advocacy

Founded 20/02/2002, Spineless Books is a local independent publishing house dedicated to producing innovative literature in print and electronic forms. Spineless Books also helps organize numerous local literary events, such as Callings, Urbana Burning, and Urbana Free Poetry.

The Women's Resources Center, a unit of the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations at the University of Illinois, hosts monthly exhibitions of a diversity of art mediums. Preference is given to University of Illinois undergraduate, graduate, and professional students and/or art that examines dynamics of gender and other social identities.

Apart from exhibition space, the Women's Resources Center's primary services include advocacy and support services for survivors of violence or trauma; educational programs in leadership, career development, wellness, and safety; and the promotion of an awareness the needs and issues facing women and trans* students and other marginalized communities.

The UP (Uniting Pride) Center of Champaign County is a multi-service agency, for youth and adults, with a purpose to support and promote human care, education, and community-building activities directed at furthering the well-being and development of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and ally community of Champaign County.

Stories & Queer, founded by writer Brian Kornell and poet Ruben Quesada, is a traveling reading series based in Urbana-Champaign that aims to provide a space for local & national readers/listeners to connect with queer & queer-friendly writers in underrepresented areas of the country. Each reading features two local and one live streamed writer with consideration given to a represent culture, gender, and language. Additionally, the event will also be broadcast live and archived to the web. The virtual components of this series are unique and allow us to reach beyond the local borders of the event.

Queer poets and writers need to be given a space to share their work just as much as their straight counterparts. This is an issue of visibility. Queer voices should not be marginalized nor hidden away. Even though the LGBTQ community is on the brink of historic advancements in equal rights, bullying and anti-LGBTQ speech is still pervasive. The Stories & Queer reading series steps in to embrace queer and queer-friendly poets and writers who express themselves, the issues/ideas most important to them. This series makes a positive contribution to the literary and LGBTQ community by encouraging all people to tell their stories without shame or fear.

The NSAL is an organization which actively support the work of young people who are pursuing an interest in the following categories; art, music, drama, literature, dance, and musical theater. The society was founded in 1944 and consists of 18 chapters distributed across the United States. While local chapters may vary in local endeavors, all participate in the "Career Awards", a national competition held each spring, as well as the Winston Endowment scholarships in art and voice.

What: The University YMCA will host Rev. Dr. Cindi Love from Soulforce on “Fundamentalism, Freedom, and Faith” on March 8th at Friday Forum.

When: March 8, 2013, 12 Noon

Where: Latzer Hall, University YMCA, 1001 S. Wright Street, Champaign, Illinois

Details: The talk will focus on the challenges faced by the LGBTQ community and other marginalized communities, who are often subjected to the violence of exclusion, and highlight the non-violent efforts made by Soulforce to resist the oppression arising out of fundamentalism. Local church and political officials as well as the media are invited to speak with Rev. Dr. Cindi Love before and after the noontime talk.

Background: Successful entrepreneur and corporate executive turned minister, Rev. Dr. Cindi Love is the Executive Director of Soulforce as well as a regular contributor to the Huffington Post. Love also serves on the United Nations UUO Coalition for LGBT Human Rights and authored the book Would Jesus Discriminate? named for the international campaign of the same name.

Soulforce is a national non-profit organization dedicated to bring freedom to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people from religious & political oppression. It also challenges other forms of oppression including sexism, racism and classism. Soulforce accomplishes its mission primarily through community organizing, education and training, advocacy for public and private institutional policy change and street-based nonviolent resistance to overt discrimination.

"Soulforce, Rev. Dr. Cindi Love" is a part of the Friday Forum Spring 2013 lecture series, Faith in Action. The series will feature speakers from across the spectrum of faith traditions that are compelled by their faith to engage in bold and creative forms of action. All lectures are free and open to the public. Y Eatery is available during the lecture: $6.50/3.00 student.

Additional Information: The views expressed by the speakers do not necessarily reflect the views of the University YMCA, co-sponsors, or the Friday Forum committee. A sign language interpreter is available within a 72 hour notice (contact Carol Nunn at 217-337-1500). All forums are radio broadcast at 6:00pm on WEFT 90.1 the Monday following the lecture. For more information, plus a list of our sponsors, please visit www.universityymca.org/friday_forum.

More info about Rev. Dr. Cindi Love: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-dr-cindi-love/

Contact: Ann Rasmus, Program Director

[217-337-1514, ann@universityymca.org]

Since 1873 the University YMCA has sponsored programs, organizations and activities dedicated to fostering ethical and principled leadership dedicated to building a better world, better human relations and better care for the Earth.

Some of the most profound insight, critique, and creative thinking around the issues which comprise the mission of the Y happen in and around the arts. Art @ the Y seeks to engage issues of social justice, international understanding, environmental activism, faith and cultural understanding through quality arts programming. Art @ the Y includes a revolving exhibition space in Murphy Gallery, featuring artists whose work speaks to the mission of the Y as well as performing arts events throughout the year.

Interested in having your art @ the Y? Contact Ann Rasmus at ann@universityymca.org for details on exhibit and performance entries.

In 2008, the Urbana Public Arts Program and Commission was established by the Urbana City Council to foster a city where all residents—emerging artists, established artists, and “non-artists” alike—may engage with the arts and where artists thrive and are valued. The Arts, as used in this program, include but are not limited to music, theatre, visual arts, dance, creative writing, film/video, crafts, performing arts, spoken word, environmental arts, multimedia arts, architectural arts, landscape architecture, and emerging media. Through public support for the arts, the City of Urbana increases opportunities for the creation of art, thereby enhancing the quality of life, economic development, citizen participation, cultural awareness, and vibrancy of the community.

The Urbana Public Arts Program includes:
- Urbana Arts Grants
- Art at the Market
- Art Now!
- Murals on Glass
- Artist of the Corridor
- Permanent and Temporary Public Art Projects, including Art in the Park, the Urbana Sculpture Project, and public art projects in progress for the Boneyard Creek Improvements Project and King Park
- Guide to Local Arts Classes and Resources

Habitat for Humanity of Champaign County and ReStore is a nonprofit, Christian housing ministry that works both to eliminate poverty housing around the world and to make adequate housing a matter of conscience and action. Habitat welcomes partners from any faith - or no faith tradition - which are willing to help improve the lives of families needing safe, affordable, decent housing.

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