The C-U March for Science is centrally located, both for impact and convenience. Consider efficient ways to get there, including:
Thors Peterson, Enviroresponsibility committee chair
Today I am happy to introduce the seven speakers who will be leading the Champaign-Urbana March for Science!
Our speakers were chosen to represent a variety of issues facing science in our community and beyond. They come from a variety of backgrounds: academic researchers, public servants who use science in their work, industry workers that use science, and a high school students who is passionate about the environment.
Here's the plan: We will begin at 5pm with two short speeches. Our march will lead us around downtown with youth and their parents in the lead. Finally we will return to the Orpheum for a rally featuring the last five speakers.
5The most often question we get as organizers is "so is this just a kids march?"
So let me state, once and for all EVERYONE IS WELCOME TO MARCH. Young. Old. Scientists. Non-scientists. People of all colors, stripes, and abilities, PLEASE COME.
Here's the plan: We will start in the Orpheum Parking lot with a couple of speakers, then we will have a short march that will loop us back to the Orpheum where we will have 5 more speakers.
So, if EVERYONE CAN MARCH why are we calling it a youth march? We are asking that youth and their parents be allowed to go first in the march. After that ANYONE IS WELCOME to join.
This is symbolic since youth will be most affected by the kind of policy changes we are fighting against. It also has a practical aspect. Younger kids may not have the patience to wait to march. They may not have the stamina for the speeches that follow. If parents need to leave before the final speeches, they will still have a way to participate.
We realized too late that the phrase "youth march" is misleading. It implies that only youth are welcome. Or that the whole event is geared only for kids. Neither is true.
The date chosen for the march was about the worst possible. As we planned the CU march, at first it seemed that our march route would be extremely limited. Think "circling a parking lot if we're lucky" limited.
So we decided to have a largely symbolic march of just kids. The rest of the event would have speakers aimed at the adult audience.
With time and persistence, we were able to get a larger march route. Yay! We still liked the idea of letting kids lead the way. So we decided to have kids lead the actual moving-from-point-A-to-point-B part of the event.
So in summary EVERYONE CAN MARCH and EVERYONE IS WELCOME. Seriously.
Reduce, reuse, recycle! The C-U March for Science is aiming for high visibility and minimal waste. Here are some tips for keeping things resource-wise!
Thors Peterson, Enviroresponsibility committee chair
FOR A LIMITED TIME! Get a cool shirt to show that you value science in CU. Details over on the donate page.
These shirts come to you from a bunch of CU Science Advocates who are running in the Illinois Marathon. They wanted a way to show their support but knew they may not make it to the March after a full day of running. They put together these shirts so they can show their support of science while also running. We were later able to schedule our march to avoid a time conflict. Get two and you can wear a fresh one for the march!
Can't wait to show how much you love science? Join us for a sign-making workshop. We'll be meeting up at the Urbana Free Library in the Lewis Auditorium on April 9th from 3:00-4:45pm to make signs to take to the March.
We will be collecting items this Sunday, March 26, at Illini Tutoring's office at 2500 Galen Drive, Champaign, from 9AM to 6:30PM. Items will be used in our sign making workshop. Please bring the following items:
The News Gazette did a piece on our local March for Science. We could quibble with a few of the details (it's a march for EVERYONE not just scientists because science impacts EVERYONE) but overall good!
READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON THE NEWS GAZETTE WEBSITE
When the DC March finally released the date for the March for Science, all the CU organizers groaned. April 22nd is Earth day. It's symbolic and a great choice for the movement overall. But In CU April 22nd is also the date of the Illinois Marathon and Ebertfest.
Don't get me wrong, We love the marathon. It brings people from all over to visit our little town. It gets the community out and moving. It's a boon to local businesses.
But it's also a traffic nightmare. Many streets shut down and getting around town can be impossible. Ebertffest has the same effect on downtown Champaign. Definitely not the weekend we would have chosen to host a large march.
Many hours were spent discussing what to do. We had polls to gather public opinions. The consensus was that it was important to use the same date as the DC March.
Now we had a date and we had to figure out how to make it work. Moving to an evening time gave us more options. It also meant that science-loving marathoners would still be able to participate. We explored many venue options but we found that many locations were off-limits.
Again we debated. In our general meetings, in our diversity committee, among ourselves, and with non-organizers. We discussed things like accessibility and visibility. Pros and cons.
Finally we struck gold. The Orpheum children's museum is in downtown Champaign. It's highly visible; accessible; close to parking, bus and bike routes; and it was AVAILABLE.
Figuring out a March route was still not easy but we did it. In the end we found a location that lets us meet our goals: that no one will be barred from participation due to lack of accessibility or difficulty in reaching the venue. That our March will be visible to non-Marchers so that we can increase awareness. And that we will be able to safely host the number of people we expect to attend.