From: Linda Bendixen
Date: February 25
Subject: Steans Center Newsletter - February 2021

February 2021

News from the Steans CenterEgan Office, and ABCD Institute at DePaul University.

Mérida Program Celebrates Quinceañera

On February 13, DePaul hosted a 15-year virtual reunion between past Merida Study Abroad service learning students and faculty and the women of Manos Unidas in the Emiliano Zapata Sur neighborhood of Merida, Mexico. Nearly 50 faculty, staff, student alums and the Manos Unidas leaders and their families gathered for a 90-minute Zoom "recuentra", reuniting with old friends and reflecting on how it has transformed the community and students' and alumni lives.

Manos Unidas is a grassroots women-run organization that has hosted DePaul students every Winter and Spring term in service learning projects since 2006.  

To read about the transformative experience at Merida, click here.
To apply to the Merida program, please click here.


OCE Resource Website and Live Events

ASL launched Version 2.0 of Online Community Engagement (OCE) and created a resource website OCE Website.

OCE Live is a series of discussions, presentations and workshops led by our Community Partners, Faculty and Staff to explore social justice issues in an era of global pandemic and civic uprising.  Events take place every Friday in February from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.  Topics include:

2/26 - Housing Policy/Gentrification, Displacement and Economic Development

Click on the links below to register.  For more information, please contact SERVICELEARNING@DEPAUL.EDU
RSVP:  OCE Live Event Series

Egan Reads

The Egan Office is celebrating Black History Month by sharing our favorite picture books about Black history or by Black authors. Join us for the first read-aloud, "The Story of Rap" by Lindsey Sagar, read by Egan's Cree Noble.  Check out all of the Egan Reads videos at the Egan YouTube page.

McCormick Community Internship now accepting applications

Awesome upcoming opportunity for juniors and seniors — We are now accepting applications for the McCormick Community Internship (MCI)!  The MCI is a quarter-long internship program for DePaul's community-engaged junior and senior undergraduates demonstrating a commitment to issues of social inequality, community service and responsibility, and academic excellence. 

Interns receive $1,500 per academic quarter for 100 hours of work. 
To learn more about the McCormick Internship, click here.  If you're ready to apply, click here.  Deadline is March 5.

ABCD Institute "Video Book":
"Neighborhood Security: The role of the Community and the Role of the Police" 

The ABCD Institute is excited to release the first seven chapters of a " video book" where each chapter is the story of how communities and neighborhoods have worked to increase security and decrease violence. Each story is told by a person involved in the initiative. There are two kinds of stories. The first describes how local residents have used their own neighborhood resources to increase local security. The second kind involves police officials who have used their position to support neighborhood efforts to increase security. ​The viewer can listen to all the stories or select those of greatest interest.

Course Spotlight: WRD 542 Urban Literacies

This course is an introduction and limited overview of the field of literacy, especially in regard to young adults in an urban setting.  WRD 542 is designed as an exploration of the multiple definitions of literacy with a special emphasis on literacy for high school aged and young adults in an urban environment.  Much of the course will examine the relationship between theory and practice.  In our readings and discussion, we will cover theories of literacy from psychology, education, composition and rhetoric, and linguistics.  In addition, we'll explore the politics of literacy and the concept of "community literacy" and "urban literacy," always attempting to make connections with the pragmatic aspects of working on literacy issues with real people, in this case, Chicago-area young adults (age 16 and up).  We will be partnering with an English instructor at the Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy (IHSCA), and will have the opportunity to work on several projects including individual tutoring, SAT workshops, and with their student council on an on-going project.

CSS Student Spotlight - Shalinee Abraham

As a community service scholar at DePaul, Shalinee has had numerous experiences engaging with the Chicago community. Since September 2017, Shalinee has been volunteering at A Just Harvest Community Kitchen in Rogers Park, “an amazing life experience.”  Shalinee enjoys every task, from food prep to clean up, but one of the best parts is meeting new people. 

