September 26: No Selves to Defend Closing Reception

All good things must come to an end…

Please join us on Friday September 26 from 6 to 8 pm. for the closing reception of the No Selves to Defend exhibition.

No Selves Opening Reception (7/18/14)

No Selves Opening Reception (7/18/14)

September 26
6 to 8 pm
Art in These Times
2040 N. Milwaukee Ave, 2nd floor
(space is not wheelchair accessible)

RSVP on FACEBOOK

Read more an interview about the exhibition with co-curator, Mariame Kaba, here.

Pushed Out: An Interactive Youth-Led Experience of the School-to-Prison Pipeline

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October 8
6 to 8:30 pm
Village Leadership Academy, 1001 W. Roosevelt Road
Parking is available

As part of the National Week of Action against School Pushout (10/4-11), Project NIA is partnering with Free Street Theater to present a simulation of the school-to-prison pipeline. Free Street youth are creating a series of vignettes that tell a story of the forces that combine to push students out of school.  Through this interactive experience, participants will understand the dynamics of the school-to-prison pipeline and will be invited to share ideas about how to interrupt it.

Space is very limited and only those who officially register through Eventbrite and bring their ticket will be admitted. Register HERE.

This event is made possible through a small grant by the Dignity in Schools Campaign.

For any questions, email projectnia@hotmail.com

Learn more about the 5th annual National Week of Action against School Pushout by watching the video below:

Upcoming PIC-Related Events in Chicago – September

(this continues to be updated as events happen and more are discovered)

Ending September 28No Selves To Defend Exhibition at Art in These Times, 2nd floor of 2040 N Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, IL 60647 USA. Details are HERE.

September 24, 6 p.m. at United Church of Rogers Park, 1545 W. Morse Avenue, Circles & Ciphers Community Peace Circle – Join Circles and Ciphers for a bi-weekly community peace circles and in our efforts to make Rogers Park a Restorative Neighborhood.

September 25, 7-9 pm at SAIC Sullivan Galleries, 33 S State St, 7th Floor, Chicago, Illinois 60603 — Creative Resistance in a Prison Nation: Monthly forum highlighting Chicago-based creative projects addressing mass incarceration in a prison nation. Details about this event are HERE. Download full listing of all events here (PDF).

Presenters: Chicago Torture Justice Memorials (CTJM), Temporary Services and Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project (PNAP)

Description: In the last decade, a growing number of artists, organizations and activists in the Chicago area have created artwork and developed responses to what is now termed a prison nation The U.S. locks up more people than any other nation in the world and exhausts more resources on confinement and punishment each year. One in 99 adults in the US is incarcerated; the financial and social costs to tax payers and communities is staggering. Conservatives, liberals and members of the left have all called for policy changes, yet when violence and poverty rage in Chicago neighborhoods, the common response is a call to lock more people away for longer prison terms.

Each month, several artists and groups will give short presentations on current work and share their experiences, challenges and successes. The presentations are open to the public and all are welcome to an “open mic” to present their own projects and events at the end of the evening. Please join us in this lively discussion as we imagine and activate collective solutions addressing the state of our prison nation.

Creative Resistance in a Prison Nation is organized by Sarah Ross and Kevin Kaempf with support by the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Sullivan Galleries.

September 26, 6 to 8 pm at Art in These Times, 2040 N. Milwaukee Ave, 2nd floor. Closing reception for No Selves to Defend exhibition.

September 27, 1 to 4:30 pm at Roosevelt University, 430 S. Michigan Ave, Spertus Lounge (Room 244). Policing, Violence, Resistance, and Alternatives:A Workshop. Details are here.

September 14: No Selves to Defend, No Rights to Respect – A Conversation

No Selves to Defend, No Rights to Respect: Blackness, Violence, and Self-Defense

by Molly Crabapple (2014)

by Molly Crabapple (2014)

This summer has placed a brighter spotlight on police violence with the killings of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Ezell Ford and more. In addition, Marlene Pinnock was brutalized on the side of an LA Freeway while Denise Stewart was violently dragged out of her apartment naked by a dozen cops. There have renewed efforts to make clear that #BlackLivesMatter.

These instances of state violence are mirrored in the unjust prosecution of Marissa Alexander, a Florida mother of three who fired a warning shot to save her life and is facing 60 years in prison if convicted.

