Expanded Schedule


IA Gathering | Full Schedule


Discover sessions, workshops, seminars, and performances at our 2018 IA Gathering. The gathering enables people to build and sustain relationships that link stories, fulfill the democratic purposes of higher education, and address collective challenges. Check back periodically for updates!





Pre-Gathering | Thursday, October 18th


National Advisory Board Meeting

9am – 4pm

Stony Island Arts Bank


PAGE Fellows Summit

9am – 4pm

Stony Island Arts Bank


APPS Pre-Gathering on Democratically-Engaged Assessment

12pm – 6:30pm

Roosevelt University, WB317


Ghosts in the Schoolyard by Eve L. Ewing – Official Launch Party

5:00pm – 7:30pm

Chicago Teachers Union, 1901 West Carroll Avenue, Chicago, IL 60612

Redeem tickets here: http://bit.ly/ewinglaunch


Walls Turned Sideways: Artists Confront the Justice System

6pm – 8pm

Block Museum of Art
Northwestern University, 40 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, Illinois 60208

Join us for a moderated conversation with Chicago artists committed to justice and to using art as a mechanism for change.


Day 1 | Friday, October 19th

Loop Hub sites: Roosevelt University (main), Studebaker Theatre, Columbia College Chicago

Arrive at the main Loop Hub site: Roosevelt University (East Entrance), 430 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605. Please see your AttendeeHub phone app for a map of the event’s site locations and information about transportation throughout the day. If you would like mobility assistance, please connect with someone at the registration desk. 




7:30 am – 4 pm

Registration at Loop Hub
Roosevelt University, Fainman Lounge




7:30 – 9 am


Roosevelt University, Fainman Lounge




9 – 10:45 am

Opening Session:
Studebaker Theatre, Fine Arts Building 
Fawn Pochel, Toussaint Losier, Cynthia Soto, A. Naomi Paik, Vajra Watson, Sisters JoAnn Persch and Pat Murphy, Members of Organized Communities Against Deportations, Roy Kinsey, Tonika Johnson



11 am – 12:30 pm

Lunch pick-up

Roosevelt University, Fainman Lounge




11 am – 5 pm

• IAStoryShare
• Booksellers
• Community Tabling



11 am – 2 pm

Presidents’ Forum:
Tackling institutional racism on American campuses
Hosted by: Columbia College Chicago



11 am – 12 pm

Undergraduates Lunch



11:30 am – 1 pm

Imagining America Campus Liaison Lunch
All IA member campus representatives, community partners, and individuals from prospective member institutions are invited to bring their lunches to this conversation. Connect with new and returning members from across the IA network.




Day 1 | Session Block #1 | 11:30 am – 1 pm




Theorizing Our Lived Experience: The Production of Knowledge by Formerly Incarcerated Scholars at the University of California, Berkeley
This panel will feature members of the Underground Scholars Initiative (USI), an organization of formerly incarcerated students at the University of California Berkeley, who will share their research on various aspects of carcerality, followed by a conversation on the role of formerly incarcerated scholars as producers of knowledge. Panelists will highlight the importance of including the experiential knowledge of formerly incarcerated people in any research on carcerality. The complex effects of incarceration on individuals and communities are best understood by the people who have first-hand experience. We want our allies to help build the political power of currently and formerly incarcerated people. In order to organize, strategize and create alternatives to detention and incarceration. 
Presenter(s): Danny Murillo, Dr. Erica Mieners, David Maldonado, Juan Flores, Lulu Matute, Michael Cerda-Jara, Shalita Williams




Sustaining Abolitionist Art Practice
A conversation between five artists and curators working within the prison system with incarcerated artists, and outside prison walls on issues of mass incarceration in their practices. Panelists will discuss their personal artist/activist practices, which range across media, format, and audience, and the way they situate their work within an abolitionist framework. The panel will explore questions like what role does art have in the movement for prison abolition? How does art help us imagine alternate systems for justice and accountability? What does it mean to be an abolitionist artist? How do we navigate the tension between working within the prison system and working to abolish it? How do we keep our artistic practice linked to grassroots activist movements? How do we remain accountable to currently incarcerated collaborators?
Presenter(s): Rachel Wallis, Mathilda de Dios, Mariame Kaba, Damon Locks, Sarah Ross 




