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Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center

Bylaws | Structure | BoD Standing Committees | BOD Shared Commitments 2021

Welcome to the webpage for the UCIMC Board of Directors! The Board has the honor and privilege of being elected by the general membership of the UCIMC. 

Board meetings are open to all members that wish to attend and are the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 6:30 pm virtually (via zoom). Public input is at the beginning of the meeting. If you would like to attend, please contact <tech at ucimc dot org> or [email protected] or 217.344-8820.

If you would like to contact the Board, please email us at <board at ucimc dot org>. The email goes to all the current board members. 

You can also join the board! The General Membership Meeting is in the Fall and you can apply to be on the ballot.  The IMC members elect the board. 

Anyone can join a committee! You don't need to be a board member! The IMC Board has six standing committees -- Programming, Facilities, Finance, Personnel, and Fundraising -- all of which meet regularly. These committees do most of the work of the IMC. If you are interested in joining a committee, but not sure where you'd fit in best, you can read more about our standing committees and what they do. The Chairs of each of these committees do have to be board members.  

The Current List of Board of Directors for 2021 (elected at the December 2020 General Membership Meeting)

benjamin sTone

"Raised mostly in Sullivan, Illinois, I moved to Urbana-Champaign for college in 1994 and loved the cities enough to never leave. An employee of the UIUC library since 2004, I am currently at the Oak Street High Density Storage Facility, working the front desk and running social media. I live with my partner-in-crime Nadja Robot, as well as three cats and six chickens. My local activism has been as diverse as fighting for healthcare rights for trans students at UIUC to battling the City of Urbana on TASERs, the MRAP vehicle, and the 2020 debacle of Urbana police brutalizing a woman. As a non-binary, very neurodivergent person, I spend a lot of time advocating and fighting for both the queer and mental health community."


Brian A. Vura-Weis

Masters in Economics, worked as a consultant in urban economics, financial planner (CFP), and the last 14 years of my working career as a special education teacher. The most relevant of my volunteer experiences was as Clerk of the Board (Board Chairperson) of the Ben Lomand Quaker Center in Ben Lomond California. Ben Lomond was designed to provide a conference and education center that would communicate the ideals of Quakerism such as simplicity, peace, integrity, community and equality.


Cindi Adkins

Cindi Adkins is a lifelong Urbana resident. She owned & operated a community-based storefront business in Champaign, Le Shoppe from 1989-2009, another 5 years of private healthcare advocacy, and has taught over 9000 classes since 2012 providing working groups in Fitness, Dance, Conflict Resolution and Communication Skills, plus Integrative/Functional Natural Wellness. These experiences provided opportunities to obtain an extensive variety of valuable hands-on knowledge and insights through working in extremely diverse circumstances and a large-scale variety of people in all instances. Cindi is a passionate humanitarian and naturalist for decades and has always been and is sincerely compelled to help others. Further experiences include working with countless homeless and in-need individuals in the area for whom she daily and consistently offered a hand of support in whatever ways possible. Cindi manages a local Natural Wellness department for 4 years offering consultations in personal empowerment opportunities that natural products provide in healing.


Danielle Chynoweth | Board President, member of the Finance Committee, Fundraising Committee, ...

Danielle has 30 years of experience in community organizing, media justice, and public policy. She is a cofounder of UCIMC and a recognized leader in the Indymedia movement. She has facilitated social change workshops in Thailand, Burma, Kenya, Italy, as at Evans Scholar at Evergreen State College, at Highlander Research and Education Center, and throughout the U.S. At UCIMC she negotiated the purchase of 202 S. Broadway, managed the $150,000 build out project, and co-authored numerous grants (National Endowment of the Arts, Americorps, Illinois Arts Council, Media Justice Fund)

Danielle currently serves as Cunningham Township Supervisor, Field Instructor for the School for Social Work, as chair of the CU Public Health Board and on the board of the Housing Authority of Champaign County.

As Organizing Director at the Center for Media Justice, she coordinated a national network of racial justice leaders to win political campaigns for net neutrality, prison phone justice, and broadband expansion for low-income families. She managed the national campaign that won passage of the Local Community Radio Act. She managed the primary campaign for Carol Ammons for State Representative. She served on Urbana's City Council, spearheading the creation of the Urbana Public Arts program and Living Wage ordinance. For 15 years she was Vice President and partner of Pixo, a technology company in Urbana.

She holds a Masters Degree in Political Science from the New School for Social Research. She trained in advanced facilitation at SOUL ( School for Unity in Liberation), in Digital Organizing at Wellstone Action, and in Executive Training by the Ford Foundation and Management for Change by The Management Center.

She was awarded the McKinley Foundation Social Justice Award, Woman of the Year by Central Illinois Business Magazine, and was named a Media Giraffe by the University of Massachusetts. She is currently co-authoring a book entitled Democratize This! Which was launched as a webinar series in 2020. She is mom to 9 year old Ezra Shine.


