Volunteers Needed: Historical Moments of Police Violence

In the last few months of 2011, the issue of police violence once again burst into the mainstream with the treatment of Occupy Movement protesters. We found ourselves concerned that the conversations about police violence, however, were divorced from historical context.

In response, Project NIA and the Chicago PIC Teaching Collective are developing a series of pamphlets about historical moments of police violence. Volunteers are currently researching and writing these publications and we plan to release them beginning in May 2012.

We hope that this project will help to inform and educate the broader public about the longstanding tradition of oppressive policing toward marginalized populations (including some activists and organizers). The pamphlets are intended to be youth-friendly.

This idea is inspired by the many pamphlets (precursors to today’s zines) that circulated in the U.S. & in the developing world during the 1950s and 60s in particular. W.E.B. DuBois, CLR James and many other luminaries published short 10 to 30 page pamphlets about different political ideas and historical figures that would sell for as little as 15 or 25 cents. Many were also distributed free of charge. These were produced by companies like International Publishers out of New York or associations like the Afro-American Heritage Association here in Chicago. We want to revive this idea for the 21st century.

We recognize that it is important not to confine learning to classrooms and facilitated spaces. These pamphlets will be made available free of charge online and we hope to print a limited number of copies that can be mailed to currently incarcerated youth and adults.

We are seeking volunteers who want to help with specific aspects of this project:

1. Are you willing to edit pamphlets?
2. Do you have graphic design skills? Volunteer to layout and design pamphlets.
3. Do you have talented graphic designer friends? Volunteer to recruit designers to layout pamphlets.
4. Are you a visual artist? How about contributing some of your talents to creating art for pamphlets.

If you are interested in any of these opportunities, please contact Mariame at projectnia@hotmail.com. Thanks!


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