On Madness, Memory and Serving Life: Towards Embodied Liberatory Practices of Feminist Genealogy
Examining social erasure through institutionalization, an excerpt of the solo performance "Rites" traces the story of the author‚ great-great-grandmother who—unbeknownst to her children—was committed to the Athens Asylum in Ohio from 1899 until her death 50 years later. A post-performance dialogue examines the importance of recovering and amplifying stories of those who have been institutionalized or incarcerated, as well as the potential of storytelling to heal intergenerational trauma, within a feminist genealogical and liberatory arts approach. "Rites" was recently performed during Antioch College’s "How much time is enough time?" exhibit created by students, faculty and incarcerated women from the Dayton Correctional Institute serving life sentences as part of "States of Incarceration: A National Dialogue of Local Stories." 
Presenter(s): Luisa Bieri




Day 1 | Session Block #2 | 1:30 – 3 pm




Humanity Not Statistics: Hope Unheeded!
Grounded in lived experiences of incarcerated women, this multi-media session highlights an inter-generational performance that intersects a female perspective in the context of race, class, and social injustice. Three women, while in prison, reflect on their experiences as teens that led to a path of drugs and incarceration. As returning citizens to their neighborhood, they address the cultural and system disparities in conversations with two young women who are homeless and living in the shadow of violence and incarceration. Creative forms of dance, music and visual art heighten theatrical expression. The audience will be surrounded by a curated exhibit of portraits drawn by an incarcerated mother and sent with messages of hope to her daughter. Post-performance discussion will explore the options for evaluating the impact of art as a catalyst for systemic change. 
Presenter(s): Mary Driscoll PhD, Sheri Bridgeman, Donna Daley, Jadira Figueroa, Erica Telisnor, Amy West, Erica Wisor, Destiny Polk




Incarcerated Women Construct a Future for Themselves – Constructing Our Future, Indianapolis, Indiana
Workshop & Live presentation from the Indiana Women’s Prison
In our session we will introduce a few incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women from the Indiana Women’s Prison. We will tell the audience about our program’s origin, development and phase system. Constructing Our Future competently addresses two problems: (1) Lack of safe affordable housing for re-entering women in the state of Indiana and (2) the proliferation of blighted housing in the state and specifically in Indianapolis.
Presenter(s): Michelle Jones, Karlee Macer, Christina Kovats




The Impacts of State Violence on Our Imaginations
Trauma from state violence is both an individual and collective experience that directly impedes our ability to connect to what matters to us and to imagine alternatives ways of being together. Learn from activists, artists, and survivors of police torture about what it took to pass the first Reparations Ordinance for racially motivated police violence anywhere in the country. Reflect on how systems of oppression and harm show up (internally and externally) in our imaginations. Practice imagining what reparations would look like in your community. 
Presenter(s): Cindy Eigler, Members from Chicago Torture Justice Center’s Survivor and Family Advisory Council; Members from Chicago Torture Justice Memorials




Elegy for Mary Turner
This performance explores the horrific story of the murder of Mary Turner and her unborn child as well as the lynchings of African American men in Southern Georgia in 1918. We connect this story to the past and current landscape of race/ gender politics, and white supremacy, in North America.
Presenter(s): Rachel Marie-Crane Williams, Christopher Rasheem McMillan, Dawn Harbor




Ti(d)es That Bind Us
Installation & Artist talk

Description coming soon.

Presenter(s): Jay Simple




Publicly Active Graduate Education (PAGE) Fellows Lightning Talks
PAGE Fellows Lightning Talks
Imagining America will feature the "PAGE Fellows Lightning Talks" as part of the 2018 IA National Gathering in Chicago, Illinois. In this session, the PAGE Fellows for the 2018-19 academic year present some of their publicly engaged work to the IA community. Fellows may discuss a specific project, methodology, or motivations for publicly engaged scholarship.
Presenter(s): Mali Collins-White, Abigail Lee, Emilia Abbe, Keitlyn Alcantara, Diana Ruberto, Michelle Vasquez Ruiz, Santos Flores, Dillon S., Jallicia Jolly, Priya Shukla



IA Cultural Institutions Member Working Group (Closed)
This is a closed session for a working group as IA embarks on an exploration of expanding its reach and connection with cultural institutions through membership. 
Presenter(s): Carol Bebelle



Day 1 | Session Block #3 | 3:30 – 5 pm



What’s Democracy Got to Do with It? Reimagining Civic Learning and Engagement with IA and Campus Compact
Description coming soon.
Presenter(s): David Hoffman, Paul Schadewald, Marisol Morales, Andrew Seligsohn




