Civic Life Collaborations

From its inception, the Barat Education Foundation (BEF) has forged partnerships in collaboration with others to make a difference in civic and community life.  This section highlights selected collaborative initiatives that are planned, underway, or completed.

16th Ward Chicago Alderman Stephanie Coleman (second from left) alongside community members at the Public Health Pop-Up and free COVID-19 testing site on October 16, 2020. The OAV Institute partnered with Ald. Coleman and many local organizations to arrange this event.


NEA Teaching with Primary Sources Micro-Credential

Citizen U®, as part of the Barat Education Foundation Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Source program grant, has developed a partnership with the National Education Association (NEA) to develop and deliver micro-credentials focused on teaching with primary sources. The first set of these micro-credentials, written by NEA educators, use content and expertise from Citizen U® and Library of Congress TPS Consortium partners Emerging America, Collaborative for Educational Services and the Minnesota Historical Society. Micro-credentials ready in May include:

  1. Primary Sources & Inquiry
  2. Culturally Relevant Pedagogy & Primary Sources
  3. Multidisciplinary Civics with Primary Sources
  4. Universal Design for Learning & Primary Sources


OAV Civic Capitalism®

OAV Civic Capitalism® was piloted in Bronzeville in collaboration with Centers for New Horizons and the South Side Community Federal Credit Union as an after-school pilot program for middle school youth. This initiative combined 1) civic/community leadership knowledge and skills development with 2) an action-based community problem solving project and 3) business/entrepreneurship skills development. Students developed B’EATS BOXES to increase the supply, affordability, and ease-of-purchase of fresh foods throughout the community by boxing an assortment of fresh foods and selling the boxes as units as well as delivering boxes to senior residencies.


LULACIL/OAV Community Connects

In Summer/Fall 2020, OAV partnered with Illinois LULAC 5238 to orchestrate a short-term civics engagement internship program for Chicago-area college students, made possible through Union Pacific’s Community Ties Giving Program. The cohort of students learned about community organizing and the promotion of public health while engaging with an innovative mobile application and traditional social media. Dissemination through these channels bolstered access to COVID-19 information for marginalized families in Hard-to-Count predominately Latinx communities.


Face to Face:  The Kids and Cops Connection

Face to Face was a collaboration with Chethik & Dellaria Consulting LLC on a program funded by the Albert Pick Jr. Fund and BEF to strengthen police/community relationships and help youth  develop positive strategies for dealing with conflict.  The program engaged police officers with 4th through 6th grade students at an important time in the students’ development. Through a series of officer- and teacher-led lessons, the students were introduced to the idea of the “common good” and what it means to be a “stakeholder” in a community. They also learned how the police serve the common good and reflect on the qualities of a good officer.


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