497-312: Eat the (Food) Desert: The Bronzeville Challenge

CRN
19140
Meeting Days/Time
Tuesdays from 1:50 to 4:30 pm
Sponsors
Chicago Public Schools, Sodexo, Institute of Food Safety & Health (IFSH)
Instructor(s)
Stuart Patterson - Associate Professor of Liberal Arts, Shimer College (s.patterson@shimer.edu) Lisa Montgomery - IIT Office of Inclusion, Diversity & Employer Engagement (lisa.montgomery@iit.edu)
Appropriate Disciplines
All
Category
Social Innovation

Access to fresh, affordable and quality foods is a challenge for some communities including historic Bronzeville, which has been declared a “food desert” by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP).  With health issues like diabetes, obesity and hypertension on the rise in younger people, it is important for families to understand the nuisances of today’s food language and sources.

This IPRO project would continue the work of IPRO 312 begun in Spring 2016. The overall objective is to review current research, language and community conditions on food and food ways and provide the community with the necessary knowledge to make informed decisions about their health, nutrition and food diet.  This class will develop a prototype for transforming scientific knowledge into laymen’s terms as a deliverable to community residents, businesses and agencies.  You will also further refine a student-designed and managed forum for holding periodic community events, called exploratory forums, where stakeholders of the campus and Bronzeville community can unite in support of this initiative.

The fall 2016 IPRO team will be following up on work begun by its predecessor, IPRO 312 spring 2016 who will have been asked to recommend approaches and methods to their successors.  Team members will organize themselves into appropriate task groups that allocate and monitor their time to meet the above objectives. The necessary skill sets will involve event planning, networking across individuals and groups on the Illinois Tech campus and beyond, as well as writing drafts of proposals for funding the continuing forum.

There are a number of critical stakeholders who care about this project. They include groups and individuals in leadership positions on the Illinois Tech campus and the larger community of Bronzeville. Indeed, in important ways, the IPRO project is designed to involve the students in identifying, contacting and enlisting the participation and support of stakeholders in an effective and innovative manner. Students from Illinois Tech and Shimer are encouraged to join this IPRO team to have a lasting impact on the community and our collaborative engagement on campus.

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