Illinois Campuses Will Tell Stories of Those Facing Incarceration, Being Neighbors, Stereotypes, and More

Facing Stories

In late spring we announced our partnership with 14 state Campus Compacts that will bring the Facing Project model to 70 new campuses/communities across the country. Over the past few weeks we have announced them on our site as the colleges and universities are selected in each state. This week we are excited to announce five new Illinois-based projects through the partnership with Illinois Campus Compact.

Chicago School of Professional Psychology (Chicago, IL): Facing Two Chicagos
Led by the Director of Community Partnerships, Jill Glenn, and AmeriCorps VISTA Shawnteal Peery, along with a variety of community partners, this Facing Project will tell the stories of those who live in underserved areas of the west and south-sides of Chicago—sharing a vibrant and diverse voice that’s often overlooked.

Illinois College (Jacksonville, IL): Congolese Immigrant Stories: A Facing Project
Under the direction of Nancy Taylor-Porter, Associate Professor of Theatre and Academic Director of the First-Year Experience, along with 18 first-year students and several community service agencies, this Facing Project will tell the stories of Congolese immigrants who have immigrated to central Illinois to work in a meat processing factory.

Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago, Bronzeville Neighborhood, IL): Facing Stereotypes
Under the direction of Lynne Meyer, Director of Spiritual Life and Diversity, this Facing Project will pair students with residents of the Bronzeville neighborhood on the south side of Chicago to tell the stories of this vibrant, and often miscategorized, community.

Northern Illinois University (DeKalb, IL): Facing Incarceration
Under the direction of Michaela Holtz, Associate Director of the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning and Coordinator of Community Engagement, this Facing Project will connect to the university’s common read, Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, and tell the stories of those who have faced the impacts associated with incarceration.

University of Chicago (Chicago, IL): Being Neighbors: A Facing Project
Under the direction of Chris Skrable, Associate for Community-Based Research and Experiential Learning, in partnership with the nonprofit news organizations The South Side Weekly and the student-led Weekly, this Facing Project will tell stories from both sides of the border between campus and the city to document, and honestly face, all that neighboring has been, has failed to be, and yet could become.

These Facing Projects will bring together community partners, college students, storytellers, writers, artists, volunteers and their broader communities to learn from the first-person stories of their neighbors—and to be inspired by the stories to create new, hyper-local conversations and action.

We will share more details about each of these projects as they roll out over the next year.

If you would like to bring The Facing Project model to your campus/community, check out our Info. Guide and let us know if you’d like to connect.


The Facing Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that connects people through stories to strengthen communities. Founded in Muncie, Indiana, by J.R. Jamison and Kelsey Timmerman, the organization has connected writers, storytellers, artists, educators, and community leaders in over 100 communities across the country. Hailed by The Huffington Post, Harlem World Magazine, and Soul Train as one of three oral history projects to watch, The Facing Project provides a model, tools, and a platform for communities to arm themselves with stories to begin crucial conversations on social justice issues—neighbor to neighbor, community to community—by discussing solutions and exploring healing through their own narratives.

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