Ivy Tech building community by launching ‘Little Free Libraries’

April 15, 2013                                        

Ivy Tech building community by launching ‘Little Free Libraries’

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus, as part of a nationwide movement and inspired by last week’s O’Bannon Institute for Community Service, has built three “Little Free Libraries” for sharing books among the community. The movement is a worldwide one, as far as Germany and Afghanistan.

“Little Free Libraries” are miniature libraries in weatherproof boxes placed throughout communities for making books more accessible, and encouraging literacy. 

“All of our books will be donated, both children’s and adult books,” said Chelsea-Rood Emmick, Executive Director, Center for Civic Engagement, Ivy Tech-Bloomington. “The libraries are made of scrap materials and cost us literally nothing, except for some paint to decorate them. The idea is to promote the love of reading everywhere.”

Ivy Tech has built three ‘Little Free Libraries’ and currently has homes for all of them. They will be placed at Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, Community Kitchen-Crestmont, and Middle Way House.

Residents are encouraged to borrow and donate books, or build and decorate their own “Little Free Libraries” among the community.

More information about Ivy Tech-Bloomington’s Center for Civic Engagement at www.ivytech.edu/civicengagement.

More information about the “Little Free Libraries” movement at www.littlefreelibrary.org.

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College (www.ivytech.edu) is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.


Ivy Tech takes on controversial, award-winning novel ‘The Giver’



Ivy Tech takes on controversial, award-winning novel ‘The Giver’

Phoenix takes on Tony-winner “Clybourne Park”

By Joel Pierson H-T Columnist
April 14, 2013

Ivy Tech’s theater students take to the stage this week in “The Giver,” a stage adaptation of Lois Lowry’s popular but controversial Newberry Award-winning novel.

The apparent utopian society of the story soon turns out to be anything but, as it is revealed that the culture has eliminated not only pain and struggle, but also any meaningful emotion at all.

As the Newberry Medal suggests, this is a children’s story — appropriate for middle school audiences and above. The story of 12-year-old Jonas is an emotional one. He is chosen to be the keeper of all the society’s memories from the time before the “Sameness” rounded the edges off of everyone’s feelings. He meets the previous keeper of these memories — the Giver of the play’s title — and makes some startling discoveries. He learns just how much the people of his culture are missing by denying themselves the ability to feel. He must then decide whether to choose a life of safety, devoid of feelings, or run away to a life of danger and great emotions.

“The Giver” has a very sophisticated and complex plot, and it is not often staged. If Eric Coble’s adaptation captures the spirit of the novel and the performers can bring it to life, it should be an evening of theater that gives families plenty to talk about.

“Clybourne Park”

At the Phoenix Theater in Indianapolis, they’re in the middle of their run of Bruce Norris’ “Clybourne Park,” which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2011 and a Tony Award for Best Play in 2012. Drawing from the powerful 1959 play, “A Raisin in the Sun,” this play focuses on the house that the family from “Raisin” wanted to purchase — looking at events before and after the action of that play.

Act I of “Clybourne Park” takes place in 1959, as a couple in a white, middle-class Chicago neighborhood is planning to sell their home. A neighbor informs them that a black family wants to buy the house, and the sellers are pressured not to go through with the deal. A heated discussion follows about racial harmony and fairness for all.

Act II jumps ahead 50 years, to the same house. The cast from Act I returns as different characters. Clybourne Park is now an all-black neighborhood, and a white couple wants to buy the house. In a twist of events, it is the white couple who now have to petition for their right to move in, facing opposition from the local neighborhood committee.

Drawing from such a respected piece of literature as “A Raisin in the Sun” — itself drawn from an actual historical court battle — “Clybourne Park” tackles some difficult questions and issues and humanizes the struggles the characters face. It’s important to note that audience members do not need to have read or seen “Raisin” to appreciate this play.

“Every one of us grew up in a neighborhood of some kind. Urban or country or suburban — we all grew up surrounded by the personalities, textures and influences of the community around us,” said director Bryan Fonseca. “For good or for bad, home is where the heart — and history — is.”

Contact Joel by sending an email to features@heraldt.com with “Pierson” in the subject line.

If you go

WHO: Ivy Tech Theater Department

WHAT: “The Giver” by Lois Lowry, adapted by Eric Coble

WHERE: Rose Firebay, Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. April 19-20, 26; 2 p.m. April 27

TICKETS: $5-$15, available at www.bctboxoffice.com.


