Ongoing Illinois Speaks Meetings

In Carbondale, IL:

Every third Thursday of the month at Panera Bread (1126 E. Walnut St) @ 7:30 PM.
March topic: “The Continuing Battle over Healthcare: What Changes Would You Like to See to the Affordable Care Act, What Would You Like to Keep, and What Do you Think ‘Repeal and Replace’ Will Actually Bring?”
Facilitated by Nillofur Zobairi (fmi:

In Garfield Park, Chicago, IL:

Every third Thursday of the month at Inspiration Kitchens (3504 W. Lake St) @ 6 PM.
April topic: “School choice and students’ future”
Facilitated by Garfield Park Community Council (fmi:

In Golconda & Vienna, IL: 

Every third Wednesday of the month @ 6 PM.
Special date for April: Wednesday, April 12
April topic: “Charter schools and vouchers in rural areas”
Alternating monthly between Golconda’s Riverview Mansion Hotel (222 S. Columbus Ave) and Vienna Diner (511 East Vine Street).
Facilitated by Sandra Pfeifer (fmi:

In Hyde Park, Chicago, IL:

Last Sunday of the month at Hyde Park Art Center (5020 South Cornell) @ 1:00 PM.
April topic: ‘”Media’s impact on youth”
This group is for youth and is youth-facilitated.

In Old Town, Chicago:

Every third Tuesday of the month @ 6pm.
April topic: “The Importance of Artistic Placemaking”
For more information, contact Zac (

In Pilsen, Chicago, IL:

No meeting in April.

Please note there will be a screening on April 20 at 5;30pm of “My Neighborhood: Pilsen” at Benito Juarez Community Academy (1450 W. Cermak)
Every third Thursday of the month at La Catrina (1011 W. 18th St.) @ 6 PM.
Facilitated by Byron Sigcho (fmi:

In Uptown, Chicago, IL:

Every third Thursday of the month at St. Francis House (4652 N. Kenmore Ave) @ 7 PM.
March topic: “Affordable Housing and Community Networks”
Facilitated by Joshua Kent (fmi:

More locations to be announced soon in Decatur, Elgin and the Metro East area.

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)