All of these incidents raise questions about the value of black life in the U.S., self-defense, state violence, the gendered & classed nature of our response, and more.

On the occasion of Marissa Alexander’s birthday, join the Chicago Alliance to Free Marissa Alexander (CAFMA), the Porch Project at the Hull House Museum, Project NIA, We Charge Genocide and the Chicago Taskforce on Violence against Girls and Young Women for a conversation about these issues.

Sunday, September 14
2 to 4 pm
Hull House Museum, 800 S. Halsted St.

Refreshments and cake will be provided
FREE to all participants

RSVP on Facebook and/or by emailing freemarissachicago@gmail.com.

September 27: Policing, Violence, Resistance and Alternatives

Policing, Violence, Resistance, and Alternatives:

Saturday September 27, 2014

1 to 4:30 p.m.
Roosevelt University, Spertus Lounge Room 244, 430 S. Michigan Ave
Pre-Registration is HERE.

Suggested Donation sliding scale – $10 to $30 (Funds raised are donated to We Charge Genocide to support a trip to the United Nations Committee on Torture in November). No one is turned away for lack of ability to pay.

by Gordon Parks

by Gordon Parks

This workshop will introduce participants to the work of Chain Reaction, a participatory research and popular education project with the goal of supporting conversations about alternatives to calling police on young people. Driven by our political goal of ending youth incarceration, Chain Reaction volunteers held workshops and recorded audio and video at youth centers and other spaces around the city, including a center for LGBTQ youth and youth experiencing homelessness. Youth told stories about being targeted by police because of their race, gender identity, sexual orientation, and age. Their experiences with police often set off a chain reaction that funnels youth into the prison industrial complex, a system that targets people of color, transgender women, and other folks from marginalized groups.

The workshop will provide an overview of a history of policing and police violence. Participants will then learn about the work of Chain Reaction and listen to some of the stories we collected. Through interactive activities and personal storytelling, we will explore what alternatives to calling police exist for those considering relying on police interventions within our communities, and imagine the ideal chain reaction we could set off in response to fear, violence, or harm in our communities. We will also ask what role adult allies can play in promoting alternatives to calling the police on young people and diverting young people from the prison industrial complex.

Finally, Project NIA and the Chicago PIC Teaching Collective have developed several resources (including zines, curricula, and pamphlets) that can be used to foster conversations with youth about policing. We will share these resources with workshop participants.

Pre-registration is REQUIRED. Please register here (only if you are certain to attend as space is limited).

Suggested Donation sliding scale – $10 to $30 (Funds raised are donated to We Charge Genocide to support a trip to the United Nations Committee on Torture in November).

This workshop is organized by Project NIA and is co-sponsored by the Mansfield Institute for Justice and Social Transformation at Roosevelt University and We Charge Genocide.

August 19: The Monument Quilt in Chicago

Join us on August 19 to witness and interact with a historic display of The Monument Quilt in Chicago. The Monument Quilt is a crowd-sourced collection of thousands of stories of survivors of rape and abuse, alongside messages of love and support from allies in the movement to upset rape culture. By stitching our stories together, we are creating and demanding public space to heal.

mqp-chicago_il

The Monument Quilt is a platform to not only tell our stories, but work together to forever change how America responds to rape. We are building a new culture where survivors are publicly supported rather than publicly shamed.

The Chicago display of the quilt is part of Force:Upsetting Rape Culture’s summer tour across the country https://themonumentquilt.org/public-monument-to-rape-survivors-tours-the-united-states/ to learn more about the tour and how to get involved in the project.

Display Lead Coordinators:
Rape Victim Advocates and Mujeres Latinas en Accion

Supporting Partners
1. Project NIA
2. Chicago Taskforce on Violence Against Girls & Young Women
3. Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault
4. Project&
5. Adrienne Spires
6. Jane M Hussein Saks
7. Chicago Women’s Health Center
8. Affinity Community Services

RSVP on Facebook here

For more information on becoming a supporting partner of the Chicago display, please email events@rapevictimadvocates.org

Upcoming PIC-Related Events in Chicago – August-September

July 18-September 21No Selves To Defend Exhibition at Art in These Times, 2nd floor of 2040 N Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, IL 60647 USA. Details are HERE.

