We’re honored to announce that ICA GreenRise has received a major State Capital Grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to invest in renovating key building features. The $150,000 award will support upgrades to the building’s fire safety system, part of a roster of capital improvements planned as part of the GreenRise Renovation Project (GRRP).
“Folks in this group wear a lot of hats—community leaders, community organizers, parents, pastors. When you come into those different roles you bring different skills and focuses and things that you’re trying to do with a group, and facilitation is no different,” said ICA staffer Samantha Sainsbury to a group of organizers leading efforts to expand clean energy opportunities to Illinoisans.
Funded by a grant through the Energy Foundation and Illinois Environmental Council, ICA partnered with the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition (ICJC) to offer a training series in our Technology of Participation (ToP) facilitation methods to fellow grantees engaged in the Listen. Lead. Share. (LLS) campaign.
The Technology of Participation (ToP) methods were distilled from decades of experience facilitating meaningful, transformative experiences in community. The methods have been applied throughout the world, in cities, towns, and villages. They have been used at every scale from the United Nations and Fortune 500 companies down to staff meetings and family gatherings. For most of its history, ToP has thrived in-person, face-to-face.
For years, the focus of the ICA Social Research Center (SRC) has been to translate our massive collection of written and recorded material to a comprehensive and accessible website. Throughout that journey of digitizing documents and building websites, the dedicated team of volunteers also began exploring tools for working together virtually. By last fall, the team was reconsidering the in-person meetings that had brought colleagues to Chicago twice each year for the past decade.
We’re excited to announce that ICA will be working with the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition on the Listen. Lead. Share. (LLS) campaign! Last year, we joined a cohort of organizations working to educate the public about clean energy and hear feedback from residents about recommendations for the upcoming energy bill for Illinois.
If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class and our nation
We at the Institute of Cultural Affairs and the Ecumenical Institute are infuriated and deeply distressed by the murder of Black people by law enforcement and the continued racial violence being directed at the Black community over and over again on a daily basis.
We stand in solidarity with protesters, activists, and organizers expressing outrage at the long history of systemic racism that continues to perpetuate injustice with complicity by public officials.
The One Earth Film Festival (OEFF) model is tried and true. For nearly a decade, they’ve made environmental film screenings into social events by embedding our Technology of Participation (ToP) methods to stimulate audience participation. In an era of online streaming and unprecedented digital connectivity where it’s easier than ever to watch films from home, OEFF makes a powerful case for the benefits of physically coming together.
How can we maintain grassroots energy in the midst of social distancing? The first Chicago Sustainability Leaders Network (CSLN) meeting of the year, which was also the first virtual full network meeting, explored that question on March 26, as the changes wrought by COVID-19 and public health guidelines swept Chicago.
When I look at the shift in perspective that I experienced in participating in ICA methods, when I’ve engaged meaningfully with people that are steeped in the practices and principles of ICA, it warms my heart to know that people can be grounded in community, radically caring for one another, and making progress.