WHO: Phoenix Theater

WHAT: “Clybourne Park” by Bruce Norris

WHERE: 749 N. Park Avenue, Indianapolis

WHEN: 2 p.m. April 14, 21, 28, May 5; 7 p.m. April 18, 25, May 2; 8 p.m. April 19-20, 26-27, May 3-4

TICKETS: $18-$28. Available by phone at 317-635-7529 or online at phoenixtheatre.org.
Courtesy photo From left, Lisa Ermel, Eric J. Olson and Constance Macy rehearse a scene from “Clybourne Park,” the latest production from the Phoenix Theater in Indianapolis.

Copyright: HeraldTimesOnline.com 2013


O’Bannon Institute panel: Equality still an elusive reality


O’Bannon Institute panel: Equality still an elusive reality

By Rachel Bunn 331-4357 | rbunn@heraldt.com
April 13, 2013

Equality is an elusive concept, and though progress has been made over the past 60 years to improve access to all people, there are still many ways in which society fails, according to panelists at the O’Bannon Institute for Community Service.

Panelists, representing different sections of the population, discussed the past, present and future of equality Friday at Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington. WISH-TV’s lead anchor Debby Knox was the panel’s moderator.

Panelist George Taliaferro, former Indiana University football player and the first black player drafted by the National Football League, said he jokes with his black friends that white people still have the lead in society, but also noted there is a lot of truth to his statement.

Taliaferro was passing out candy on Halloween in 2005 to three trick-or-treaters who had knocked on his door. As he placed candy in the bag of the third child, the child turned to him and said, “Thanks, n—er,” he recalled.

“Equality — until white people get the notion that they are not better than any other human being on the face of the Earth just because they are white — it’s not going to change,” Taliaferro said. “That’s the thing that bothered me.”

There is a fundamental change in thinking that needs to take place in society, agreed Byron Bangert, chairman of the Bloomington Human Rights Commission. People need to consider that everyone deserves opportunities to have things like health care, education and other public services.

“When you look at our society today, it seems to me that equal opportunity does not exist for most of our citizens,” he said.

Thinking has already begun to change on many equality issues.

Sheila Suess Kennedy, professor of law and public policy in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, recalled one of her first job interviews at a law firm, where the partners interviewing her equated being a woman with having a glass eye.

But now, she said, there’s broader thinking among younger people that often clashes with opinions of the older generation.

“I look at my students and I think, just kill my generation off and things will get a whole lot better,” Kennedy said. “My students are engaged. They are worried about their communities. They understand the inequities in fiscal things that we’re discussing. They are concerned about the common good in a way that I’m afraid that my generation isn’t.”

There are other things that need attention.

Jean Capler, a social worker and president of Fair Talk, a grassroots group working to achieve full marriage equality for same-sex couples in Indiana, said she feels that though attitudes toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons have improved, there have been no legal actions to improve their status.

“We’ve come so far in so many ways, and yet, it’s still the case that a social work colleague of mine is married to the person she loves, and they pay their taxes and she has her social work practice in town, and I have my social work practice in town and I’m legally barred here in Indiana from marrying the person I love,” Capler said.

Having conversations with people from diverse backgrounds is one of many ways to bring equality issues to the forefront of public thinking, panelists said.

Though Kennedy may think her generation is holding the younger ones back, Capler said she was not ready to give up on all people coming together to work on equality issues.

“All of us, if we’re really going to achieve anything close to equality, whether it’s economic equality, or equality around certain civil rights issues, I think it comes down to all of us taking responsibility to not sit on the sidelines and be quiet,” Capler said.

Copyright: HeraldTimesOnline.com 2013


Judy O’Bannon at O’Bannon Institute


Judy O’Bannon at O’Bannon Institute

By Chris Howell H-T Photographer
April 13, 2013

judy obannon

Judy O’Bannon, former Indiana first lady, speaks during a conversation Friday moderated by Bob Zaltsberg, editor of The Herald-Times, at the O’Bannon Institute at Ivy Tech Community College in Bloomington.

Copyright: HeraldTimesOnline.com 2013

Tom Brokaw: America needs ‘big idea’ to unite populace

Tom Brokaw: America needs ‘big idea’ to unite populace
O’Bannon Institute features former NBC News anchor

By Rachel Bunn 331-4357 | rbunn@heraldt.com
April 12, 2013

All you need is a big idea.

That, according to veteran journalist Tom Brokaw, is what’s missing from America right now: the big idea.

“We have a lot of small ideas that divide us,” Brokaw said. “People have very narrow interest groups, from the left all the way across to the right, with the power of a keystroke, the extraordinary way technology has reached, the organized kind of jihads we wage against anyone that doesn’t exactly agree with us.”

