Civic Knowledge Project

Division of the Humanities | The University of Chicago

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The Odyssey Project, which is offered in Chicago and Springfield by the IHC in partnership with the Bard College (New York) Clemente Course in the Humanities and several Illinois universities, was founded on the premise that engagement with the humanities can offer a way out of poverty.  It provides a free yearlong course in five humanities subjects (literature, U.S. history, critical thinking and writing, philosophy, and art history) for adults at or below the poverty level.

On the South Side, where classes are supported by the CKP and hosted by the AKArama Foundation, Inc., 6220-28 S. Ingleside Ave., University scholars create an intellectually engaging classroom similar to what students at elite universities experience.  Transportation, books, materials, and childcare are provided free-of-charge for Odyssey students.  If students complete the course satisfactorily, they receive six credits from Bard College.  A second year “Bridge Course” is available to advanced students who want to continue.  Additionally, Spanish language courses in history and literature are offered in the Pilsen neighborhood.

CKP is expanding its services at South Side elementary schools for students and their parents as part of its "The Educating Community" adult continuing education course packages designed in collaboration with our community partners.

We are offering several new features to this site for those who are interested in helping us to build a stronger, healthier community.

If you would like to be added to our listserv or join our network, please email Erika Dudley at And please feel free to call us at 773/834-3929 if you have any questions about our work!

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