Listen - Activate - Transform

Civic and community engagement is a hallmark strategic priority at UIC. This commitment is codified into our mission as Chicago’s only public, research university and is indeed evident throughout every college and unit across campus. Across many diverse disciplines, including health care, education, urban development, or arts and culture, to name just a few, we strive to work with communities and the organizations that serve them, not only to study them.

As many individuals across our university community have mobilized and re-organized research and service activities to provide COVID-19 pandemic response and relief to our local and regional efforts, we hope to seed and foster greater campus collaboration to address the needs of communities and neighborhoods that have faced disproportionate hardship and harm because of COVID-19.

The city of Chicago has looked to UIC as a partner in addressing racial disparities in health, technology, and service that have been laid bare by COVID-19. School of Public Health Dean Wayne Giles and Marcus Betts, Assistant Vice Chancellor for External Engagement, both serve on the Mayor Lightfoot’s Racial Equity Rapid Response Team and Dr. Amalia Pallares, Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Engagement, is a member of the Mayor’s Recovery Taskforce. Their work, on behalf of UIC, when coupled with existing COVID-19 response and recovery efforts happening across our campus, exemplify the role UIC plays in addressing and responding to COVID-19, all while keeping our rich history of community engagement at the forefront.

As COVID-19 continues its prevalence across our region, the need to coordinate university efforts are more important than ever. UIC’s multidisciplinary academic and research network, including that of our academic health enterprise of UI Health, are uniquely positioned to be astutely responsive to our community partners’ needs in ways that may directly address immediate concerns as well as set the stage for long-term partnerships.

With the support of the UIC School of Public Health, UIC -Partnerships for Antiracist Campus Transformation (UIC-PACT), was established. Led by Dr. Jeni Hebert-Beirne, Interim Associate Dean for Community Engagement at the School of Public Health; Dr. Jennifer Brier, Director of the Program in Gender and Women’s Studies; and Dr. Marc Atkins, Director of the Institute for Juvenile Research and the CCTS Community Engagement and Collaboration Program, UIC-PACT is a collaboration of members from across campus with the goal to identify various community needs and organize our university expertise and response.

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  1. Building Eastside Connections – PACT is currently working on establishing Eastside connections, especially in LAS.
  2. Faculty Engagement – PACT is looking to engage faculty from each college to join the Organizing Committee. Please contact Gaby Peña ( if you are interested!
  3. Community Partners Database – PACT is helping to spearhead a University-wide community partners database aimed at helping to capture the breadth and depth of our community partnerships and help us to become better collaborators.