August 13, 6 p.m. at United Church of Rogers Park, 1545 W. Morse Avenue, Circles & Ciphers Community Peace Circle – Join Circles and Ciphers for a bi-weekly community peace circles and in our efforts to make Rogers Park a Restorative Neighborhood.

August 20, 6 p.m. at Hull House Museum (Porch), 800 S. Halsted St. RE-THINKING & RE-IMAGINING COMMUNITY SAFETY? An Intergenerational and Interactive Discussion. Facebook event page is here.

August 21, 6 pm at ICAH, 226 S. Wabash Ave suite 900, ‘We Charge Genocide: Copwatch Training for Community Members,” Community members are invited to learn about how to more safely monitor and document police violence against Chicago’s young people. RSVP on Facebook here. Details & flier are here.

August 22, 7 p.m. at Wilson Abbey, 935 W Wilson Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60640. “Torture Behind Bars: What Can We Do?”
Alan Mills, veteran attorney and an expert in the field of prisoner rights, is the featured speaker. Torture Behind Bars will inform, equip, and mobilize churches and social activists to bring systemic change as well as reach out to individual prisoners. Bring your questions! Admission is FREE. All are invited. Facebook event page is here.

August 27, 6 p.m. at United Church of Rogers Park, 1545 W. Morse Avenue, Circles & Ciphers Community Peace Circle – Join Circles and Ciphers for a bi-weekly community peace circles and in our efforts to make Rogers Park a Restorative Neighborhood.

August 29, 7 pm at Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E 60th St, Chicago, Illinois 60637 “ATTICA (1974) film screening and discussion” – Facebook event page is here.

September 12, Noon at Northwestern University School of Law, 420 E Superior St Chicago. Nell Bernstein presents her new book Burning Down the House: The End of Juvenile Prison. RSVP here.

September 13, 1-3 pm at Unitarian Church of Evanston, 1330 Ridge Ave. The End of Juvenile Prison, book talk with Nell Bernstein “Burning Down the House

Nell Bernstein 9-13 Poster_v2-page-001

RE-THINKING & RE-IMAGINING COMMUNITY SAFETY? An Intergenerational and Interactive Discussion

community safety images

When: Wednesday, August 20th
Time: 6 to 8 pm
Where: Hull House Museum Porch, 800 S. Halsted Street
Facebook event page is HERE (if you are on FB, you can RSVP here) and if not RSVP at projectnia@hotmail.com, we need to plan for food and supplies so please let us know if you plan to attend).

In 2009, rapper King Louie coined the terms “Chiraq” and “Drillinois.” Since then, “Chiraq” has appeared in the lyrics of rappers like Lil’ Reese, Chief Keef, and most recently Nicki Minaj. The term has found its way on t-shirts and other merchandise.

chiraq Recently, there’s been pushback with some expressing their displeasure with the term through social media hashtags like #antichiraq.

Yet throughout the ongoing conversations, it is still unclear what (if any) meaning(s) the term “Chiraq” holds for the majority of Chicagoans. Has the term become a proxy for a broader concern about community safety?

According to a recent Tribune article, police call a 2-block by 4-block patch of South Shore where apparent gang conflicts have erupted into three mass shootings in a little over two years: Terror Town. Is there a relationship between the terms “Chiraq” and “Terror Town.” What are the material and psychological consequences of using such terms to describe communities and lived experiences?

Project NIA has embarked on a year-long journey to re-think and re-imagine community safety. Join us for an interactive and intergenerational discussion that will include writing, art-making, and storytelling.

Read this powerful essay written by 5th graders from the Bradwell School of Excellence in South Shore.

Some of the student writers and their teacher will join us for the discussion.

Project NIA Seeks Volunteers for Short-Term Documentation Project

Project NIA is seeking a couple of volunteers who are interested in documenting efforts to interrupt the school to prison pipeline in Chicago. Specifically, we will be producing a report that highlights some of the key accomplishments by local students, community members, parents, educators, and advocates to address the school-to-prison pipeline (STPP) in Chicago.

by Seth Tobocman

by Seth Tobocman

The report will be released in early October in time for the National Week of Action Against School Pushout.

What We Need:

Interviewers — These volunteers will set up and conduct in person and phone interviews with key stakeholders in Chicago who are addressing the school-to-prison pipeline. These interviews will mostly happen in August.