Critical labor: Resisting carceral logics and practices on campuses
As some post secondary institutions begin to support limited access to post secondary education for select people in and after incarceration – this move transpires at a moment when the university the universities’ ties to the carceral state continue to deepen. Far from separate spheres, the prison and university have always been enmeshed. Formerly incarcerated people attend and matriculate through free-world college classes, people inside prisons create their own self- and community-education practices, programs such as policing, corrections, homeland security or military studies (“forensic sciences”) proliferate in postsecondary education, and economic ties—from GEO to Sodexho, from our students’ service learning to the grant dollars that line criminologists’ research budgets—define the reality of a prison–industrial complex that includes institutions of education within its workings. This panel works to raise the visibility of these deep interconnections and forefronts current and vibrant campaigns to build abolition at the site of the university.
Presenter(s): Alice Kim, Erica R. Meiners, Danny Murillo, David Maldonado, Debbie Southern, Nicole Nguyen, Michael De Anda Muñiz




#SAYHERNAME is a solo performance by Red Clay Dance Company’s Founder and Director Vershawn Sanders-Ward. This riveting work examines the criminalization of black female activists Angela Davis and Assata Shakur, drawing parallels to the present day arrest and subsequent death of Sandra Bland. The solo performer finds herself in a confined space; both physically (inside a prison cell) and mentally, bound by her condition and perceived loss of POWER. 
Presenter(s): Red Clay Dance Company/Vershawn Sanders-Ward




Education Interrupted
Workshop & Performance
Where does the school-to-prison pipeline begin? In this immersive theatre piece, conference participants will get onstage with court-involved Storycatchers youth to learn how young people in the education system are ejected, eventually incarcerated, and returned to communities with very few paths to better futures. Interactively experience the stories of our youth and discuss together the issues, emotions, and potential solutions to the pipeline to failure.
Presenter(s): Tory Davidson, Meade Palidofsky, Aimee Stahlberg




Audio Installation
Prison Renaissance presents Metropolis, an ongoing audio installation project centering the voices of incarcerated people. Collectively, the people incarcerated in the United States would constitute a city the size of Houston – the fourth largest in the country. Metropolis serves as a wake up call to the fact that our country is incarcerating enough people to fill a city, and as a call to see both the diversity and everyday humanity of those in prison. Emile DeWeaver (co-founder, Prison Renaissance) directed Metropolis to establish new forms of media connecting free and incarcerated communities and to challenge trends that exoticize those inside. Prison Renaissance used prison phone lines to record incarcerated community members sharing their expertise, passions, and art. Audience members can move between headsets to hear these recordings and are encouraged to build bridges to the Prison Renaissance community by writing postcards in response to the speakers.
Presenter(s): Lisa Clark, Emile DeWeaver, Camille Griep, Elizabeth Stensrud




Day 1 | Friday, October 19th




5:45 – 6:30 pm

Shuttle Bus to Opening Night Reception
From Chicago Hilton (Loop) to Opening Night Reception (Northerly Shores Visitor Center)
Bus departs from Chicago Hilton at 5:45, and again at approximately 6:15



6 – 8:15 pm

Opening Night Reception + Randy Martin Spirit Awards
Northerly Shores Visitor Center 
Kim Yasuda, 2017 Randy Martin Award Winner participatory piece; Adam Bush and other NAB; 2018 Randy Martin Award Winner



7:45 – 8:30 pm

Shuttle Bus to Hilton Chicago
From Opening Night Reception (Northerly Shores Visitor Center) to Chicago Hilton (Loop)
Bus departs from Northerly Shores Visitor Center at 7:45, and again at approximately 8:15



Day 2 | Saturday, October 20th  | IA Gathering at the Loop & South Chicago Hubs





Day 2 | Saturday, October 20th  |  Loop Hub





8 am – 4 pm

Registration at Loop Hub
Roosevelt University, Fainman Lounge  
Open: 8am


Day 2 | Saturday, October 20th  |  South Chicago Hub





Registration at South Chicago Hub
Open: 11am



Day 2 | Saturday, October 20th  |  Loop Hub





8 – 9 am

Roosevelt University, Fainman Lounge 



9 -10 am

Opening Session:
Envisioning Justice: Creating a Citywide Conversation on the Impact of Incarceration on Communities in Chicago  
Studebaker Theater, Fine Arts
Chris Guzaitis, Elliot Heilman, J. Slater, Ryan Keesing, Jonathan St. Clair, and Alexandria Eregbu



