S2 – Episode 05: Roads, Higher Ed, & Racism – Students ask the IIRA

On this episode, Chris Merrett from the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs responds to questions formed from students at Cuba High School in Cuba, IL.  These questions reflect  a range of challenges facing small towns, not only in Cuba, but throughout Forgottonia. The essential questions our students asked Chris include the following:

 

  1. How do you feel about the road conditions in IL? Our small towns tend to get overlooked on issues with the pot holes in the roads. Being a teen driver I hate getting flat tires every other day.
  2. How do you feel about lowering the amount of young citizens who leave IL for college? What is something we can do to help increase enrollment at WIU?
  3. How do you think we can improve on getting rid of racism in small towns throughout IL?

Continue reading “S2 – Episode 05: Roads, Higher Ed, & Racism – Students ask the IIRA”

S2 – Episode 04: Chris Merrett, IL Institute for Rural Affairs – What are the Challenges to Running a Business in Rural America?

We are beyond pleased to share this interview with our friend Chris Merrett from the IL Institute for Rural Affairs.  Chris is the Director of the Institute, which is located on the campus of Western IL University in Macomb, IL.  The institute oversees research, outreach, teaching, and policy development that is comprised of 20 community development faculty and professionals.  He serves on the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council and is the Chairperson of Rural Partners, which has raised over $6 million in external grant funding to support community and economic development outreach and research.  Chris has researched and edited books on the topics of cooperatives and community development, and has published a range of articles on topics such as value-added agriculture, rural land use, social justice, and rural community and economic development. 

IIRA-Profile-Chris

Continue reading “S2 – Episode 04: Chris Merrett, IL Institute for Rural Affairs – What are the Challenges to Running a Business in Rural America?”

S2 – Episode 03: Forgottonia Brewing – What Does it Take to Run a Successful Business in Rural America?

On this episode were fortunate to speak with some local entrepreneurs who not only started a new business in Macomb, IL, but they are kindred spirits because they named it “Forgottonia!”  Sean West and his partners Scott and Susan Park of Forgottonia Brewing in Macomb, share their story on starting a business and how they are incorporating Forgottonia history.   The essential question we asked is “What Does it Take to Run a Successful Business in Forgottonia?”  We hope you enjoy this conversation and if you have any questions or feedback we’d love to hear from you. Continue reading “S2 – Episode 03: Forgottonia Brewing – What Does it Take to Run a Successful Business in Rural America?”

S2 – Episode 02: Sundown Towns – What is the Legacy of Sundown Towns in Rural America?

On this episode, we conclude our interview with Dr. James Loewen about his book “Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism.” We asked 2 essential questions: What is the legacy of Sundown Towns? Plus, how do you conduct research in your own town?

Image result for james loewen

Dr. Loewen is a talented author, historian, and sociologist. He is best known for his 1995 book, “Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong” (Reprinted in 2009).  In 2005, Loewen published “Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism” which focuses on communities throughout American where African Americans, Jews, and other minorities were forced or strongly encouraged to leave town prior to the sun setting.  An Illinois native hailing from Decatur, Dr. Loewen earned a Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University.  He has taught at Tougaloo Colle in Mississippi, the University of Vermont, and the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C.

Continue reading “S2 – Episode 02: Sundown Towns – What is the Legacy of Sundown Towns in Rural America?”

S2 – Episode 01: What Are Sundown Towns?

On the first episode of our second season, we were extremely fortunate to interview Dr. James Loewen about his book “Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism.” We asked the essential question: What are Sundown Towns? 

Image result for james loewen

 

Dr. Loewen is a talented author, historian, and sociologist. He is best known for his 1995 book, “Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong” (Reprinted in 2009).  In 2005, Loewen published “Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism” which focuses on communities throughout American where African Americans, Jews, and other minorities were forced or strongly encouraged to leave town prior to the sun setting.  An Illinois native hailing from Decatur, Dr. Loewen earned a Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University.  He has taught at Tougaloo College in Mississippi, the University of Vermont, and the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C.

Continue reading “S2 – Episode 01: What Are Sundown Towns?”

S1 – Episode 13: Media and Children’s Well-Being – How is Screen Time Impacting Our Kids?

On Wednesday May 2, we were pleased to welcome Dr. Tim Kasser to Cuba, IL to share his presentation titled “Media and Children’s Well-Being”  (The first 30 minutes are Tim’s talk while the last 20 minutes Tim answers some questions from the audience). This presentation was part of our Screen Free Week Activities that took place in our community (April 30 – May 4).

After receiving his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Rochester, Tim Kasser accepted a position at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, where he is currently Professor & Chair of Psychology.  He has written over 100 scientific articles and book chapters on materialism, values, goals, ecological sustainability, and quality of life, among other topics. He is also the author of five books, including The High Price of Materialism (MIT Press, 2002) and the cartoon book HyperCapitalism (The New Pres, 2018).  Tim spends a good deal of his time working with activist groups that protect children from commercialization, that promote ecological sustainability, and that encourage a more “inwardly rich” lifestyle than what is offered by consumerism. Tim lives with his wife, two sons, and assorted animals a few miles south of Knoxville, Illinois. And his work has been a big inspiration for why we wanted to participate in Screen Free Week activities this week.

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S1 – Episode 12: Parent Panel on Technology – What Advice can Parents Offer about Raising Kids in the 21st Century?

On Thursday May 3, 2018 we enjoyed facilitating a conversation with parents about their experience with screens and kids. This event was part of our week-long Screen Free Week experiences at Cuba High School. Our parent panel consisted of Jackie Scharping, Samantha Gilham, Tiffany Clark, and Amy Willett.

The panel was moderated by high school senior, Ms. Alexis Clark and high school history teacher, Mr. Joe Brewer.

Continue reading “S1 – Episode 12: Parent Panel on Technology – What Advice can Parents Offer about Raising Kids in the 21st Century?”