Don Owen | Board Treasurer

Dr. Donald Owen has spent the last 30 years as an educator and leader in Urbana School District #116. He earned his BA In Psychology and Social Studies Education from Carleton College, and an MA in history from Illinois State University. He completed his MEd and EdD in Educational Organization and Leadership from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During his tenure as a district administrator, Dr. Owen is most proud of the work he led to reduce disparities around issues of race. During his tenure as Superintendent, the graduation rate for White and Black students were within one percentage point of each other - essentially erasing the graduation gap between Black and White students. The work he led in the district earned Urbana High School the status of one of 20 high schools in the country to be named a School of Opportunity in 2016. In 2017, he was selected by his peers as the “Superintendent of Distinction” for the Illini Region in the Illinois Association of School Administrators. His leadership focuses on educational excellence through equity, engagement, and student voice. Dr. Owen is continuing to devote his energy to advocate for students and families of the Urbana-Champaign area. He currently serves as the Founder and CEO of Lead for Equity and Engagement LLC. In that role, Don works with organizations, individuals, and schools to provide training, racial equity audits, and leadership training.


Jane McClintock | Chair of the Facilities Committee

"I’m from Urbana and first knew IMC in high school as a member of the shows group. I have worked as a carpenter for about a decade around Urbana and now work as an energy efficiency consultant and educator. I have been on the IMC BOD 2 years now as the facilities chair taking care of the building and systems.
Giving voice to underrepresented voices and perspectives. Providing space for ideas and projects to flourish.

"Previous service on the board, fixing things as a carpenter and examining savings opportunities in HVAC systems as energy consultant."


Karthik Kakarala | Programming Committee Co-Chair


"Growing up in Springfield, IL has resulted in Central Illinois always being a “home base” regardless of journeys and moves for education. Minimum wage labor has alternated with research internships in the medical field for years. However, it was college radio and the DIY music scene that reshaped my commitment to volunteering in the arts, regardless of whether I was personally the performer. Which brings me to the current moment, where I am a medical student, creating experimental music, and serving on the Board of Directors for an organization I first encountered because I drove in from Bloomington to see a national touring noise act almost a decade and a half ago."


Leslie Smith | Programming Committee Co-Chair

Addictions Out-patient Program Coordinator, Experienced in the Cultural Arts.
Owned & operated “Giggles 40” bringing comedians to the Champaign-Urbana community.
Currently own & operate “Black Voices Theater Production” serving the Champaign Urbana Community doing a series called “Can You Hear Me Now?” using the arts as an outlet to experience healthy ways to express oneself and help alleviate violence -- starting a poetry-spoken word club to compete at local, regional, state and national levels for teens.

Matt Turino | Facilities Committee Member

"I have lived in Urbana most of my life and am very attached to the community and it’s well being. I graduated from Urbana High School in 2002 and from Warren Wilson College with a B.S. in Environmental Policy in 2007. I have worked at the U of I Sustainable Student Farm since 2013 and as the manager since 2015. Before that I worked a number of different companies including New Prairie Construction 2011-2012, Tim Gibbs Custom Builders 2010, Creole Stomp/L’Espirit Creole(bands) 2009, Tomanouse Farm 2008.

"Music and Dance has been the most significant part of my non-work life. I have played in a dozen bands over the last 20 years and have been involved in a number of dance communities in town but most formally in the contra dance community as a board member and organizer since 2008. I have also been involved in organizing community gardens and weekly community dinners and have been on the board of the Kalyx Center for Sustainability (in Monticello) for the last 4 years."


Shaya Robinson  

(Education, work and/or volunteer experience, current activities)
LCSW student, board member of 40 North, host of SPEAK Cafe, organizer/activist, community member


Stuart Levy | Chair of the Tech Committee, Personnel Committee Member

Studied computer science as an undergraduate in Minnesota, along with some linguistics and astronomy. Works at the U of Illinois as a programmer.

Volunteer as tech person for IMC's radio station WRFU. Am on the executive committee of the local Sierra Club Prairie Group.

Have been event staff at many IMC events.

Was an active member of AWARE from about 2006-2018, and moderately active in other groups that have been in the IMC, including C-U Citizens for Peace and Justice and Build Programs Not Jails.


Vacellia Clark


(Education, work and/or volunteer experience, current activities) (try to make this less than 250 words)
Retired from the City of Urbana January 2015 and went to work for Rep Ammons; after 2 yrs I returned to the City of Urbana in 2017 as part time Human Relations Officer); resigned July 31, 2020.
List of Employment:
1. City of Urbana positions - Human Relations Officer and HR Director (worked approximately 23 years)
2. State Rep Carol Ammons' District Office- Constituient Services Coordinator (2 years)
3. Southland Distribution Center - HR Director (11 years)
4. University of Illinois Personnel Services - position Personnel Officer II (8 years)