Implementation Grant Projects

The following projects have received funding from the Vision 2030 Global Strategy Implementation Grant.

Design Action Hub

The Design Action Hub will develop a collaboration between the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the University of Johannesburg (UJ) in South Africa to design and implement a cutting-edge platform that combines the humanities and design thinking to unpack what it means to be oppressed. The Design Action Hub will begin with a pilot 8-week, hybrid course titled “The Designer’s Guide to Oppression and Resistance” that will be offered through Illinois’ Siebel Center for Design and UJ’s Department of History in Fall 2024. When this joint course is proven to be successful, the intention is to develop a series of these joint courses that will be woven throughout UJ’s History program and could become a certificate program through SCD. There is also potential to expand this program to universities in other countries, instigating a global movement that challenges systemic oppression through empathy, academic analysis, and innovative problem-solving. The course is partially supported by the Implementation Grant.

Siebel Center for Design

Siebel Center for Design (SCD) is a campus resource for everyone – students, faculty, and all learners – interested in developing the mindsets of human-centered design. SCD’s mission is to practice, model, and teach design thinking, using human-centered design, in collaboration with others, to re-imagine our campus, community, and collective world.

Wits University Collaboration

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has formed a partnership with Wits University in South Africa to forge links around key national strategic priorities in radio astronomy. The goals of this collaboration are to develop human capacity through graduate mentorship and to strengthen links with major astronomical facilities in South Africa and internationally. Professor Kemball (Astronomy) is serving as a Carnegie Wits Diaspora Fellow and faculty member at Wits under this collaboration. The student exchange activities are partially supported by the Implementation Grant.

Athol Kemball

Athol Kemball is a Professor of Astronomy at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Distinguished Professor of Physics at Wits University. His areas of expertise are in observational astronomy, facility construction, and high-performance computing.

From Shame to Celebration: Sierra Leonian Women Reframe the Culture of Menstruation

Through a new pilot class and faculty-led study abroad program in the Department of Journalism, Illinois students will partner with multimedia and broadcast journalism students from Fourah Bay College in Sierra Leone to shoot primary footage for the film, “From Shame to Celebration: Sierra Leonian Women Reframe the Culture of Menstruation.” The film will focus on how a local woman-led grassroots organization, “Uman Tok,” is making tangible progress to alleviate period poverty and menstrual exclusion while also educating a generation of girls in sexual and reproductive health.  The program is designed to train advanced media students to apply and develop their skills as documentary filmmakers and multimedia backpack journalists reporting on issues of pressing international concern. The program will be led by Charles “Stretch” Ledford and Alison Davis and is partially funded by the Implementation Grant.

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Charles “Stretch” Ledford

Charles “Stretch” Ledford is an Associate Professor of Journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he teaches multimedia storytelling. During his 40-year career as a visual journalist he has worked in more than 50 countries on five continents. His photographs, short films and audio stories have been published worldwide by NPR, The Washington Post, The BBC, The Atlantic, Time, Newsweek, ABC News, VICE, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal and Esquire, among others. Stretch has been recognized with awards from the National Press Photographers’ Association, the New York Art Directors’ Club, Communication Arts Photography Annual, the International Photography Awards, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Galleries and museums in Colorado, North Carolina, Florida, Illinois, Nebraska and Virginia have displayed Ledford’s work. In 2001, Gannett included Ledford’s work in its entry for the Pulitzer Prize in photography. In 2012 he was named Innovator of the Year for College Students by the Associated Press Media Editors.

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Alison Davis

Alison Davis has been producing national documentaries for over two decades. Her programs have received numerous awards including seven regional Emmy Awards and over 20 Emmy nominations.

Davis produced documentaries for the Big Ten Network when she joined Illinois’ Division of Intercollegiate Athletics/Public Affairs in April 2008. Before that she worked at WILL-TV (PBS) where she was the longtime producer and host of Prairie Fire, a cultural magazine series about the people and places of central Illinois.

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