10am – 5 pm

• IAStoryShare
• Booksellers
• Community Tabling
• Makers & Wellness Spaces



10 am – 12:30 pm

Lunch pick-up
Roosevelt University, Fainman Lounge



Day 2 | Saturday, October 20th  | 





10:30 am – 5:30 pm

Shuttle Busses between Hub Sites
Roosevelt University — SkyART (looping)
• Pick up boxed lunches at the Fainman Lounge in Roosevelt University.
• Shuttle busses will loop between the hub sites, Roosevelt University (Loop) and Olive-Harvey College South (South Chicago).
• Busses leave from each hub site every 30 minutes. Volunteers in red shirts will be stationed at the sites to help direct you.
• Please see your AttendeeHub phone app for transportation information and bus departure notifications.



Day 2 | Saturday, October 20th  |  Loop Hub





10:30 am – 5 pm

Loop Hub Sessions
Session Blocks #1, #2, #3, and Pecha Kucha Presentations

10 am – 12:30 pm

Day 2 | Session Block #1 | 10 am – 12:30 pm | Loop Hub





Loop Hub Session Block #1



Disabilities, the Pipeline and Latinx Communities
In the United States, 6.4 m children between 3 and 22 years old receive special education supports and services. Children with disabilities enter the juvenile justice system at five times the rate of other children (Zipper and Hing 2014). The disparities grow at the intersection of race, class and location. Our presentation focuses on school push out and the prison pipeline for Latinx students and their families in Chicago. 1. We will explain "invisible" disabilities and school push out. 2. We highlight the ways ICE enforcement, schools’ policies and practices, and expectations among Latinx parents intersect to undermine parents’ ability to advocate for their children’s education. 3. We look at the neoliberal context and the underfunding of special education. We will conclude with a brainstorming session about how to broaden the needed activism and policy change in this area.
Presenter(s): Heather Dalmage, Samantha Martinez, Katia Martinez, Vanessa Martinez




Sounding out Liberation in the Ohio Rust Belt: Oral Histories, Music-making, & Transformative Education
Media Session 
In this session, Oberlin College and community partners imagine emancipatory futures through transformative education and community-engaged projects, largely located within Lorain, OH, a former steel town, and Grafton Reintegration Center (state prison). Responding to community-expressed needs and goals, we ask how higher education can engage reciprocally with surrounding communities and deploy the resources of a liberal arts college to respond to and participate in liberatory efforts. Our session suggests ways of sounding out—and listening to—claims for liberation through media including oral history, music, and participatory-documentary making. Through co-created documents of participants’ voices, we suggest ways to imagine and work toward emancipatory futures. 
Presenter(s): Adrian Bautista, Tania Boster, Jennifer Fraser, Jody L. Kerchner, Gina Perez 




Nothing about us without us: Building prison to university networks in the Chicago region
Facilitated by a national leader in the movement to center the expertise of formerly incarcerated people, this roundtable brings together local leaders, thinkers, educators to discussion the local landscapes for both access to education for people and related movements to center the expertise and knowledge of formerly incarcerated communities.  
Presenter(s): Alice Kim, Erica R. Meiners, Danny Murillo, Orlando Mayorga, Monica Cosby, Maria Moon, Omar Yamini 




Decolonizing the Museum: Practicing Abolition and Lessons from the CHA Tenant Patrol
This session includes a conversation between National Public Housing Museum staff, journalist Jamie Kalven from the Invisible Institute, an activist committed to public housing and exposing the impunity of the police, and Crystal Palmer, the former head of the Chicago Housing Authority Tenant Patrol. They will discuss the Patrol, a citizen’s initiative that serves as an example of social innovation and community empowerment, and share how this history informs a new program that acknowledges the cultural capital of residents as expertise in the abolition of systems of surveillance while nurturing positive forms of public safety. We invite cultural workers, activists, and allies to discuss radical ways to de-colonize museums, and practice abolition within our institutional walls. We will also explore ways we can work together in a more expansive way so that our collective efforts might be imagined as part of a large scale reparations movement for the field.
Presenter(s): Lisa Yun Lee, Mark Jaeschkle, Jamie Kalven, Crystal Palmer 





