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Civic Knowledge Project Tackles Urban Problems

The School of Social Service Administration lobby was filled to capacity the evening of Thursday, Nov. 11th, for the third public discussion in the Poverty, Promise, and Possibility initiative.The Civic Knowledge Project sponsored its third public discussion in the Poverty, Promise, and Possibility series with featured speaker Timothy Knowles, the John Dewey director of the Urban Education Institute and clinical professor on the Committee on Education. This series of public discussions is an initiative of the Civic Knowledge Project, which combines the best elements of the University of Chicago’s vision of the humanities with concrete antipoverty programming. This series in particular represents an effort to bring together the University’s scholarly resources on issues of poverty in new, more publicly accessible, and more socially relevant ways.

“The aim of the project is to highlight the usable knowledge available through the University for the purpose of illuminating both the pressing problems of poverty in our area and the practical steps that local communities can take to address such problems,” says CKP Director Bart Schultz. “The University is committed to working with community partners on urgent social issues such as poverty. This new initiative is designed to foster the larger cooperative ethic of civic friendship that the University seeks to realize in its relationships with a rich array of Chicago neighborhoods and communities.”

Knowles’ discussion on Poverty and Urban Schooling followed last month’s special guest speaker Earl Shorris, the National Humanities Medalist and founder of the Odyssey Project/Clemente Course in the Humanities. Shorris delivered a powerful argument for taking the Clemente Course in the Humanities into disadvantaged urban high schools.

To learn more about the Civic Knowledge Project click here.

Poverty, Promise, and Possibility is a collaborative initiative whose partners include the Division of the Humanities/Civic Knowledge Project, University of Chicago’s Office of Civic Engagement, Graham School of General Studies, Urban Education Institute, and School of Social Service Administration.

The next discussion on Poverty and Public Health features Eric Whitaker, Executive Vice President for Strategic Affiliations and Associate Dean for Community-Based Research, University of Chicago Medical Center. It will be held on Wednesday, December 1 from 6:30-8 pm at the School of Social Service Administration, 969 E. 60th St.

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  1. The Poverty, Promise, and Possibility initiative has been generating a lot of excitement, and I hope that colleagues in the Humanities Division will continue to join us for upcoming events. Please do check out the CKP blog, which has some useful additional material– http://lucian.uchicago.edu/blogs/povertypromisepossibility/ And watch for the new website launch at http://povertyinitiative-we.uchicago.edu/. Best, Bart

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