NIA Trainings – February-June 2013

We are excited to announce our series of workshops for the first half of 2013.  We are partnering with the Chicago Freedom School as part of their “Communiversity” series for these workshops.  All workshops are inter-generational (they are accessible to people ages 14 and up).

All workshops are from 1 to 4:30 p.m. (unless otherwise specified); and will be held at CFS, 719 S. State Street, Suite 3N.  CFS is accessible and there is an elevator at the back of the building.

We invite you to BRING YOUR LUNCH with you.


April 27 — Understanding the Criminalization of Youth 101 – 1 to 4:30 p.m.

Register for this workshop HERE. Please only register is you are SURE TO ATTEND.

The goal of this workshop is to increase awareness of the systematic criminalization of young people, specifically youth of color in Chicago, and to address the myths of “criminal youth” to prevent young people from being victimized by it.

Workshop participants will leave with a better understanding of the individual and social forces that lead to the hypercriminalization of youth of color in Chicago.

In his book “Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys,” sociologist Victor Rios’s suggests that “criminalization was a central, pervasive and ubiquitous phenomenon that impacted the everyday lives of the young people [he] studied in Oakland.” He added:

“By the time they formally entered the penal system, many of these young men were already caught up in a spiral of hypercriminalization and punishment. The cycle began before their first arrest — it began as they were harassed, profiled, watched, and disciplined at young ages, before they had committed any crimes. Eventually, that kind of attention led many of them to fulfill the destiny expected of them.”

Rios defines hypercriminalization as “the process by which an individual’s everyday behaviors and styles become ubiquitously treated as deviant, risky, threatening, or criminal, across social contexts.”

This workshop will explore the real life consequences of “hypercriminalization” for young people in Chicago.

Facilitated by Mariame Kaba.
Mariame is an organizer, educator, and writer who lives in Chicago. Her work focuses on ending violence, dismantling the prison industrial complex, and supporting youth leadership development. She is the founder and director of Project NIA, a grassroots organization with a mission to end youth incarceration. Mariame has also co-founded several other organizations including the Chicago Freedom School. She is a published author and runs the blog “Prison Culture.” Mariame is a teacher and has served on numerous nonprofit boards.

May 18 — Policing, Violence, Resistance & Alternatives
This workshop focuses on the history of policing and violence in the U.S. It also invites participants to consider viable alternatives to our current reliance on policing to solve social problems.

June 29 — Understanding the Juvenile Justice System
This workshop provides an introduction to community members who want to better understand the various components of the juvenile justice system. It will also provide some local resources for those who want to refer youth in trouble with the law.



  1. Dear NIA–I hugely support what you do but am caught up in the struggle against school closings and have no time to give. If you all want to know about school clsoings in Rogers Park shoot me an email. Carol Hayse

  2. These look to be some important discussions to be on an agenda! I do not know at this time if I will be able to attend, nor if any of my fellow co-volunteers of RSSG–“Returning Students Support Group”. However, prevent is the KEY! And, informing others, especially the youth–is Vital! Congratulations for presenting such topic themes!

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