Playwriting & Theatre Tools for Challenging the Carceral Experience
Performance, Action, Dialogue
Following a model lesson from the playwriting workshop, this session leads participants through story generation and play-building activities that were facilitated in the 2018 Playwriting Across Prison Walls (PWAPW) project. PWAPW takes plays, developed by writers at a local correctional facility, and stages them on the university campus, prison, and a local jail. In this way, the artistic work reaches beyond the correctional environment and challenges the discourse around prison, the impact of artists who are incarcerated, and traditional notions around representation of community voices in theatre. At the beginning of the session, participants will hear a brief (5 minute) overview of the PWAPW project. 
To recognize the role of theatre as a tool for disrupting the prison experience &
To ask questions about using stories from behind the walls in an ethical and respectful fashion.
Presenter(s): Rivka Rocchio




Serving Life: ReVisioning Justice with Stories from America’s Death Row
Pecha Kucha, Community reading, conversation, and response
SERVING LIFE is a community call-and-response with some of the most hidden members of our society. Since 2013, Hidden Voices has collaborated with men on America’s Death Row to envision a multi-arts project able to generate the civic will to re-vision justice. By challenging our assumptions about guilt and innocence and by providing a vehicle for the public to connect with these voices, we reinvigorate some fundamental questions. Who is innocent? Who is harmed? How do we heal centuries of oppression? What needs to change for our justice system to reflect equity and inclusion? 
As part of this call and response, the session includes a community sharing of stories from men living on death row and an opportunity to respond directly to the men. This work is an invitation to embody our interconnectedness and activate our mutual capacity for restoration and healing.
Presenter(s): Hidden Voices, Lynden Harris, Madeleine Lambert, Carlyn Wright-Eakes




If A Rose Can Grow in Concrete, Why Can’t I: Insight Garden Program, Re-Imagining Reconnection and the Natural World CA Prisons
Insight Garden Program transforms prisoners’ lives through connection to “self, community and the natural world”. IGP facilitates an innovative 48-week curriculum, centered around tending the “inner garden” and the co-design and installation of permaculture gardens, in nine prisons in California. This “inner” and “outer” gardening approach transforms the experience of incarcerated participants as well as local volunteers by asking them simultaneously to imagine a vastly different perception of themselves in the world. The panel will bring together IGP’s Program Director, a community volunteer from Indiana and faculty from UC Davis to explore IGP’s unique pedagogy. We will also show a short video from San Quentin Prison to bring the voices of IGP participants directly into the room. The audience will be asked to consider the challenges facing healing programs like IGP in prisons.
Presenter(s): Amanda Berger, Bernadette Austin, Reverend Marty Henderson




Decisively Humane: Inclusive Approaches to Undergraduate Student Civic Engagement 
This roundtable session will provide a presentation and discussion of the diversity of concerns, questions, and documentation that have made it accessible to pursue humane approaches to inclusive and in turn, liberatory civic engagement collaborations at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). Each undergraduate student presenter will identify and explain the promise and limitations of crafting and disseminating creative narratives that have made forging humane connections in support of a robust liberatory civic engagement possible within and beyond UCI possible.
Presenter(s): Alice Terriquez, Laurangel Bustos, Dulce Maria Perez, Daniel A. Garcia, Jocelyn A. Contreras, Ana Elizabeth Rosas




Day 2 | Pecha Kuchas | 11 am – 2 pm | Loop Hub





11 am – 2 pm


Loop Hub Kecha Kucha Presentations


• Private Prisons and the Management of the "Immigration Problem"
• Decolonizing the Archive: The United American Indian Involvement Photo Archival Project
• How Can the Community-Engaged Museum Advance Conversations and Initiatives of Social Justice?
• Art, School, Prison, Trauma
• Ritual4Return
• Prison Book Clubs: Reading Utopias, Writing Worlds

Private Prisons and the Management of the "Immigration Problem"
How has the Immigration Industrial Complex thrived on managing, but not solving, the so-called immigration problem? How have governments and corporations benefited from the framing of migrants as criminals? We argue that the perverse economic incentives to militarize border regions, surveil migrant communities, build up “detention towns,” arrest, detain, and eventually deport persons without proper documentation make it more appealing to have an “immigration problem” than to have comprehensive immigration legislation. We will explore the similarities/differences between migrant detention and the US incarceration system. What sort of public discourse makes these systems possible? How has the business of depriving liberty become a global industry? How does this industry shift between vulnerable populations? How do we build an alliance between global incarcerated and detained communities?
Presenter(s): Shannon Wheatley Hartman