Transcribers — These volunteers will transcribe interviews.

Filmmakers/Videographers — These volunteers will participate in some in-person interviews and will create a short 5 minute video documenting some of the key accomplishments in the effort to end the STPP in Chicago.

Ideal volunteers are self-starters, can work independently, have good communications skills, and care about the issue. If interested, please contact Mariame at projectnia@hotmail.com.

Upcoming PIC-Related Events in Chicago – July-August (Updated)

by Molly Crabapple

by Molly Crabapple

July 18-September 21No Selves To Defend Exhibition at Art in These Times, 2nd floor of 2040 N Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, IL 60647 USA. Details are HERE.

July 23, 6-9 p.m. at 914 N. California – Black and Pink Chicago – Orientation and Info-Session for New Volunteers. Facebook event page is here.

Interested in Black & Pink? Want to find out how to get more involved?

Join Black and Pink for a workshop on the prison industrial complex and how LGBTQ people are impacted, followed by an info-session on Black and Pink: Chicago’s current projects and how to get involved. We’re hoping to have lots of new volunteers join our work! This is a great event for anyone new to thinking about these issues, or who’s been wondering how to plug in.

At this event, you’ll have a chance to speak with current Black & Pink: Chicago organizers about our different working groups and projects (such as becoming a pen pal, reading and responding to mail from inside members, supporting free-world pen pals, and political education).

July 23, 6 to 8 pm at Hull House Museum, 800 S. Halsted Street.
Policing Black Youth: A Teach-In on Chicago’s “Grass Gap”. Facebook event page is here.

The Black Youth Project 100’s Chicago Chapters hosts a teach-in about the racialized system of policing and criminalization in Chicago. The “grass gap” is a term that refers to the racially discriminate system of policing marijuana use. Numerous studies have shown us that people of all races and in all kinds of communities use marijuana at about the same rate. However, Black people and communities bear the brunt of policing and incarceration due to possession of marijuana. In Chicago, the ratio of Black to white marijuana arrests is 15 to 1. Join us to learn more about this particular aspect of a system of mass criminalization and imprisonment, about BYP100’s national campaign to end the criminalization of Black youth, and about our local organizing here in Chicago.

This event is in partnership with the Porch Project of the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum and is free & open to the public.

July 24, 6 to 7:30 pmCommunity Prayer Vigil for those in Prison or Detention Centers

On Thursday Join folks for a Community Prayer Vigil for those in Prison or Detention Centers
Where: Lot between Bridgeport Homes and Police Station
When: Thursday, July 24, 6pm – 7:30
Why: Bring the community together around an issue that often causes shame. Fight the shame with blessing and prayer Give Hope. Put hope into action. Mobilize the community to fight against mass incarceration – through organizing and direct action.
How: Bring names and photos of loved ones imprisoned or detained. Bring candles or use one of ours. Wear white. Invite friends. Listen, speak, sing, and pray.

If you are interested in helping plan, call Pastor Tom at First Trinity – 312.842.7390. Or email pastor@firsttrinitychicago.com.

July 24, 7 to 8:30 p.m. at New Landmark Missionary Baptist Church, 2700 W. Wilcox Street, Chicago – Reclaim Campaign Public Meeting with Chief Judge Evans -
Public meeting at which Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans will commit to the goals of the Reclaim Campaign to prevent violence by reducing the population of the Cook County Jail through increased restorative justice and mental health diversions.

Register to attend this meeting here.

July 25, 5:30 p.m.: Sticks and Stones and Stories – Storytelling for Self and Survival. Storytelling to fight back. Storytelling in Solidarity
The more we are injured by oppressive institutions and trauma in our lives, the more we are identified by the stories told about us, and not the stories we share about ourselves. This event is about sharing personal experiences of forcible displacement. That can happen through incarceration, deportation, detention, eviction, or other systems that exist to confine us to a single identity: criminal, unfit, illegal, homeless, invisible. We can fight that violence against us. We can share something about our lives and how we see ourselves, and find love and support in the process. That solidarity makes us infinitely more powerful, unstoppable, and ready to fight back! Join us.

