Skip to main content

Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center

UCIMC's 20th Anniversary Events!

 

Celebrating 20 Years!

20 years ago, on September 24, 2000, a small group of people gathered in a living room near Carle Park and decided that Urbana-Champaign needed its own Independent Media Center. They began collectivizing equipment and passed-the-hat for an "endowment."

20 years later we own and manage a 30,000 sq ft community arts center (which we converted from an old post office building). We continue to publish a monthly newspaper (the Public i), house a low power radio station (WRFU Radio Free Urbana), and have long-term relationships with our other working groups: "UC Books to Prisoners" and "Makerspace Urbana". Over the years, we have been the fiscal sponsor for over 41 organizations (the IMC is the nurturing ground where groups plant their ideas). 

Our building is a venue for events, emerging artists, and a community organizing space. And this year, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we started "Sounds like Community" a virtual weekly showcase of artists and organizers.

We invite you to join our celebration of our 20th birthday! Due to the pandemic, we had to transform our major anniversary convergence into virtual events! But that means that we can celebrate all year long and with people who have moved far away. All are welcome. Come on in. 


The following anniversary events celebrate the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center's 20th Anniversary and are part of the Sounds Like Community virtual Wednesday-night Series.

These events are made possible, in part, by a grant from the Urbana Arts and Culture Program.


In 2021, there will be multiple events around the topic of "A Storytelling Workshop: Laying a Cornerstone Skill in the Time of a Pandemic." Can we hear about the lived experiences of people outside our tightened circles? Can we still experience other cultures if we cannot travel? Storytelling is a vital skill for journalists, history professors, union organizers, social activists, community-builders, poets, artists, musicians, and even nonprofit boards. Now is the time to sharpen our storytelling skills in order to create the world we need.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021, 7pm-8:30pm CST

"The importance of storytelling to historians, labor unions, and community-building."

"Gus" Augustus C. Wood III, co-host of Radio Free Labor
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Labor Education Program, School of Labor and Employer Relations, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Stephanie Fortado, co-host of Radio Free Labor
Lecturer, Labor Education Program, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
former Executive Director of the Illinois Labor History Society, ...

Jim Barrett, author of "History from the Bottom, Up: Race, Ethnicity, and Identity in Working Class History", research interests: Immigration, race and ethnicity in US cities. US working-class history, nineteenth and twentieth century. The radical tradition in the US. Radical historiography. ...

Dave Johnson, retired host of The Labor Hour radio show, carpenter, labor organizer, ... 


UCIMC's 20th Anniversary Panel #3: celebrating UC Books to Prisoners

Wednesday, December 2, 2020, 7pm-8:30pm CST

"A Lifeline to Those Behind Prison Walls: The History and Impact of UC's Books to Prisoners" Barbara Kessel
Jobie Taylor
James “Tygar” Corbin
Jay Schubert
Lolita Dumas

Since 2004 "Urbana Champaign's Books to Prisoners" program has sent an astonishing 159,688 books in 47,334 packages to 22,436 people in Illinois' prisons. This community-powered program puts books in the hands of those who might otherwise feel forgotten. Join us to hear about how this program - and others like it - have changed lives.

A link to Books to Prisoners:http://www.books2prisoners.org
How to donate books, money, or time to Books to Prisoners: http://www.books2prisoners.org/donate.php


"Abolition and Grassroots Organizing" :

with Carol Ammons, James Kilgore, and Malkia Devich-Cyril, facilitated by Shaya Robinson

This UCIMC's 20th Anniversary Panel #2 was held Wednesday, October 28th, 7pm-8:30pm CST

(archived mp3 - excellent music, then the talk begins about 19 minutes in)

More about the panelists:

State Representative Carol Ammons represents the 103rd District of Illinois and is a career activist fighting for equality and justice. Carol grew up in Joliet, IL, and has been a resident of Champaign-Urbana for about 18 years. She is the first African-American woman elected to the 103rd District and is now the voice and advocate of her constituents in Champaign-Urbana. While in office, Representative Ammons has dedicated her time and energy toward helping her district and the state through public service. As an activist turned lawmaker, Representative Ammons is laser-focused on cultivating the crucial relationship between community organizers and the state legislature. She knows that in order to achieve equality, lawmakers and activists must align their goals, policies, and actions. 

James Kilgore is a formerly incarcerated activist, researcher, and author based in Urbana, Illinois.He is the co-director of FirstFollowers Reentry Program and the author of five books, including “Understanding Mass Incarceration: A People’s Guide to the Key Civil Rights Struggle of Our Time.” He is also the director of the Challenging E-Carceration project of MediaJustice’s #NoDigitalPrisons campaign. 

Malkia Devich-Cyril is an activist, a writer, and a public speaker on issues of digital rights, narrative power, Black liberation, and collective grief. Devich-Cyril is the founding executive director of MediaJustice, and a Senior Fellow at the organization.

Shaya Robinson serves as an advocate for the underrepresented in a variety of ways. As an artist, she’s performed for a wide variety of charity events and she won an ACE (Arts Culture Education) award for fostering and maintaining a safe space for artists of all ages to weave social justice ideas and the arts to shine light on and uplift the most underserved communities. As an advocate for the arts, she runs a poetry and arts space called S.P.E.A.K Cafe (Song Poetry Expressions Art Knowledge) that focuses on social and political issues. Shaya is currently on the board for Urbana's Independent Media Center and 40North. She hopes to leave a legacy that shows her love for local raw art and the need for political and social change merging and making a difference. 


20th Anniversary Panel Event 1 was held Wednesday, September 30th, 2020; 7-8:30pm 
 "Independent Media: Where we've come from and why we need it more than ever!" with panelists Sarah Lazare, Tanya Parker, and Sascha Meinrath and Danielle Chynoweth (as Moderator).
Listen to the archived audio from this conversation.   Watch the archived video recording

 

Event 2: Wednesday, October 28th, 2020; 7pm-8:30pm (Urbana Illinois time zone)
20th Anniversary Panel: "Abolition and Grassroots Organizing" Carol Ammons, James Kilgore, and Malkia Cyril. via zoom and on WRFU 104.5FM
(archived mp3 - excellent music, then the talk begins about 19 minutes in)
archived video recording

Event 3: WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2020 AT 7 PM CST
"A Lifeline to Those Behind Prison Walls: The History and Impact of UC's Books to Prisoners"
Since 2004 Urbana Champaign's Books to Prisoners program has sent an astonishing 159,633 books to 22,436 people in Illinois' prisons. This community-powered program puts books in the hands of those who might otherwise feel forgotten. Join us to hear about how this program - and others like it - have changed lives.
Barbara Kessel
Jobie Taylor
James “Tygar” Corbin
Jay Schubert
Lolita Dumas

 via zoom and on WRFU 104.5FM radio

Spring 2021: a history harvest! -- a collaborative community project to collect, preserve, and share the UCIMC's history! // Note that the project is two-pronged. Dr. Kathryn Oberdeck's crew will also be collecting history around local LGBTQIA+.

More free events to come!

These anniversary events celebrate the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center's 20th Anniversary and are part of the Sounds Like Community Wednesday-night Series.

These events are made possible, in part, by grants from the Urbana Arts and Culture Program and The Illinois Arts Council Agency, and the MediaJustice Network. 

 


contact: anniversary (at) ucimc (dot) org

 Visit our facebook page for other events.