Empty classroom desks and chairs

Our Story

In October of 2009, the City of Champaign experienced a major tragedy with the accidental shooting death of an unarmed 15-year old male by a police officer. This event strained the social fabric of the community and residents publicly expressed their concerns about the shooting and other community issues, community problems, and solutions.

Initial Response

The City responded with six major initiatives, one of which was hosting a community forum to allow youth, residents, police, and entities that serve youth an opportunity to identify and discuss police and community problems and solutions. More than 300 people attended the community forum where small group discussions were led by facilitators and extensive notes were taken to record the comments and suggestions from community members. Following the forum, a working group was established to review the collected data and feedback. It was during this review that the working group recognized that the problems facing youth required coordinated community approaches that involved various community organizations and business partnerships. community is better equipped to address social problems facing at-risk youth and police community relations.

The Community Coalition

Initial community partners were identified and met to create a plan to formalize a community response. The result was the formation of the Community Coalition; a collaborative effort that developed a theme of working together for the good of the community. The idea was a simple one; share resources and build upon existing programs already in place in the community. By working together and “Walking as One”, our community is better equipped to address police community relationships and the social problems facing youth.

Community Coalition members sitting at a large table

Champaign County Community Coalition | Equity & Engagement Department
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