Brokaw, NBC News journalist and author, spoke to about 460 people as part of the O’Bannon Institute for Community Service’s annual fundraising dinner Thursday at the downtown convention center. The theme for this year’s Ivy Tech Community College event, which continues today, is “Building the Next Great Generation.”

The next generation, in Brokaw’s opinion, needs something big to unite it and push it past all the small divisions.

Big ideas of the past, from the GI Bill, which sent millions of veterans to college following World War II, to President Ronald Reagan’s talks with former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, which led to the fall of the Berlin Wall, worked to move America forward and fundamentally change the way the population thinks.

Redefining public service might be the next big idea, Brokaw said, putting a different face on America for the rest of the world, sending young people into other countries to work and learn in public service for several years.

“They would come back with language, they would come back with knowledge of the political system of another county,” he said. “Our country would be lifted by a big idea.”

Tragedies, Brokaw said, have a way of bringing the country together. America, however, has missed these opportunities to unite, particularly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Now, Brokaw hopes that there’s something else, whether it’s his public service idea or some other idea, that people can get behind.

“I’m just the troublemaker,” he said. “The catalyst trying to make something happen.”

Working together and uniting is an idea that has permeated America’s past, despite individual political leanings.

Brokaw shared the story of three young men who were injured during World War II, who were from all different parts of the county and shared a hospital room. They shared dreams and goals and became lifelong friends.

The next time Daniel Inouye, Bob Dole and Philip Hart shared a room, they were members of the U.S. Senate, Brokaw said.

The most important image of the past six months, he said, is one of Dole, a Republican, saluting the coffin of Inouye, a Democrat.

“It’s that kind of imagery that we need to see more of, and we need to think about again,” Brokaw said.

brokaw 2
Tom Brokaw, author and former NBC News anchor, talks with attendees at the annual dinner for Ivy Tech’s O’Bannon Institute for Community Service. David Snodgress | Herald-Times

Tom Brokaw, author and former NBC News anchor, greets Judy O’Bannon and Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington Chancellor John Whikehart Thursday prior to the annual dinner for Ivy Tech’s O’Bannon Institute for Community Service. Judy O’Bannon is the widow of former Indiana Gov. Frank O’Bannon, for whom the institute is named. David Snodgress | Herald-Times

Tom Brokaw, author and former NBC News anchor, stands with Judy O’Bannon Thursday prior to the annual dinner for Ivy Tech’s O’Bannon Institute for Community Service. Judy O’Bannon is the widow of former Indiana Gov. Frank O’Bannon, for whom the institute is named. David Snodgress | Herald-Times

Copyright: HeraldTimesOnline.com 2013

O’Bannon Institute event ‘walks the walk’ on engagement

Our opinion
O’Bannon Institute event ‘walks the walk’ on engagement

The Herald-Times
April 11, 2013

The O’Bannon Institute, an annual Ivy Tech Community College event named after former Indiana Gov. Frank O’Bannon, stresses getting involved in the life of your community. That can be done through volunteering for a good cause, serving on a public board or commission, running for public office or just being informed on important local issues.

As the institute celebrates its 10th year, it’s time to call it what it is: a smashing success.

A lot of different parts make it so. Big-name keynote speakers have been attracted for the Thursday night dinner, and that includes former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw, tonight’s guest.

The panels on Friday have focused on important local, state, national and international issues, featuring experts from the national political stage as well as those with knowledge on local, regional and state issues. And the session-ending “conversation” involves insightful guests, from the late Sen. George McGovern to political columnist Eugene Robinson to NPR correspondent Cokie Roberts.

All of those scheduled events complement something of at least equal value to the community — the strong commitment to civic engagement imbued in Ivy Tech students, faculty and staff.

As Ivy Tech Bloomington campus Chancellor John Whikehart noted this week, through volunteerism and service learning, Ivy Tech-Bloomington has contributed the equivalent of $1,185,995 in the communities it serves. That calculation comes from 33,000 volunteer hours through service learning classes and another 21,000 individual volunteer hours reported by Ivy Tech students, faculty and staff.

Today, more than 100 volunteers from Ivy Tech will participate in a Day of Service around the community.

All this adds up to one of the very best things about the O’Bannon Institute: It symbolizes walking the walk. The speakers and panels are inspiring, to be sure. But pairing them with real, measurable engagement activities makes this event even more special.

