Social Innovation and Impact Seed Grants

The Illinois Innovation Network’s Social Innovation and Impact Seed Grants are intended to provide seed funding for social innovation projects that translate research into activities that directly affect lives, address complex social problems, build trusted partnerships in the community, demonstrate longer-term engagement or depth of engagement, and are scalable or replicable.

Funded Projects

The Social Innovation and Impact Seed Grants program has awarded funding to three projects. Summaries of those projects are below:

Spring 2024 | News release

Unveiling Black History: The African American Heritage Trail in Cairo, Illinois
Magdalena Novoa Echaurren, assistant professor of urban and regional planning, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Julia Rendleman, assistant professor of journalism, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Building a More Inclusive Democracy: Enhancing Nonprofit Capacity for Civic Education and the Mobilization of Marginalized Youth in Illinois
Julie Langer, assistant professor of public administration, Northern Illinois University; Kelly LeRoux, professor of public administration, University of Illinois Chicago

Winter 2024 | News release

Journeys to Justice: Commemorating and Memorializing the History and Legacy of Anti-Black Terror in Illinois
Devin Hunter, associate professor of history, University of Illinois Springfield (UIS); Lesa Johnson, associate professor of sociology and anthropology, UIS; Tandra Taylor, assistant professor of history, SIUE; Peter Cole, professor of history, Western Illinois University.

Summer 2023 | News release

What’s Left Behind? A Documentary About African American Mothers on the South Side of Chicago Who Have Lost Children to Gun Violence
Ruby Mendenhall, professor of sociology and African American studies, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC); Lisa Butler, CEO, herVoice Films, Inc.

Grant Development Capacity Building and Technical Assistance
Courtney Breckenridge, research fellow, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE); Diane Cox, director of grant development, SIUE; Maggie Ervin, specialist of alternative credentials and credit, SIUE; Natalie Whitman, coordinator of alternative credit and credentials, SIUE.