Photo by Scott Bort, The Daily Illinii
  Project 500: 35th Anniversary  
  ...Project 500, an initiative undertaken by the university in 1968 to enroll 500 African American and Latino students in the first-year class. Since the anniversary functioned, in part, as an officially sanctioned homecoming for the students originally admitted to the University of Illinois under the rubric of Project 500, it gave members of the campus and Champaign-Urbana communities an opportunity to reflect on their own histories and to take stock of matters of race—especially the status of affirmative action—at the University of Illinois in 2003. (Chapter 1)  
  Student Participation in Project 500 Anniversary  
  Many staff and students pointed to student participation in the Project 500 Anniversary program as both critical to its success and indicative of its departure from university business as usual. It was a student who came up with the idea of marking the 35th anniversary, and students organized most of the week’s events. One event, in particular, was designed to put current students into the shoes of their predecessors. On Thursday, October 16, more than 500 students gathered outside the Illinois Street Residence Hall (ISR), donned black commemorative T-shirts, and walked en masse several blocks across campus to the Quad; they were commemorating the day in 1968 when Project 500 students, who were being evicted from ISR, gathered with their supporters in the Student Union to stage an ad hoc protest for better living conditions on campus (see above photo). Student leader Nneka Dudley, interviewed by Teresa, described the special capacity of students to reach out and “bring it home” for their peers: “Students called upon each other to participate and the result was an astounding success. The goal for ‘The Walk’ was five hundred students. . . . Seven hundred attended. They ran out of shirts.” Teresa wrote, after interviewing Nneka,  “As everyone was waiting for things to get started, students were on their cell phones calling their friends telling them that they NEEDED to get down to ISR and participate in the commemoration. . . . Thinking about the success and support of the student body gives me shivers as I sit here.”  (Chapter 1)  
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