Our Community Connections

As the humanities center in a major land grant university, HRI is committed to developing and cultivating relationships and partnerships in the local community.

Odyssey Project Promotes Learning in Humanities

Prime among these is the Odyssey Project, which offers a 32-week college-credit-granting humanities program to income-eligible adults in Champaign-Urbana. Typically offered in the evenings, Odyssey courses are free to enrolled students, and include books, dinner, and transportation. The program is open to students 18 or older, regardless of whether they have completed a high school education at the time of enrollment.

Education Justice Project Provides New Paths to Prisoners

The Education Justice Project (EJP) is a model college-in-prison project run through the Danville Correctional Center. This program demonstrates the positive impacts of higher education upon incarcerated people, their family members, the neighborhoods from which they come, the host institution, and society as a whole. EJP is supported in its work by the Humanities Research Institute via financial assistance and through collaborative programming that is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation..

Annual HRI Work-In Promotes Civic Engagement

We also hold an annual Work-In, typically in early December, where we invite a variety of local organizations to showcase their activities and concerns with each other and with faculty and staff and students on campus. The purpose is to bring together people who are committed to in civic engagement and who seek to share what they are doing in Urbana-Champaign and the regional community with a broad set of publics.

University YMCA Friday Forum Series

HRI is proud to be a sponsor of the University YMCA's Friday Forum series. Friday Forum is a weekly lecture series held during the fall and spring semesters that strives to raise awareness about national and international trends and events.

Events and Outreach

The vast majority of the events we sponsor at HRI are free and open to the public. We are always interested in hearing ideas for programming and for community connection and engagement. Please send any queries or correspondence to info-hri@illinois.edu.