Compromised, partial archive of Imagining Geographies & Civic Soul regional engagement initiatives (2012-2016) undertaken by dedicated students and residents.
Imagining Geographies was a multi-year (2012-2016), university & region-wide initiative advancing residents’ engagement with public issues related to the quality of life for all living beings.
Following initial Antarctica programming (2012), Imagining Geographies [IG] launched a multi-year focus on the land, lives, and arts of Southern Illinois. We do so through investigations and discussions of past histories and present issues that engage our imaginations in thinking about and expressing what our present-future lives might be like in this region, and we advance initiatives that seek to transform imagining into action.
Most IG initiatives are organized through four domains: * Advancing Southern Illinois Arts * Experiencing Environs * Qualities of Life in Southern Illinois * Sustainability and Environmental Science, Communication, and Policy.
IG’s efforts enable scholars, artists, students, members of agencies and community organizations as well as residents to create and share knowledge, as well as advance transformative action initiatives. They do so through participating in IG events, such as: civic dialogues, lectures/panels, seminars, workshops, field trips, concerts, film screenings, visual installations, as well as contributing to our publication – Sharing Knowledge…
In 2015 we launched two new initiatives:
• Civic Dialogues are policy forums in which we work with community organizations to convene meetings with a variety of stakeholders to discuss issues of concern to civil society groups and residents of Southern Illinois, and actions that are or could be advanced to change or monitor public policies. Four issue groupings are currently being addressed in these multi-year initiatives: (1) civic justice concerns involving, at present, community-police relations and community rights; (2) poverty and homelessness, in partnership with the Sparrow Coalition; (3) quality of life issues for persons with disabilities living independently in Carbondale; (4) environmental justice – case of water: * how to revitalize the Cache River watershed? * fixing deteriorating levees in Southern Illinois, and * consequences of decision to permit solar array on Koppers’ brownfield site in Carbondale.
• Civic Soul is a communication – media initiative that supports IG as well as citizen-based public affairs efforts to understand and transform public policies. We do so by gathering and posting informative resources, vodcasts, recordings of Civic Dialogues – on this site, as well as our partners’ websites and social media.
We hope our events, action-initiatives, Sharing Knowledge… publications as well as this website enable audience members and readers to learn about, experience, reflect on, and reconnect with living in Southern Illinois and beyond; as well as enable us to imagine and to become engaged in transforming our lives here, individually and collectively.
NAVIGATING the WEBSITE
For more information about the Imagining Geographies Initiative & Civic Soul, contact: IG Co-founder and Facilitator: Peter Lemish, Ph.D., formerly, faculty member of School of Journalism at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.