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Community engagement to address structural violence

SPH students and community members collaborate at a Center for Healthy Work meeting.

Get involved with our reciprocal projects with community-based organizations

SPH's Collaboratory for Health Justice has been awarded funding from the MacArthur Foundation to build capacity at the neighborhood level to address structural violence by repurposing academic knowledge and skills to directly support community-based organizations to lead healing and rebuilding public health movements. In this effort, community-based organizations are defined as public, non-profit or informal organization that is focused on meeting the needs of a community, oftentimes the one in which it resides.

The Collaboratory will particularly focus on mutual aid organizations, grassroots community groups and other entities made up of residents from the communities of focus. There may be some collaboration with local health departments as well.

Learn about our projects Heading link

Our efforts will launch with pilot projects in Spring 2022.  We welcome immediate input from community-based organizations at

Connecting public health classes at SPH with community needs

UIC students engage in a group project sitting at a table outdoors atop the BSB building on UIC's campus.

Course assignments are structured so that students work on projects that meet the needs of partners. The Collaboratory provides the matching infrastructure, support, and program assessment to ensure high-quality products are shared with community partners. We’re starting this initiative with a pilot program Spring 2022.

Bringing community voices to public health

A guest speaker engages in a panel discussion at the 2019 Minority Health Conference, hosted by the School of Public Health.

The speakers bureau is a cohort of community and practice leaders who speak in UIC School of Public Health courses, recognizing that learning from various kinds of expertise prepares students to better engage with community-based efforts in our shared work towards a healthy, just society. Learning from community partners increases students’ uptake of educational content, encourages networking, and strengthens knowledge sharing among the future leaders of public health (Zou et al., 2019)​.

Strengthening citizen practitioners

A community-based organization staff worker stands near a series of painted t-shirts that encourage anti-violence.

The Collaboratory for Health Justice plans to welcome community members to learn alongside our students. This initiative is driven by a core belief in the importance of education equity and reciprocal learning between academia and community members. Representatives from community organizations will attend SPH courses and events for an open, reciprocal learning experience.  More information forthcoming.