What: Story Sharing Event plus Dinner
Where: 114 N Aberdeen, Chicago
When: Friday, July 25, 5:30 pm

This event is co-organized by Chicago Alliance to Free Marissa Alexander, Black on Both Sides, Moms United Against Violence and Incarceration. Contact Holly for more info: 630-258-8552, holly.krig@gmail.com

July 25 – 6 to 8 pmThe War on Drugs: The impact on Austin past, present and future, 5820 West Chicago Ave.Facebook page is here.

Join your neighbors on Friday, July 25th from 6pm-8pm for a community discussion and talk back on the impact of the drug war in Austin. This event is hosted by the Westside Writing Project and the Social Justice News Nexus, a journalism project at Medill at Northwestern University. Both have been documenting how drugs and the war on drugs have impacted Austin.

We will explore the history of the so-called “drug war” in Austin, youth perspectives on drugs, and how the community is responding. Come with your opinions and your voices. This event is also the premiere of a mini documentary exploring two blocks near the Laramie El stop filmed by SJNN fellow Ahmed Hamad. Refreshments will be served.

July 26, 2 p.m. at Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E 60th Street Chicago, IL 60637, Theater East: A Community Gathering and Rally in Support of Marissa in solidarity with Stand Our Ground Week of Action. We invite all community members to join us in song, performance, poetry and more. This is a family-friendly event. Facebook event page Here.

July 27, 2 p.m. at Hull House Museum Dining Hall, 800 S. Halsted St. Screening and Discussion of 15 to Life: Kenneth’s Story. Followed by a visit to an exhibition of art by incarcerated youth.

Join us on Sunday July 27th at 2 p.m. as we screen the new documentary “15 to Life” (http://15tolifethefilm.com/) at the Hull House Museum (800 S. Halsted St).

15 to Life follows Kenneth Young, a man in his twenties who received four consecutive life sentences after being convicted of armed robbery at the age of 15. The film follows the Supreme Court trial that could free him from his sentence, or sentence him to a life in prison.

For over a decade Kenneth believed he would die behind bars, until in 2010 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled life without parole sentences for children who haven’t killed unconstitutional. In Tampa, Florida we follow Kenneth Young’s legal battle for release. Recruited by his mother’s crack dealer to rob hotels, Kenneth needs to prove that he is rehabilitated and that the judge who sentenced him to life was wrong to throw away the key.

The screening will be followed by audience discussion at the Chicago Art Department in Pilsen where we will view The Artists Will…Not Be Present — Free Write Jail Arts and Literacy Program’s annual exhibition of student writing and art which is on display.

The event is free but RSVP is required at projectnia@hotmail.com.

This event is a collaboration with POV, PBS’ award-winning nonfiction film series. It is organized by Project NIA and co-sponsored by the Jane Addams Hull House Museum and Free Write Jail Arts Program.

All details are in this flier.

July 30, 6 p.m. at United Church of Rogers Park
1545 W. Morse Avenue, Circles & Ciphers Community Peace Circle – Join Circles and Ciphers for a bi-weekly community peace circles and in our efforts to make Rogers Park a Restorative Neighborhood.

August 2, Noon to 5 p.m. at Roosevelt University, 430 S. Michigan Ave, Congress Lounge (2nd floor). “We Charge Genocide:” Youth Hearing About Police Violence.

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August 4, 6 to 8 pm at Hull House Museum, 800 S. Halsted Street. Reparations for Chicago Police Torture Survivors: A Teach-In – see Facebook page here.

Honor and demand justice for survivors tortured at the hand of former Commander Jon Burge and his “midnight crew.”

Come to this teach-in to learn more about the Reparations Ordinance for Chicago Police Torture Survivors and how to effectively lobby the Chicago City Council for its passage.

The Reparations Ordinance would provide financial compensation, psychological counseling, vocational training, a formal apology and more for torture survivors and their families.

Read the ordinance here.

This teach-in is sponsored by the Chicago Torture Justice Memorials and Amnesty International.

August 22, 7 p.m. at Wilson Abbey, 935 W Wilson Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60640. “Torture Behind Bars: What Can We Do?”
Alan Mills, veteran attorney and an expert in the field of prisoner rights, is the featured speaker. Torture Behind Bars will inform, equip, and mobilize churches and social activists to bring systemic change as well as reach out to individual prisoners. Bring your questions! Admission is FREE. All are invited. Facebook event page is here.