Conference Organizers

This conference is organized by Project NIA and We Charge Genocide.

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.

We Charge Genocide: We Charge Genocide is a grassroots, inter-generational effort to center the voices and experiences of the young people most targeted by police violence in Chicago. We Charge Genocide was started to offer a vehicle for needed organizing and social transformation. The initiative is entirely volunteer-run. We are Chicago residents concerned that the epidemic of police violence continues uninterrupted in our city. We are not a 501c3 and we do this work intentionally outside of the nonprofit industrial complex (which has sometimes silenced community advocates from being able to propose radical ideas and solutions).

Co-Sponsors (we welcome more, email niapoetry@gmail.com if you want to be added to the list)

Mansfield Institute for Social Justice and Transformation: The Mansfield Institute for Social Justice and Transformation’s (MISJT) broad mission is to raise awareness of social injustice while engaging in action-oriented projects that lead to progressive social change. Its specific focus is on dismantling the cradle to prison pipeline. This pipeline is a result of long standing racial, social, economic and political inequalities in America and works to funnel poor children of color toward nihilism and incarceration instead of hope and productive adulthood. Within our current neoliberal economic order in which funding is shifting away from programs that address human need toward private industry, we see a growing list of risk factors that undermine the youths’ life chances.

Black Lives Matter: Chicago is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. It is an affirmation of Black folks’ contributions to this society, our humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.

The International Socialist Organization The International Socialist Organization has branches across the country. Our members are involved in helping to build a number of struggles: the movement to stop the war on Iraq, fights against racism and anti-immigrant scapegoating, the struggle for women’s rights like the right to choose abortion, opposing anti-gay bigotry, and standing up for workers’ rights. We are committed to building a left alternative to a world of war, racism and poverty.

JUST PRACTICE is a training series for activists, movement builders, community members, and non-profit workers who want to deepen their harm reduction skills and transformative justice practices.

Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD) seeks to stop deportations in our communities through mobilization, advocacy and education. Since December 2012, OCAD has led public campaigns to stop deportations in the state of Illinois and has helped families to fight deportations of loved ones by connecting them to the proper legal venues and information that can make the difference between staying in this country or getting deported.

Comunidades Organizadas Contra las Deportaciones (OCAD) busca detener las deportaciones de nuestras comunidades a través de la movilización, la defensa y la educación. Desde Diciembre del 2012, OCAD ha dirigido campañas públicas para detener las deportaciones en el estado de Illinois y ha ayudado a las familias a luchar deportaciones de sus seres queridos atraves de avenidas legales y a la información que puede marcar la diferencia entre permanecer en este país o ser deportados .

The Chicago Religious Leadership Network (CRLN),  an interfaith network of individuals and communities, equips and mobilizes religious leaders, congregations & communities and individuals to advance peace, justice and human rights in our hemisphere.

La Red de Lideres Religiosos de Chicago (CRLN), una red interreligiosa de individuos y comunidades, prepara y moviliza a lideres religiosos, congregaciones, comunidades y ordenes religiosas, y individuos para el avance de la paz, justicia, y los derechos humanos en nuestro hemisferio.​