration in Illinois, be sure to visit Amnesty's table and add your voice to a letter or write your own.

Learn more about Amnesty International UIUC and other University YMCA student programs at

Monday, January 9, 2017

Art @ the Y presents "Bed Shoe Home: Poverty and Homelessness in Champaign-Urbana"

Press Release

For Immediate Release
January 9, 2017

For media inquiries, please contact:
Megan Flowers, University YMCA Communications Director

Art @ the Y presents
“Bed Shoe Home: Poverty and Homelessness In Champaign-Urbana"

On view in Murphy Gallery of the University YMCA
from January 26, 2017 through March 17, 2017

Champaign-Urbana is facing a crisis in housing for low-income families and the under-sheltered. To bring this issue into sharper focus, the University YMCA’s Art @ the Y program, in collaboration with the School of Art + Design and the School of Social Work, initiated “Bed Shoe Home,” a community-based art action organized by artist Jane Gilmor. Gilmor was in residence in Champaign-Urbana for a month this past fall working in community organizations serving the homeless: the Daily Bread Soup Kitchen, Courage Connection, and the Phoenix Center. BED SHOE HOME culminates in a large installation at the University Y from January 26 through March 17, 2017, including a walk-in book covered with notes and images on metal foil created by those in area shelters, residencies programs, soup kitchens and drop-in sites. The “Bed Shoe Home” exhibition series is dedicated to all those in Champaign-Urbana without affordable housing.

The University YMCA invites community and campus members to attend Jane Gilmor’s talk as the George A. Miller Visiting Artist at the University of Illinois on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 at 4:00p at the Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum, 600 South Gregory, Urbana, Illinois. The Y encourages people to attend the exhibition opening of “Bed Shoe Home” the following day on Thursday, January 26, 2017 from 5:00pm-7:00pm at Murphy Gallery of the University YMCA, 1001 S. Wright Street, Champaign, Illinois. Viewing will begin at 5:00pm follow by Jane Gilmor’s gallery talk at 5:30pm. All Art @ the Y events are free and open to the public.

“It’s important to go see this work and understand it as a weaving together of artmaking and personal stories that work to uplift the voices of the homeless and the under sheltered. When you see the work in person, you are in touch with the lines of the work and have a connection with the ferocious intensity of the artist’s hand,” said Julia Kellman, member of the Art @ the Y committee.

Special Thanks To: Center for Advanced Study, UIUC; George A Miller Endowment; School of Art + Design; School of Social Work; Daily Bread Soup Kitchen; Courage Connection; The Phoenix Center

About Jane Gilmor: As a visual artist Jane Gilmor has maintained a socially involved art practice working with the disenfranchised in the US and abroad since the late 80s. Her cooperative projects involve working in shelters, along side local experts, students, and volunteers, to create large installations with walk-in structures covered in metal notes and images. Workshops in metal embossing, journaling, handmade books, as well as video and audio interviewing and transcription are part of a number of activities involved in these dialog-oriented processes. Learn more about Jane Gilmor's work at:

About Art @ the Y: “Bed Shoe Home” is part of the Art @ the Y program, a cause-driven, public arts initiative of the University YMCA, 1001 S. Wright Street, Champaign. Art @ the Y seeks to engage issues of social justice, international understanding, environmental activism, faith and cultural understanding through quality arts programming. Art @ the Y includes a revolving exhibition space in Murphy Gallery on the first floor of the University YMCA. Murphy Gallery Hours at the University YMCA are from Mondays-Fridays from 9am-9pm. Website: