Category: CCUSC

Countering Stigma through Storytelling

The Latino Cultural Center and the Disability Cultural Center were in for a real treat on Wednesday, April 4th when Erasing the Distance and the Erasing the Distance Artistic Company came for a visit. We had the privilege of watching a talented group of actors bring to life the stories of real people with disabilities and the stigmas they overcame. Erasing the Distance: Countering Stigma Through Storytelling was part of the ongoing Spaces for Wellness project – a collaboration between the Centers for Cultural Understanding and Social Change.

Click HERE, for more about Erasing the Distance and how they use the power of performance to disarm stigma and promote healing surrounding issues of mental health.


On The Table 2017: Transwomen of Color and Racial Justice

Image of On The Table program

On May 17th, the Latino Cultural Center took part in a dialogue initiated by the Centers for Cultural Understanding and Social Change, organized by the Women’s Leadership and Resource Center, as part of the On The Table community engagement series organized by The Chicago Community Trust. Hosted by the African-American Cultural Center and facilitated by members of the Chicago Black Trans and Gender Non Conforming Collective, this dialogue addressed the issues of racial justice while focusing on transwomen of color. Concluding the dialogue, participants converged to share steps towards action in resisting transphobia and racism.

Arab American Cultural Center opens!

Image of Graduation celebration

As the first of its kind in the midwest, the Arab American Cultural Center officially opened this semester, joining the Centers for Cultural Understanding and Social Change as the seventh center on campus. The ArabAmCC can be found on the first floor of Stevenson Hall, and provides space for students to study, gather, and host events, in addition to some computer space and program offerings. The other CCUSC centers have long supported the idea of opening a new space, and LCC director Rosa Cabrera was on the organizing committee early in the process, understanding the need for support as these students face unique challenges on campus and beyond, particularly in the recent political climate. The new center hosted their first annual graduation celebration this week in Student Center East, as an opportunity for diverse students to celebrate their achievements with family and friends, music and food!

Check out the ArabAmCC’s new website here, or read all about the opening in UIC news here

Reimagining Masculinities and Sexual Assault

On April 11, 2017, the CCUSC Reimagining Masculinities Initiative held a film screening at the Women’s Leadership and Resource Center. The documentary, Yeah, Maybe, No, follows Black, a young gay man who is coming to terms with being a survivor of multiple sexual assaults. After the film, the audience had a moment to collect their thoughts due to the emotional impact of the topics in the film. Tevin Giles, from Howard Brown Health Clinic, which specializes in supporting LGBTQ survivors of sexual assault, led the discussion about male – identified and/or queer survivors of assault and understanding consent. Unfortunately, this is the last program of the Reimagining Masculinities Initiative this semester but don’t worry! They’ll be back in the fall for more groundbreaking and thought-provoking conversations!

CCUSC and Free Speech

Free Speech Panel image

On April 6, 2017, the UIC provost’s Campus Conversations took on the challenging topic of Free Speech in light of the recent discriminatory flyers on campus. Several directors of the Centers for Cultural Understanding and Social Change were invited to join a panel with a representative from the UIC Hillel, and a law professor from the Illinois Institute of Technology. CCUSC directors recounted situations in the past where hate speech has come to campus, and the various ways students, faculty, and staff have responded with messages of affirmation and unity in the face of discrimination, as a reminder to all at the UIC community to speak up in response to hate speech on campus and beyond. As Provost Poser noted, “The time is right, here at UIC, to engage in this discussion about these issues with the goal of respecting the free and open exchange of ideas, while maintaining the diverse and inclusive community that UIC prides itself on. And this is no small task.”

Check out these links to find out more about the flyers, to find the CCUSC response, and to find out more about Free Speech in the US. Find the video of this panel discussion and other campus conversations from throughout the schoolyear here.