Month: November 2011

Our Holiday Wish: Snacks…

Project NIA spends a significant amount of money on food each year. In fact, it is one of our biggest program expense.

In particular, we are often in need of snacks for our workshops, events, and programs. This holiday season, please consider contributing to our SNACK DRIVE.

It’s simple, we will accept gift cards from Dominick’s, Jewel, Sam’s Club, Target, etc.. for our snack drive. We will also of course accept checks (made payable to Project NIA).

You can mail gift cards and/or checks to us at:

Project NIA c/o RPCC
1530 West Greenleaf Ave
Chicago, IL 60626

Please add us to your “nice” list this season. We thank you in advance.


Art & Social Change Internship at Project NIA

Project NIA is seeking an Art and Social Change Intern with an interest in the criminal legal system, youth issues, and restorative/transformative justice. This position will begin in February 2012 and run through June 2012.

About Project NIA…

Launched in 2009, Project NIA is an advocacy, organizing, popular education, research, and capacity-building center with the long-term goal of ending youth incarceration. We believe that several simultaneous approaches are necessary in order to develop and sustain community-based alternatives to the system of policing and incarceration. Our mission is to dramatically reduce the reliance on arrest, detention, and incarceration for addressing youth crime and to instead promote the use of restorative and transformative practices, a concept that relies on community-based alternatives.
Our goals are:

• To empower diverse community members to take leadership in addressing issues faced by youth impacted by the juvenile justice system.
• To develop effective community-based (rather than criminal legal) means of accountability for violence and crime – using a restorative and transformational justice approach.
• To eradicate youth incarceration.

About the Internship…

We are looking for an intern to support two art-related initiatives that carry out Project NIA’s mission. This person will coordinate an upcoming public art and community engagement project titled “The Missing” and will develop an arts-based curriculum about the Cradle-to-Prison pipeline. The work that will be developed is intended to support marginalized groups affected by the prison industrial complex in ways that encourage the development of their power and voice.

Duties and responsibilities:
* Coordinate the Missing Project (outreach to local organizations; support for NIA’s specific public art project as part of the overall initiative, etc…).
* Develop an arts-based “Cradle to Prison Pipeline” curriculum for youth.

What you’ll need to do the job:

• Some knowledge of the Prison Industrial Complex and the Juvenile Justice system
• Experience in visual arts
* Ability to establish rapport with community members from diverse ethnic, social and economic groups
• Good logistical and facilitation skills
• Popular education/facilitation experience
• Curriculum development experience is a plus
• Commitment to social justice and progressive movement building
• Good oral and written communication skills
• Ability to manage multiple projects/time management skills
• Willingness to work collaboratively and ability to work independently
• Willingness to learn new skills
• Ability and willingness to work weekends or irregular hours
• This position works with a diverse constituency.

Experience that will be helpful:
• Skills in dealing with diversity, logistics, and communications
• Art, Research, documentation skills
• Previous work with community groups
• Facilitation and teaching skills

We ask for a commitment of at least 8 hours per week over the 6 months of the internship, and are flexible about schedules. Interns can work from home.

Application Instructions:
To apply, please send a cover letter and resume as WORD attachments or PDF files to Please put “Art & Social Change internship” in the subject line. This position will begin in late January or early February 2012. Visit for more information about our work.

Compensation: This is an unpaid internship.

Reclaim the Power! Youth Activism Past, Present, & Future

Reclaim the Power!

A screening & discussion of youth activism past, present & future
Special performances by leading hip hop artists & activists

Saturday, December 3, 2011
1:00 pm
International House 
1414 E. 59th St.
Free & open to the public

Discussions with former IL BPP members & current youth activists & artists

This will be followed by a Concert Featuring:


Co-sponsored by: 

Persons  with  a  disability  who  believe  they  may  need  assistance to participate should contact Jessica Sparks at CSRPC in advance at  773.702.8063.

Schedule for the day:
12:30 Doors open to public
1:00-3:00 Black Power Mixtape, 1967-1975 screening
3:00-4:00 Discussion of film with panelists: Joan Gray, Ayesha Jaco, Stanley McKinney & Charles Payne; moderated by Tracye Matthews
4:00-4:15 Break
4:15-5:45 Arts, activism & youth organizing discussion with: BBU, Dayna Lynn, Invincible, Jasiri X, Rhymefest, Fresco Steez; moderated by Edward James & Allie Pates
5:45-6:00 Break
6-7:30 Concert

Opportunities in the Week Ahead…

There are several upcoming events and activities that we would like to bring to your attention…

The Chicago Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) Teaching Collective is pleased to announce another upcoming Prison Industrial Complex 101 Workshop geared towards participants in Occupy Chicago and others who are interested in learning more about prisons and prison solidarity.

When: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 4pm-7pm
Where: The Chicago Freedom School
719 S. State St, Ste. 3N
This space is wheelchair accessible.

Why: To get a basic sense of what the PIC is and why it matters to today’s protest movements.

Who: This event is all ages and open to all. The Chicago Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) Teaching Collective is an all-volunteer group that organizes interactive workshops, film screenings, and trainings. We also produce educational materials and resources. We provide opportunities for youth and adults to explore issues related to mass incarceration. We focus on practical steps to inspire, inform, and enable action, and on how to develop workable alternatives. More information can be found HERE.

Please RSVP to—space is limited to 25 people.

November 19, 2011, Join Project NIA and the Chicago PIC Teaching Collective at the Teachers for Social Justice Curriculum Fair from 10 to 5 p.m. at Orozco School, 1940 W. 18th Street. The PIC Collective will be offering a workshop about how to discuss prisons with youth from 2:30 to 3:45 p.m. in room 200.

Volunteer Opportunities:
Project NIA is looking for drivers for Families in Touch! Our goal is to ensure that the young women who are incarcerated at the Illinois Youth Center in Warrenville have continued support and get regular visits from family members. This initiative seeks to provide support for families to overcome transportation barriers that impede visitation. As a driver you will help keep families in touch
and in doing so help support communities impacted by incarceration.
Project NIA will cover up to $20 of gas costs!

Attend one of the following trainings:
Dec. 3rd from 2:00pm to 4:30pm at 7035 N. Clark in the NIA Peace Room
Jan 14th from 2:00pm to 4:30pm at 7035 N. Clark in the NIA Peace Room
If these dates are not convenient, it is possible to meet another time. Just let us know! For more information about this initiative, contact Tobin Shelton at 303.241.6594 or Click here to download a flier about Families in Touch

Self-Care Days for Incarcerated Girls — December 17 and 18th 2011. Visit the Girl Talk Blog for More Information.