You can read about presenters and our keynote here.
* All Day Long – Radical Childcare *
* All Day Long – Healing Space/Community Care*
Room 242 Spertus
Join us for five minutes or for a few hours, during breaks, or when you need our space. This is a fluid space that celebrates self-determination, self-care, and community healing. Offerings include: coffee, tea, aromatherapy, zines and books we love, a self-care playlist, art, chocolate, water colors, flower essences, card/book/paper-making, and snacking. We’ll be sharing laughs, music, and quiet. This is an all day, all genders, all bodies, all ages space.
8:45-9:30 — Registration and light breakfast (bring your own coffee) – Congress Lounge (2nd floor)
9:30 – 11am – Workshops #1
Citywide Campaigns to Advance the Movement: CPAC, Reparations, Stop & Frisk/Contact Cards & More
This panel will share information about existing policy proposals aimed at addressing policing and violence. Chicago has a history of organizing for police accountability (including elected independent civilian police boards, reparations, data transparency, and more).
Yes to Counselors, No to Cops: Moving Beyond Police in Schools
Criminalizing student behavior is not new. The concept of the “school resource officer” emerged in the 1950s in Flint, Mich., as part of a strategy to embed police officers in community contexts. In 1975, only 1% of US schools reported having police officers. As of 2009, New York City schools employed over 5,000 school safety agents and 191 armed police officers, effectively making the school district the fifth largest police district in the country. This workshop will offer information about school-based arrests in Chicago Public Schools, share examples of campaigns in other districts to limit the role of cops in schools and discuss what needs to be done here to move beyond police in our schools.
Jail Support 101
Anyone can do jail support! Participants will share their own experiences and learn how to track arrested people through the legal system, care for handcuff injuries and support arrestees as they are released. After covering key jail support skills, we will strategize together about how to create a more sustainable, broad-based jail support network in Chicago.
In and Out: Bail/Bond & Establishing a Chicago Revolving Community Fund
This panel will examine what bail is and how it works, information about bail funds, and what a standing fund for revolving bail loans might look like in Chicago.
Accountability Beyond Judgment: Applying Restorative Justice Philosophy to Youth-Police-Community Relationships.
Healthy relationships are the foundation of safe communities. But the formal justice system does little to invest in building and strengthening the relationships that matter most. Police officers rarely talk with the youth in their districts outside of confrontational encounters. Meanwhile, young people rarely feel safe and engaged enough to have real conversations with police officers. This workshop will introduce the ‘Bridging the Divide’ toolkit for hosting youth-police dialogues and will share strategies that are currently being tested out in Chicago. We will listen to recorded stories of youth-police encounters, discuss barriers to building trust among youth, older residents and police officers, and engage critical questions about the possibilities and pitfalls of building these relationships.
11am – 12:15 pm – Keynote Speaker: Ejeris Dixon on “Practicing Liberation”
Congress Lounge, 2nd floor
Ejeris Dixon is an organizer and political strategist with 15 years of experience working in racial justice, LGBTQ, anti-violence, and economic justice movements. She currently works as the Founding Director of Vision Change Win Consulting where she partners with organizations to build their capacity and deepen the impact of their organizing strategies. From 2010 – 2013 Ejeris served as the Deputy Director, in charge of the Community Organizing Department at the New York City Anti-Violence Project where she directed national, statewide, and local advocacy efforts on hate violence, domestic violence, and sexual violence. From 2005 – 2010 Ejeris worked as the founding Program Coordinator of the Safe OUTside the System Collective at the Audre Lorde Project where she worked on creating community based strategies to address hate and police violence.
She speaks and trains nationally on issues of police violence, hate violence, sexual violence, and intimate partner violence as they impact LGBTQ communities and communities of color. Her writings and analysis have been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, SPIN Magazine, CNN, and the New Civil Rights Movement. In 2012 the White House recognized Ejeris as both an Emerging LGBT Leader and selected her as a featured speaker on violence against Black LGBT communities. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in African American Studies at Yale University and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Nonprofit Management at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service.
12:15 – 1pm – Lunch — Congress Lounge (2nd floor)
1 – 2:30pm – Workshops #2
Building Nonviolent Action and Education in Our Communities
Kelly Hayes will lead a discussion about direct action and the need to build a tactical education network in our communities. Kelly will be joined by young organizers of color who have been involved in the recent Black Lives Matter protests to discuss what actions were improved by prior nonviolent direct action training, what actions could have been better with more tactical preparation, and what their vision for community skill sharing looks like. The workshop will also involve a sampling of what is included in a basic NVDA training, including some interactive role playing.