Decolonizing the Archive: The United American Indian Involvement Photo Archival Project
Archives document the past in order to educate future generations. Unfortunately, the archival world is built on a legacy of colonialism, appropriation, and community disenfranchisement. In order to address this reality, this session will explore the evolution of the United American Indian Involvement’s photo archive of over 4,000 community-produced photographs. The goal of this session is to highlight the importance of utilizing community-based research strategies focused on the intersections of partnership, reciprocity, and scholarship, which uplift marginalized communities by decolonizing the settler-centered archival process. Participants will learn about the theory and practice of community-based research by viewing the trajectory of this archive from its beginnings as a collection of photos in old shoeboxes, to its current iteration as an exhibit entitled: The People’s Home.
Presenter(s): Kelsey Martin


How Can the Community-Engaged Museum Advance Conversations and Initiatives of Social Justice?
Over the past three years Newcomb Art Museum has focused on exhibition programming that is socially­-engaged. It has championed new models of institution­-artist-community engagement in New Orleans, while also presenting underrepresented artists and pushing the boundaries of display in a fine arts context. The museum’s next project is an exhibition on the issue of Mass Incarceration in Louisiana. This session will discuss the challenges of designing an exhibition that is community engaged and that deals with the sensitive topic of Mass Incarceration within a fine art context.
Presenter(s): Megan Flattley


Art, School, Prison, Trauma
I worked on art with young people in Chicago for fifteen years, ten in a neighborhood public high school on the south side. Many of our art projects addressed forms and sources of historical group trauma, though we did not use that language. I left teaching to attend graduate school, where I ended up working with incarcerated men in a peer-led emotional learning and conversation group in a state prison, in which trauma was discussed in a personal and explicit way, but art was not discussed at all. Also during this time I worked with high school students to create a podcast around criminal injustice. There were some contrasts and some continuities between these situations, some of them unexpected, particularly around trust and expression. I hope to share some of my thoughts around institutions and community change, particularly as they relate to teaching or facilitating as an outsider.
Presenter(s): Albert Stabler


This Pecha Kucha will describe an emerging New York City partnership intended to undertake an innovative approach to ending mass incarceration. In the spring of 2019, this partnership — between a higher education institution, an arts organization, and a reentry service organization — will launch Ritual4Return (R4R). R4R is a richly aesthetic, highly participatory, embodied rite of passage program developed to help in the healing of the shame, trauma, grief, and alienation that affects virtually all people who come into contact with the criminal punishment system in the United States. But beyond the 12-week program, R4R embodies a vision for widespread re-humanization, national movement building, and, crucially, a vision for enlisting higher education in a meaningful way into this urgent work. 
Presenter(s): Kevin Bott


Prison Book Clubs: Reading Utopias, Writing Worlds 
Appalachian Prison Book Project (APBP) facilitates book clubs in two rural West Virginia prisons. Our pecha kucha traces APBP book clubs’ progression from reading speculative fiction to making real-life interventions in how and where stories of the incarcerated are told. 
Presenter(s): Dr. Katy Ryan, Dr. Valerie Surrett, Dr. Yvonne Hammond, Alex Kessler



Day 2 | Saturday, October 20th   |  South Chicago Hub





11:15 am – 4:45 pm

South Chicago Hub Sessions
Session Blocks #1, #2, #3


Day 2 | Session Block #1 | 11:15 am – 12:45 pm | South Chicago Hub





11:15 am – 12:45 pm

South Chicago Hub Session Block #1


Open the University’s Gates: Leveraging Resources to Build Towards a Liberatory Future
We often forget to think about what the institutions we are a part of would look like in a world without prisons and where that places us in the struggle for liberation. In “Opening Brown University’s Gates” we will examine the institutions we are a part of and think through the ways we, as members of universities, non-profits, boards, private companies, etc., are complicit in the Prison Industrial Complex. We will use Brown as a case study and discuss the University’s oppressive history, investments in the PIC, and the work we are doing as student organizers to support anti-PIC organizing in Providence, center voices of incarcerated people, and transform Brown’s exclusionary and punitive logics to one’s of inclusion and growth. We will end the session with a mapping exercise to think through the resources we each have access to and how we can redirect them to build towards liberatory futures.
Presenter(s): Sophie Kupetz, Noel Cousins




