Happy Hour and Discussion for Knight News Challenge: Health at the Chicago Community Trust

knight-foundation-logoPlease join us at a happy hour and discussion session for the Knight News Challenge: Health. This Knight News Challenge will fund innovative ideas to harness information and data for the health of communities. There are $2.2 million at stake in this challenge.

Representatives from the Knight Foundation, as well as local speakers focused on health innovation, will be at the Chicago Community Trust, 225 North Michigan Avenue on Friday, September 6, from 4 – 5 PM, with happy hour to follow.

John Bracken of the Knight Foundation will review the News Challenge program and its current focus on health. Dan O’Neil of Smart Chicago will talk about the vast opportunity around data in the health sphere.

Sign up here on Eventbrite to join us.

Meantime, get involved in the Inspiration phase of the challenge and follow the Knight Foundation on Twitter for updates on the challenge itself.

If you are interested in submitting to Knight News Challenge : Health, or you just have an interest in health innovation, please come!

Englewood Codes Demo Day is Tonight

Englewood Code students working on their projects

Englewood Code students working on their projects, photo by Demond Drummer

Tonight, 25 teens from Englewood Codes will demonstrate their websites at Kennedy King College. Englewood Codes is a 10 week summer program run by Demond Drummer of Teamwork Englewood. The program teaches kids not just web development, but teamwork and leadership.

Last week, Demond dropped by the OpenGov Hack Night to talk about the program, what the group was able to accomplish, lessons learned and the future of Englewood Codes. 

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Review of #CivicSummer 2013

civic-summer-logo

#Civic Summer is an experimental summer jobs program for teens focused on civics, media, and technology. Our inaugural program ran from July through August of 2013 and included more than 140 Chicago teens trained to use the latest digital tools to organize themselves, amplify their voice, and take positive civic action.

Partners

This program, funded by Smart Chicago based on a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, was largely run by two Chicago organizations focused on serving youth:

  • Mikva Challenge, which develops the next generation of civic leaders, activists, and policy-makers
  • Free Spirit Media, which provides education, access, and opportunity in media production

The Chicago Community Trust provides significant support for the program as well.

#CivicSummer Session with Mikva Challenge Aldermanic Fellows

#CivicSummer Session with Mikva Challenge Aldermanic Fellows at The Chicago Community Trust

Team & Locations

Jacqui Cheng was the lead instructor for Smart Chicago Collaborative. She and I teamed up to deliver four Friday #civicsummer sessions and custom sessions with each group.

Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy houses many  #civicsummer sessions as well as the Mikva Juvenile Justice Council and the Free Spirit Media’s DocuMakers program.

Tribeca Flashpoint Cinema Lab 540a for Civic Innovation Summer

Tribeca Flashpoint Cinema Lab 540a for Civic Innovation Summer

YOUMedia was the location for Mikva Digital Fellows, Mikva CPS Education Council, and Teen Health Council.

1871 was the location for one Friday #civicsummer session.

Devry was the location for the Mayoral Youth Commission.

Youth work

The youth worked in separate groups, each with their own themes, leadership, and advisors.

The Juvenile Justice Advisory Council theme was “improving the criminal justice system” and reducing youth incarceration rates. Their decision makers were Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and the Justice Advisory Council led by Juliana Stratton. Smart Chicago worked with this Council on CAPStagram, a proposed app that would allow residents to submit “Community Concerns” via the CLEARPath API.

The Teen Health Council theme was “how to improve the health of wellness for Chicago youth” and their decision makers were Dr. Bechara Choucair, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, and Dr. Stephanie Whyte, Chicago Public Schools Chief Health Officer. Smart Chicago worked with this Council on Chicago Health Atlas, where you can view citywide information about health trends and take action near you to improve your own health.

The Mayoral Youth Commission theme was “making youth issues a top priority for the City of Chicago” and their decision makers were Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other City departments. Smart Chicago worked with this Council on the open data policies of the City as well as the data published to data.cityofchicago.org.

The Education Council theme was “how to improve school culture through increased use of youth voice” and their decision makers were Barbara Byrd Bennett, Chicago Public Schools CEO, and  Chicago Public Schools Director of Youth Development and Positive Behavior Support. Smart Chicago wored with this Council on Go2School, a site that allows you to explore travel options to your Chicago Public School. Here’s the curriculum we used with this group:

The Mikva Government Fellows theme was “how government works and how it can work for youth” and their decision makers were City Aldermen. Smart Chicago worked with this Council on Chicago Works for You, which uses the City’s Open311 system to display information about city services. Here’s the curriculum we used for this group:

The Free Spirit Media DocuMakers worked on media throughout the summer. Smart Chicago worked with this group on EveryBlock and the significance of citizen journalism, tutorials on using open-source data tools, and a review of Creative Commons and other useful tools you in youth reporting. Here’s the curriculum for this group:

Jacqui Cheng speaking to Free Spirit Media DocuMakers at Tribeca Flashpoint Academy for #civicsummer

Jacqui Cheng speaking to Free Spirit Media DocuMakers at Tribeca Flashpoint Academy for #civicsummer

Here’s a two-pager on the program:

Here’s a nice writeup of a spot we did on Chicago Tonight. Keep tabs on existing #CivicSummer work on its project page.

Recap of #CivicSummer on Chicago Tonight

This evening Jacqui Cheng and I, along with a youth Kumari Mason from Free Spirit Media and Mickey Sharp from Mikva Challenge, did a segment  Chicago Tonight program about  our experimental #CivicSummer summer jobs program for teens focused on civics, media, and technology.

Here’s their take on the show and here’s an extended snip:

“I thought programmers were silent, awkward guys who sat in dark rooms and did nothing every day but write programs magically,” says Mickey Sharp, a junior at Lincoln Park High School. She was also part of Mikva Challenge’s summer program.

But after hearing guest lectures from tech entrepeneurs and professional programmers, Sharp learned about the people who create the web sites she visits every day.

“Now I know there are scripts you learn how to write to create these web pages,” she says. “It isn’t limited to a guy in a dark room playing Dungeons and Dragons…Now being a programmer seems like something I can do.”

Chicago High School for the Arts senior Kumari Mason was most impressed by several programmers leading the technology operations of President Obama’s re-election campaign.

“They had these piercings and they looked like real people. I thought they would have suits or something,” says Mason, who was also part of Free Spirit Media’s summer program. “I never thought they’d be working for President Obama.”

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why we get up in the morning.

civic-summer-badge.pngThe program, funded by Smart Chicago based on a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, is largely run by two Chicago organizations focused on serving youth:

  • Mikva Challenge, which develops the next generation of civic leaders, activists, and policy-makers
  • Free Spirit Media, which provides education, access, and opportunity in media production

The Chicago Community Trust provides significant support for the program as well.

Hack Night Live with Englewood Codes

Join us tonight at 6:15 pm CST for the live stream of tonight’s Chicago OpenGov Hack Night. Recently featured on Fox 32, the hack nights are a place where web developers, designers, data scientist, community activists,  and city staff come together to work on civic projects.

This week will feature a presentation by Demond Drummer of Teamwork Englewood. In the spring, Drummer created a Kickstarter campaign for a summer youth  program teaching kids to code.  The Kickstarter attracted donations from all over the city, including Smart Chicago which kicked in $1,000.

The program has been going strong all summer and will host thier demo day on August 29th to present the projects. Drummer will talk about his experience running the program and what’s next for the project.