Radical Youth Movements
This workshop will highlight the radical activism occurring in Chicago which has been fueled and largely organized by radical youth groups and individuals. The workshop will feature a panel discussion which will explore the symbiosis and overlay amongst these groups as well as the national and local fights that are centering the work. We will discuss the historical significance youth play in resistance movements and explore how Chicago radical youth are at the vanguard of fights against police violence and killings, the movement to pass the Jon Burge torture survivors’ ordinance, decriminalization of marijuana, the fight against the school to prison pipeline, the struggle to de-militarize the police and more.
Healing Justice 101
This Healing Justice 101 workshop will use a popular education framework to explore questions such as: What liberatory politics underpin Healing Justice? How do we take care of ourselves and take care of each other while doing social justice work? How do we respond and transform generational trauma as a part of political organizing?The workshop is designed for newcomers to Healing Justice work and will generate strategies to integrate into existing organizing work.
Polimigra: Detention, Deportation and Mass Incarceration
Join Organized Communities Against Deportation (OCAD) for a discussion on the different mechanisms that police and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) use to target, detain, and deport immigrants. Through anti-deportation campaigns the local immigrant rights movement has and seeks to continue to challenge the criminalization of our immigrant communities and challenge mass detention and mass incarceration.
Policing, Mental Health, and Disability Justice
What does disability and mental health justice look like in the context of organizations, communities and institutions? Join us as we discuss how the intersections of mental illness, disability, Blackness, and policing affect our organizing efforts, our communities, and the institutions that shape our world. This workshop will give participants an introduction in how the education system, police, family units, supportive services, and other institutions work to oppress people with disabilities. This introduction will lead into a discussion on how we can recognize and organize around the intersection of disability and race in order to transform our organizations, communities, and institutions. This workshop will also provide ideas and resources for empowering participants to carry this knowledge into their communities and organizations.
2:30-2:45 – Break
2:45 – 4:15pm – Workshops #3
Arts as Resistance
Hands on workshop diving head first into how arts can be used both as a tool of resistance, solidarity & self-determination. Interactive overview of protest art techniques including wheat-pasting, stencils, screen-printing, banners, & huge protest puppets.
Thinking Through the End of Police
Abolishing the Prison Industrial Complex means not only working toward the end of prisons but also surveillance and policing. Many people are more afraid of imagining a world without police than one without prisons – and much of the rhetoric justifying the need for policing focuses on violence against women and LGBTQ people. This session will engage participants in discussion about how current policing practices present a threat to the safety of women of color and LGBTQ people and fail to offer protection from violence, and community-based and other alternatives to police. Specifically, this session will draw on experiences of the facilitators in creating community interventions that do not rely on law enforcement to address harms. It will also heavily rely on examples offered by session participants as we think together and imagine a different world.
Ayotzinapa 43: State Violence against Students in Mexico
Join the Comité for a discussion on the most recent and flagrant examples of state violence in neighboring country, Mexico. Learn why Mexicans are holding the State responsible for the disappearances of the43 student teachers from the rural teacher’s college Normal Rural Raul Isidrio Burgos in Ayotzinapa. Build connections between the repression of the State and the use of police and military to repress and murder Mexicans, particularly Mexican students who express dissent against the Mexican project of neoliberalism. Learn about the solidarity work being carried out nationally and in Chicago, and dialogue with us about the interconnectedness of issues of state violence in Chicago and in Ayotzinapa.
“We must love and protect each other:” Queer and Trans Resistance to Policing
In our workshop we will touch on the history and impact of policing queer and trans folks of color in the U.S and in Chicago through an interactive timeline that will look at the laws and policies that have been used to criminalize sex work, homelessness, the history and gentrification of Lakeview and its impact on QTPOC, and the past and present resistance that exists in the community. We will also brainstorm what queer and trans youth of color teach us about police resistance, and what our direct actions can look like.
Turning the Camera and Watching Back: Skills and Strategies for Filming the Police
This hands-on training will cover the fundamentals of filming the police. We’ll quickly review your rights when interacting with the cops, then jump into tips and techniques for monitoring the police. Short video clips and interactive activities will give folks a chance to observe and practice, and we’ll wrap up with a discussion of ways to use these skills – from spontaneous encounters to planned, neighborhood-based cop watching.
4:30 – 5:30pm – Action Planning and Networking Congress Lounge