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C.A.R.E. TALKS: Communiversity Action to Renew Engagement @ The Virginia Theatre – 03/23

Mar 23, 2024 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Champaign, IL – The University of Illinois and the Champaign Park District have announced a joint “TED Talk-styled” event to foster connections between the university and the community, share innovative ideas, and celebrate the achievements of the area’s academics, students, and community organizations. This first-ever live event, C.A.R.E Talks, will take place at the Virginia Theatre in downtown Champaign at 3:00 P.M. on Saturday, March 23, 2024. The event will be hosted by Ruby Mendenhall, professor and associate dean, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and 2024 Poet Laureate, City of Urbana; and Beverley Baker, chief impact officer, United Way of Champaign County. Keynote speaker and Nobel Prize-Winning Laureate Richard J. Roberts will close out the program, which will feature a series of short talks by local leaders, community organizations, academics, and students. General admission seating is free, with no ticket required. More information is available at the Virginia Theatre Box Office, online at thevirginia.org, or by phone at 217-356-9063. Presented by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Campus-Community Compact to Accelerate Social Justice, STEM Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Family Resiliency Center (College of ACES, U of I), the Center for Social & Behavioral Science (U of I), and the Champaign Park District.

C.A.R.E. TALKS: Communiversity Action to Renew Engagement

Saturday, March 23, 2024 – 3:00 P.M. (Doors open at 2:00 P.M.)

Virginia Theatre, 203 West Park Avenue, Champaign, Illinois 61820

An inspiring series of short talks, performances, and presentations, C.A.R.E. TALKS will be offered live on the Virginia stage and are dedicated to bringing together campus and community through engagement with and in support of students in east-central Illinois.

This collaborative event will provide an excellent opportunity for members of the public and students of all ages and backgrounds to connect with academic peers, learn about exciting community-led initiatives, and explore the organizations whose activities support them. Topics will range from advancing digital equity and addressing educational disparities to science education and STEAM initiatives in the area’s schools, and much more.


  • Short talks/presentations
  • A free post-event reception
  • Student postering session
  • Organization networking



Representative Carol Ammons

Beverley Baker

Marty Burke

Anita Chan

Mukund Chorghade

Andrea S. Fanta

Caitlin Fredericks

Aashini Lakshmi

Aarush Lakshmi

Claudia Lutz

Will Patterson

Aarush and Aashini Sanapala

Karen Simms

Te’Shyah Spinks

Saif Williams

And Nobel Prize-Winning Laureate Richard J. Roberts


Hosts: Ruby Mendenhall and Beverley Baker

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March 23
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Categories:
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The Virginia Theatre


Champaign Park District
University of Illinois