Heredia de Vida: Using Nature, Engagement, Wounds, Art and Reflection to Heal Across Cultures 
This round-table will use film, photos, poetry and stories to share a liberating cloud forest encounter between adjudicated youth, university students, teachers and leaders from the United States and Costa Rica – and will challenge session participants to understand the transformative potential such border crossing encounters hold for individuals and communities. Our work together inspired a shift in our own understandings of justice, adjudication, nature and personal and community resiliency and laid down a poetry trail through coffee and cloud forest, a reflective platform below towering trees and a challenge to leaders in two countries to deeply reflect on their own relationship to liberation. We will use creative elements of our experience – art-making, reflection and group exercise – to encourage participants to understand how people – adjudicated, incarcerated and otherwise confined by systemic constraints around the world – can co-create personal and collective inspiration, resilience and liberation.
Presenter(s): Sarah Britton, Vincent Delgado, Helena Lang, Guillermo Vargas




Connecting Art, Activism, and Archives: A Case Study and Book-Making Activity 
Members of Friends, Peace, and Sanctuary (FPS)—a two-year project that connects the arts to historic and contemporary stories of refuge—will discuss their experiences with the project and then lead attendees in a book-making activity. Beginning in July 2017, FPS has worked with a group of Syrian and Iraqis who were resettled to Philadelphia to create handmade books that explore connections between history and experience, displacement and refuge, empathy and belonging. The project will be presented as a case study for how making books that link history and experience can increase senses of belonging and empathy. The FPS team will then lead the group in a book-making activity similar to those done with project collaborators in Philadelphia. Specifically, participants will make an “easy book” that creatively combines personal reflections, shared experiences, and archival material.
Presenter(s): Katie Price, Peggy Seiden, Nora Elmarzouky, Yaroub Al-Obaidi



12:30 – 2 pm



Day 2 | Session Block #2 | 12:30 – 2:00 pm | Loop Hub





Loop Hub Session Block #2



PUBLIC Journal: Resisting the Unfreedom of Mass Incarceration: Creating New Horizons to Liberation and Justice
This panel considers the two million people imprisoned, the five million on parole or probation. It will focus on the racial disparity of this population as over 60% are Black and Brown men, women and children revealing imprisonment as an exercise of racism that replicates past practices of population control such as Native American reservations, the Plantation, Japanese internment, and the policing and repatriating of Mexican origin peoples. It will discuss mass incarceration as a practice that has changed the (human) geography of the country and negated the future and freedom of millions of people, calling into question the very ideals of democracy that the US champions. It will discuss how through this negation of futures and freedom, generations of people have created spaces to collectively and individually resist the unfreedom of mass incarceration, to rebuild opportunity and hope, and to create new horizon lines to liberation and justice. 
Presenter(s): Tina Curiel Allen, Danny Mendoza, Danny Murillo, Ofelia Cuevas




Presence, Process, and Performance: Rehabilitative Workshops for Men & Women in Prison
Through interpersonal activity and discussion, mixed with video clips from a recent 2-week workshop at a men’s prison, this session will explore the strategies and techniques used to develop pro-social skills, faith, and a renewed vision of self and others, the sum of which has proven to lead to positive change among men and women who are incarcerated. Having navigated several iterations and nearly 20 years of engaging the US carceral system “in the trenches” – from a travelling youth choir to the mobilization of professional artists who interact with hundreds of people in prisons, including Rikers Island – directors from Shining Light Ministries will share invaluable lessons and results of their experiences, intending to leave you inspired and equipped to consider next steps in your own organization or initiative.
Presenter(s): Kelly Enck, Jeffrey Bohn, Rachel Tracie




"On the Row: Stories from Arkansas’ Death Row"
The Prison Story Project, benefitting the incarcerated in Arkansas since 2012, empowers inmates to tell their truths through creative writing, which, unedited, is curated into staged readings, performed for inmates and then toured publicly. From May through October of 2016, our creative writing team guided eleven of the then thirty-four men on Arkansas’ death row through creative writing activities in person and via mail. In April of 2017, Arkansas’ governor scheduled executions for eight men over a ten-day period. Of the four men we served on that list, two received last minute stays of execution, while two were killed.
We will present a staged reading, with all roles filled by volunteer participants attending the conference. An audition and two-hour group rehearsal are required. The performance runs one hour, followed by a Q&A and card-writing session, where the audience can share their responses with the men who wrote the script.
Presenter(s): Prison Story Project, Matthew Henriksen




