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In Progress

Addressing Community Health Disparities from Hazardous Waste

Funded in early 2022, this project seeks to develop a network of academic researchers and social justice organizers to empower communities of color to address health disparities rooted in systemic racism. It will target communities affected by hazardous waste from former manufactured gas plants (MGPs), using a neighborhood in Champaign, Ill., as a living lab. 

UI Ride

UI Ride is an intercampus shuttle service connecting Urbana-Champaign and Chicago to provide an affordable, efficient, and convenient mode of transportation for the University of Illinois System faculty, staff, and students.

All shuttles are wheelchair accessible and can seat up to 18 passengers. On-board amenities include free Wi-Fi, comfortable seating, a restroom, collaborative workspaces, and more.

Drinking Water Survey

A water bottle/drinking water survey will be conducted to help understand the behaviors and actions of individuals related to drinking water on campus. By understanding why people make choices to purchase bottled water, for example, we aim to develop initiatives that will encourage sustainable actions (e.g., utilizing water fountains and reusable bottles). 

Diversity and Inclusion Center

Under the umbrella of OIIR and along with several partners throughout our community, we seek to explore the feasibility of a multifunctional space which will allow for in-depth examinations of the complex layers of diversity, equity,and inclusion. Said space will accommodate our interest in building upon existing campus conversations and knowledge generation with regard to sustainability and environmental justice.

Low-cost Inspection and Sustainable Repair of Campus Pavements

According to the U20069: Pavement Analysis Study 2020ofUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign [1], out of the total pavement network(2.8 million ft2), nearly 33%(0.9 million ft2) of the campus pavements requires intervention and are in poor, very poor, serious or failed condition.This project has two principal goals: 1) low-cost inspection of campus pavements using student smartphones and drones, and 2) development of sustainable sealants to repair the identified sections of interest.


The CETACEAN project will culminate in a public performance built around an enormous marionette -a full-scale blue whale puppet suspended and “swimming” through the air of the University of Illinois Stock Pavilion. Using recycled plastic, the 100-foot-long creature will be built by local students—a haunting, crowd-sourced ghost whale.

Utility Boxes: Art and Sustainability

The project plan is meant to incorporate art with sustainability, specifically to be representative of renewable energy. The objective of painting a mural on the utility boxes would be to remind students of the urgency of the situation regarding making the switch between energy usage; as we all know it is easy to maintain "out of sight, out of mind" mentality that facilities disregarding the bigger problem. Therefore the project goal brings to the forefront the concept of renewable energy to encompass the "in sight, in mind" concept. 


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