Ongoing Illinois Speaks Meetings

In Carbondale, IL:

Every third Thursday of the month @ 7:30 PM at
Panera Bread (1126 E. Walnut St)

April 19th topic: “The Facebook Factor: Privacy, Manipulation, and Exploitation in the Information Age”
Facilitated by Nillofur Zobairi (

In Elgin, IL:

Every fourth Tuesday of the month @7pm at
Gail Borden Public Library – Main Branch (270 N. Grove Ave.)

April 24th topic: “Hashtag Activism”
Facilitated by Tish Calhamer (; presented in partnership with Gail Borden Public Library

In Golconda & Vienna, IL: 

Every third Wednesday of the month @ 6pm
Alternating monthly between Golconda’s Riverview Mansion Hotel (222 S. Columbus Ave) and Vienna Diner (511 East Vine Street).

April 18th topic in Golconda: “Good News in the News”
Facilitated by Sandra Pfeifer (

In Hyde Park, Chicago, IL:

Every third Sunday of the month @1pm at
Hyde Park Art Center (5020 South Cornell Ave.)

April 22nd topic: “Youth Participation in Social Movements from 1950 to the Present”
This group is facilitated by students from Kenwood Academy High School – for more information, email

In Little Village, Chicago, IL:

Monthly meetings as part of the Beauty Breaks series @1pm at
F4F (2846 West 21st Street, W 21st St., Chicago, IL 60623)

Admission to these workshops are free and open to the public, however this space is intended for folks who identify as part of the African diaspora.

April 29nd topic: “A Shield Is Not Made in Battle”: How to Sustain in Challenging Times”
Facilitated by Jacqueline Abena Smith; presented in partnership with F4F. For more information, contact Amina Ross (

In Peoria, IL:

Every second Thursday of the month @6pm at
Peoria Public Library North Branch (3001 West Grand Parkway, Peoria, IL 61615)

April 12th topic: Bellwether Project: Peorians Discuss the Governor’s Race
Facilitated by Roberta Koscielski (; presented in partnership with Peoria Public Library

In Pilsen, Chicago, IL:

Monthly meetings in partnership with Pilsen Alliance Youth Committee
at La Catrina Cafe (1011 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608)

April 6th topic: Gentrification series: What is the PLUC??

For more information, email; presented in partnership with Pilsen Alliance Youth Committee

In South Shore, Chicago, IL:

Monthly meetings as part of the Exchange Ideas series
at ABJ Community Services (1818 E 71st. St., Chicago, IL 60649)

April 14th meeting CANCELLED
Presented in partnership with The Black United Fund of Illinois. For more information, contact Val Free (

In Uptown, Chicago, IL:

Every third Thursday of the month @6pm at
Haitian American Museum of Chicago  (4654 N Racine Ave, Chicago, IL 60640)

April 19th topic: Uptown Resources for Businesses and Community
Facilitated by Elsie Hernandez (; presented in partnership with the Haitian American Museum of Chicago

More locations to be announced soon. Want to be a part of Illinois Speaks? Email Elliot at for more information. 

Illinois Speaks Awards & Upcoming Events

Illinois Speaks micro-grants are given to host public discussions about contemporary issues. These grants allow more people to act as trained facilitators or moderators of public discussion across the state of Illinois.

See upcoming events

See events that have taken place already

Illinois Bicentennial Challenge

County Goal Map for Illinois Speaks 200 Years InitiativeLeading up to Illinois’ bicentennial in 2018, we’re excited to announce our “Illinois Bicentennial Challenge.” We’re hoping to help host or fund Illinois Speaks conversations in all 102 counties of the state and we need your help.

Individuals or organizations who are the first in their county to host a community-based conversation before our December 2018 deadline will receive an Illinois Humanities canvas tote!

While we are expanding our ongoing Illinois Speaks groups, we are also offering micro-grants ($250-$1000) to allow people of all ages throughout the state of Illinois to host a public discussion or series of public discussions around issues that matter to their communities.

We warmly encourage anyone interested to apply to host their own community discussions.

The application is simple and will also include a free training in conversation facilitation.

For more information, visit our Community Grants page or contact Mark Hallett (; 312.374.1555)