The Our American Voice® Institute

The Our American Voice® Institute was established by the Barat Education Foundation (BEF) to house its three component programs: OAV Schools, Citizen U®, and Civic Life Collaborations.

BEF was created in 2000 when Barat College was merged with DePaul University. 

Since 2001, to fulfill its mission BEF has invested more than $2.5 million in scholarships and innovative educational programs promoting civic leadership and action, building communities, and advancing social justice through collaborations and partnerships that empower teachers and students in underserved communities.

The Our American Voice® Institute has been made possible through the support of many including:

Joan Luder Coffey Endowment
Alice B. Drake Family
DeKalb County Community Foundation
Robert R. McCormick Foundation
Albert Pick, Jr. Fund
South Berwyn School District 100
Nancy Castle
Edward C. and Mary Coffey
Lisa Crego
Ed and Kris Kazemek
Douglas, Marie and FloraBelle Liu

Kathleen Gillespie and Deborah Shore
Charles Smith and Patricia Turner
Sheila Smith and Edwin Crego
Denise M. Stauder
Catherine Smith Wilson and Robert Bicknell
Susan Jantorni Allen
Danielle Scharf
Sandra Smith
Laura Turner
Ashley Wilson
Kristi Peterson

Barat Education Foundation
Board of Directors

Sheila A. Smith, CEO/Chair
Kathleen Gillespie, Vice Chair
Michael Dimengo, Treasurer
Susan Evans, Secretary
Maureen E. Ryan, Member