Copyright: HeraldTimesOnline.com 2013


Awards Wednesday to kick off Ivy Tech’s O’Bannon Institute


Awards Wednesday to kick off Ivy Tech’s O’Bannon Institute

TV journalist Tom Brokaw to speak at sold-out fundraiser Thursday night

By Mike Leonard 331-4368 | mleonard@heraldt.com
April 10, 2013

With longtime television anchorman Tom Brokaw speaking Thursday night and a spate of panel discussions Friday, Ivy Tech-Bloomington will offer plenty for the public to consume as it celebrates its 10th annual O’Bannon Institute for Community Service with the theme “Building the Next Great Generation.”

Not as prominent but equally important is the awards ceremony the campus will stage Wednesday to honor faculty, staff, students and community partners.

“One of our campus goals at Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington is to model a service-oriented learning environment,” Chancellor John Whikehart said in a prepared statement. “In the past year, through volunteerism and service learning, Ivy Tech-Bloomington has contributed a total value of $1,185,995 in the communities we serve.”

In the 2012-13 academic year, 3,546 students in 76 service learning classes contributed nearly 33,000 volunteer hours in the Bloomington campus service area of Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Morgan, Monroe, Orange and Owen counties. Ivy Tech calculates that the effort amounts to a $729,513 contribution from classes that have service components written into the curriculum.

In volunteer hours alone, Ivy Tech students, staff, and faculty reported nearly 21,000 volunteer hours at 80 agencies or organizations for a total value of $456,482.

The values assigned to service learning and volunteer hours were compiled using measures from Independent Sector, a coalition of about 600 nonprofits, foundations and corporate giving programs.

“This year’s totals are nearly $300,000 more than last year’s Ivy Tech contributions in the community,” said Chelsea Rood-Emmick, the executive director for the Center for Civic Engagement at Ivy Tech. “We’ve seen some tremendous growth in service-learning and volunteer programs, and we’re celebrating that at this year’s O’Bannon Institute for Community Service.”

Awards to be given Wednesday, beginning at 4 p.m. in the student commons, include:

• The Community Partner Award to the Area 10 Agency on Aging.

• The Ivy Tech Waldron Community Partner Award to the Lotus Education and Arts Foundation.

• The Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship Community Partner Award to Art Sanctuary in Martinsville.

• The Excellence in Student Volunteerism Award to Jessica Troxel, a volunteer at the Recovery Engagement Center since 2010.

• The Excellence in Faculty/Staff Volunteerism Award to Chanden Strunk in the Human Resources Office.

• The Excellence in Volunteerism Award goes to Amy Brier, art instructor.

• The Jeanine C. Rae Humanitarian Award goes to student Jonathan Holland, who has done extensive work with at-risk populations, including people struggling with addiction recovery and those re-entering society after incarceration.

• An inaugural John R. Whikehart Civic Engagement Award will be introduced and presented to the person who “epitomizes” the award, Chancellor John R. Whikehart.

Other institute events

Brokaw’s Thursday night’s address at the annual O’Bannon Institute fundraising dinner is sold out.

Friday’s panel discussions are open to the public but require reservations and a canned goods or free-will cash donation to benefit the Hoosier Hills Food Bank.

Sessions include:

• “The Next Greatest Generation: Boomers, Gen X, Y or Z?” 9:30-10:30 a.m. Panelists include Katharine Byers, Indiana University; Rabbi Jonathan Greenberg, Illinois Policy Institute; Robert Soto, Ivy Tech; Gary C. Steinhardt, American Legion. Moderator is Abdul Hakim-Shabazz, attorney.

• “The Greatest Innovation: Education — But whose model?” 10:45-11:45 a.m. Panelists include Gerardo Gonzalez, IU; Brent Kent, StudentsFirst; David Pillar, Jackson Creek Middle School; Suellen Reed, former state superintendent for public instruction. Moderator is Bryan Newton, Aiken Technical College.

• “The Greatest Debate: Equality — How and when do we ever achieve it?” 1-2:15 p.m. Panelists include Byron Bangert, Bloomington Human Rights Commission; Jean Capler, Fair Talk; Sheila Suess Kennedy, IUPUI; Danny Lopez, Indiana Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs; George Taliaferro, former Indiana University and NFL football player. Moderator is Debby Knox, WISH-TV news anchor.

• “Conversation with Judy O’Bannon: Reflections on the past 10 years of the O’Bannon Institute,” 2:30-3:30 p.m. Moderator is Bob Zaltsberg, The Herald-Times editor.

More information about the annual O’Bannon Institute for Community Service can be found online at http://obannon.ivytech.edu.

Tom Brokaw. Courtesy photo

Copyright: HeraldTimesOnline.com 2013