“One of the people I have met from volunteering there has really left an imprint on my soul. This patron, Carlos, taught me a valuable lesson about what it means to serve, and he stands out in my mind and warms my heart.” 

Carlos was a talkative soul, “always conversing with each guest and volunteer (perhaps a bit too much)." Carlos used to sit in the same seat every time he came to eat and started the same conversations over and over again. A few years back, his conversation focused on a trip he was taking with his partner to his hometown in Puerto Rico. 

A few weeks later, Shalinee noticed that Carlos wasn’t there in his usual seat.

"As I asked around, I heard the news that Carlos had  . . . passed away during his visit to Puerto Rico.  . . .  In the end, I’m glad that he was able to make it home, but the next few days after this sad news, it really felt like something was missing. It was Carlos and his never-ending hospitality and vibrancy.  . . . Here, I had been thinking that I was the one giving back and serving at the kitchen, when in reality, it was Carlos and his contagious joy. He had inspired me to engage with others in more meaningful ways. He was on the giving end, just as much as the receiving end, and this delicate balance really clarified what social justice means to me. It’s both giving and receiving while respecting others, in spite of our position or place in society. We’re all human beings first, and we can all learn from each other, regardless of backgrounds or experiences. Carlos taught me humility, gentleness, kindness, and joy. Carlos fed my soul, as well as the souls of those who knew him. He knew how to live and treat others. As I continue serving at the kitchen, I hope to make a real difference in people’s lives, just like Carlos has done for me. I hope to become more hospitable and vibrant, like Carlos, so I can spread joy and impact others just as he did.”

Community Service Scholarship Open

Freshman – if you are dedicated to social justice and service, then the Community Service Scholarship is for you. The Community Service Scholarship is a 3-year program, sophomore year to senior year, where scholars complete 30 service hours every quarter with DePaul community partners, maintain a 2.7 GPA, complete the Community Service Studies academic minor, and attend quarterly workshops focused on topics related to service learning and social justice. Community Service Scholars also receive an annual scholarship of $6,000 per academic year.

To learn more please visit:

The Community Service Scholarship application can also be found on Scholarship Connect here:

The scholarship is open on Scholarship Connect until March 15th.

Celebrate Black History on Collaboratory

Help us celebrate Black History Month by recognizing how DePaul University faculty, staff and students engage with Black communities and community partners in Chicago and internationally. We invite you to add to the conversation in Collaboratory, the university’s platform for collecting and communicating community engagement activities, enabling us to share all the good work we do across the university.  Share your research, your community engagement, your public service and your projects that shine a spotlight on your work with Black Lives, groups, organizations and neighborhoods.

For more information about Collaboratory, please contact Steans Center Associate Director Barbara Smith

John Horan, President Emeritus, North Lawndale College Prep High School

Endowed Scholarship for North Lawndale Students by Steans Family 

In keeping with their long-term commitment to providing students with access to high-quality education, Jennifer, Robin and Heather Steans have made a $5 million gift to establish the John Horan Endowed Scholarship Program at DePaul University.

To read more about the scholarship, click here.

Coming Up:

OCE Live:  Events take place every Friday in February from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Click on the links below to register.  For more information, please contact SERVICELEARNING@DEPAUL.EDU.

  • February 26 - Housing Policy/Gentrification, Displacement and Economic Development

March 6 at noon CST - Join the Egan Office for a discussion focused on mental health awareness and advocacy in the Black community. Register here: 

February 24-26 - Climate Action Pursuit:  Toward Justice and Resilience.  Second Nature and Intentional Endowments Network.

Campus Compact Indiana
February 24-26 - 11th Annual Indiana Campus Compact Summit
Engagement Scholarship Consortium - Call for proposals for fall conference due March 15.

Steans Center Scholarship/Internship Application Deadlines
March 5 - McCormick Internship 
March 8 - Harrison I Steans Graduate Fellowship
March 15 - Community Service Scholarship