Documentary projects by young producers, supported by Illinois Public Media

Our Journey: Stories of School Desegregation and Community in Champaign-Urbana

Elders from Champaign, Illinois' Black community share their stories of achievement and struggle with middle school girls from Franklin Middle School. These same students then reflect on their school experiences.

Featuring Nathaniel Banks, Erma Bridgewater, Catherine Hogue, John Lee Jonhson, Martel Miller, Nina Patterson, Hattie Paulk, Ivon Ridgeway, Kathleen Slates, Hester Suggs, Fannie Taylor and Arnold Yarber.

800 Miles from Ground Zero: 9/11’s Impact on Central Illinois

800 Miles from Ground Zero: 9/11's Impact on Central Illinois is a four-part podcast series that documents how people currently living in the Champaign-Urbana (CU), IL area experienced September 11, 2001. Uni High School students collected perspectives from community members who lived in CU, New York, and Washington on 9/11/01, members of the local Muslim community, veterans who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, university experts and anti-war activists to uncover how 9/11 influenced our understanding of U.S. foreign policy, our local efforts at “homeland security,” and how those efforts both divided and brought a nation together.

Graphic by Kurt Bielema

Gun Violence

This podcast series gives a voice to individuals in the Champaign-Urbana community who are working to prevent gun violence. Through the perspective of our interviewees, we learn about efforts to combat the rising number of gun shootings occurring in Champaign County. This project hopes to bring light on how gun violence affects our community and provides a space for discussion on how firearms can function more safely as a part of our society.

This podcast series is a part of Uni High School's Oral History Project, featuring interviews conducted in 2019 by Uni's class of 2023, and features interviews with people on all sides of the gun debate.

Youth Media Workshop presents More Than A Bus Ride: Desegregating Champaign Schools

More Than A Bus Ride

More Than a Bus Ride: Desegregating Champaign Schools examines the process and implications of the 1968 plan that desegregated public schools in Champaign, Illinois.

Immigrants’ Journeys: Challenges and Opportunities in Champaign-Urbana

War. Poverty. Politics. Economic and educational opportunities. These are some of the reasons people from around the world have come to central Illinois as asylum seekers, refugees and immigrants. Hear their stories of overcoming and persevering in Immigrants' Journeys: Challenges and Opportunities in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois a new documentary by Uni High.

Rebuilding Foundations CD front cover

Rebuilding Foundations

Rebuilding Foundations follows students at University Laboratory High School to Clarksdale, Mississippi, and other Delta communities to see how Habitat for Humanity and other organizations are bringing opportunity and renewed purpose to people's lives. 

A table with produce - corn, tomatoes, squash, eggplant, and other vegetables

Plowing Ahead

Plowing Ahead: Portraits of Farming in east central Illinois explains historical trends and current farming practices and sheds light on the lives of farmers through stories of perseverance, hard work, and ingenuity.