The Illinois Initiative organizes special events and campaigns inspired by our mission of personal empowerment and community service. Take action today by learning about our campaigns and doing what you can to support them. If you’re on Facebook, be sure to check out the Illinois Initiative on Facebook for additional information and updates about how you can take action.

Safe Zone & Safe Walk Campaign

Overview: The Safe Zone & Safe Walk program provides a safe space for SIU students and community members during peak “nightlife” hours in downtown Carbondale. People walking between the dorms and downtown during Safe Zone hours can stop by Gaia House for water, restrooms, and a resting place where they will be safe from anyone who may be harassing them. Guests can also ask for two Safe Walk volunteers to walk them home.

Take Action: Safe Zone & Safe Walk is currently looking for volunteers. Volunteers will be needed in two-hour or four-hour shifts on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights from 11 PM to 3 AM. Volunteers will need to complete a one-hour de-escalation training and a one-hour “safe zone” (sexuality and gender acceptance) training. At least one volunteer per shift will also need to complete a self-defense training and first aid training.

Volunteers can bring homework, books, games, etc. to pass the time when no guests need assistance. However, volunteers must always greet guests when they enter and must help guests with whatever they need to feel safe or get home safely.

This program is sponsored by the Illinois Initiative and Gaia House. For more information, contact Treesong at

For Kids’ Sake Campaign

Overview: For Kids’ Sake (FKS) is an international fundraising project that helps children, schools and orphanages in Bangladesh. Through their assistance, thousands of lives are transformed in one of the poorest countries in the world. FKS also strives to create financial sustainability by supporting local cottage industries and providing project managers for on-site leadership training. A worldwide network of FKS volunteers raises money via various creative events along with donations and grants.

Illinois Initiative became involved in For Kids’ Sake because there are local people here in Southern Illinois who organize a 5K Run/Walk-A-Thon, an Art Auction, and other events and programs to support the kids in Bangladesh. Our branch founder, Treesong, also runs in the 5K and dedicates his participation to all of the children of Bangladesh (and the world) whose lives have been disrupted by the effects of global warming. The fundraiser isn’t specifically for that purpose, but people of our nation (which consume much energy) .

Take Action: Join or donate to the Illinois Initiative Superhero Team for the 5K Run/Walk-A-Thon. Even if you don’t live in Southern Illinois, this is a great way to help children in need in Bangladesh. This year’s 5K has a superhero theme, so it’s an especially good year to donate to the Illinois Initiative Superhero Team!

Climate Change Campaign

Overview: Climate change is real, human activity is the cause, and the net consequences will be very negative. We take action to inform people about the issue, prepare for a changing climate, resist practices that worsen the crisis, and support ecological living and ecological design.

Take Action: Educate yourself about climate change and contact us for more information about how you can help with local climate activism. “Like” our Facebook page to receive more updates about how you can take action.

Online Resources: Skeptical Science,

Fracking Campaign

Overview: Fracking is hazardous to human health, local communities, agriculture, regional water supplies, and entire ecosystems. We take action to inform people about the issue, resist the coming of fracking to Southern Illinois, and support more ecologically sustainable and socially just ways of supplying energy and jobs to our region.

Take Action: Educate yourself about fracking and contact us for more information about how you can help with the struggle against fracking. “Like” our Facebook page to receive more updates about how you can take action.

Online Resources: Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing Our Environment (SAFE)

Preparedness Campaign

Overview: Are you prepared in the event of an emergency or natural disaster? Your own preparedness is the first step toward helping others to prepare and respond to life’s unexpected challenges. Our support for preparedness is a year-round effort, but preparedness receives extra attention in September for National Preparedness Month.

Take Action: Put together your own preparedness kit and contact us for more information about local preparedness events and resources. “Like” our Facebook page to receive more updates about how you can take action.

Online Resources:



Learn more about the goals, strategy, and tactics of the Illinois Initiative.

Join ILI

Do you want to be a hero? ILI is recruiting. For more information, email us or come to our next meeting.

Take Action

Take action by supporting our campaigns and related organizations. The next meetup is on Oct 26!