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American Democracy Project Holds Social Issues Panel

Written by on March 1, 2019

NORMAL- On February 28th The American Democracy Project held a panel discussing critical social issues in Bloomington-Normal.

Each of the three panelists are involved with different non-profit projects in the area. These were all projects that started small but have now grown to the point where they impact countless lives. Deb Helperin of the Illinois Wesleyan University’s Action Research Team spoke on the work she does rehabilitating some of the run down areas around campus.

“When we go out into neighborhoods the goal is to say what is your vision for your community and how can we bring value to your community? That’s a very different question than what’s broken here and how can we fix it for you?”

Among the other issues discussed were problems students face dealing with poverty and affordable healthcare options in the community. Options were provided on how to combat those issues such as a food pantry for students and a free clinic. The speakers also spoke on the best way for students to make a difference: identify a problem and think of how they can fix it.

“You can engage with this small group of people and then multiply by the people volunteering and all of a sudden you’ve engaged with a ton of people,” said panelist Kathy King-Nobles of the Normal First United Methodist Church.

The University plans on hosting more of these panels after spring break on Thursdays at 3:30.

Leo Staudacher contributed to this story

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