Organizing Against Violence: A Community-Engaged Pedagogy and Praxis Workshop
This is a workshop on place-based, community-engaged pedagogical practices that confronts social injustices using the methodologies of arts, humanities, and design. We will discuss approaches that challenge inequalities built into normative teaching methods. We will go past the rhetoric of service-learning in the classroom and highlight lived experiences in the varied venues of activist work. We will acknowledge our individual power and privilege to describe discomfort, failure, joy and solidarity in community-engaged commitments. Above all, we will listen to each other to foreground an ethic of care as our enduring answer to the politics of exclusion and alienation within society and the neoliberal academy.
This workshop will be a starting point of a yearlong collaborative writing project that will culminate in a publication to be potentially distributed through Imagining America.
Presenter(s): Mallika Bose, Kush Patel



To See the Good in Me You Have to See the Hood in Me: Black Girl Artivists and Intergenerational Justice in School
Roundtable & Performance
This roundtable seeks to (1) complicate notions of Black girlhood and what it means to be civically engaged by examining how gendered racism impacts a group of Black girl high school students, highlighting how they leverage poetry, artivism, and notions of sisterhood to disrupt current social conditions. It (2) brings to the forefront the necessity for this work to be intergenerational and carried out by Black women. Centering the voices of the lead teachers and mentors of the course, this roundtable will showcase how they too are employing artivism and embodied knowledge as a means to challenge the social conditions and injustices in the city while simultaneously serving as models to Black girls. And (3) this roundtable will grapple with how the process of healing is occurring for both the teachers and youth through a praxis of critical healing, collective strength and care.
Presenter(s): Jeanelle K. Hope, Dr. Vajra Watson; Sacramento Area Youth Speaks (SAYS) Poet Mentor-Educator, University of California, Davis; Sacramento Youth Area Speaks (SAYS) Youth, Luther Burbank High School 



Humanity in Captivity: The Ethics of Carceral Representation
This workshop will consider how graphic representations (pictures or photos) of people in prison hold potential reinforce harmful stereotypes of incarcerated individuals, and encourage thoughtful use of images. Following a short introduction by two members of our group, we will display a series of images of incarcerated individuals for discussion. Depending on the size of the audience, we may divide into small groups for the discussion. Then, the presenters will share our draft guidelines of proposed best practices for representing incarcerated people graphically and open the floor for further discussion and comment. These guidelines are aimed primarily at encouraging people to resist using photographs that buy into common tropes of people in prison as student, brutal, or requiring moral reform. The goal is to stimulate participants’ awareness of the power of images and support presenters’ efforts to create a thoughtful and useful best practices code.
Presenter(s): Ezekiel Simmons, Michael Tafolla, Bryan Dean, Larry Garrett, Chris Guy, Raphel Jackson, Marcelo de Jesus, Chad Lane, Pablo Mendoza, Eric Vann, James Wood, Rebecca Ginsburg




Imagining America Southern California Organizing cluster: Forging Liberatory Futures Together
Open, free-flow sharing of civically engaged projects
The Imagining America Southern California Organizing cluster will be showcasing civically engaged projects by several higher education institutions that are members of this cluster. This is an open space where faculty, students, and civic engagement staff will share their projects using a rich variety of creative expression formats. Conference/gathering participants will be able to walk through this open space and interact with those sharing their projects. 
The cluster has been in existence since 2015, and its members have presented at the Imagining America national conference in 2016 and 2017. In line with this year’s gathering theme, projects shared are unified by this phrase: Creating culture change in higher education by forging liberatory futures together. 
Presenter(s): Maria Avila, Ana Elizabeth Rosas, Alice Terriquez, Laurangel Bustos, Daniel Garcia, Elizabeth Chin, Erin Nerstad, Ellen Anderson, Julissa Espinoza, Jaye Houston, Katrina Zimmerman, George Sanchez, Kelsey Martin



Individual Member Working Group (Closed)
This closed session working group is focused on ways in which IA can deepen its connection with individuals through membership.
Presenter(s): Adam Bush



Day 2 | Session Block #2 | 1:15 – 2:45 pm | South Chicago Hub





South Chicago Hub Session Block #2


Cleansing Space: "Reimagining Justice Inside the Empire"
Organic in nature, choose your own adventure. Makers & Wellness Space
Need a mental-spiritual supplement from the traditional conference sessions? This session is an opportunity to be in community with fellow participants and to decompress. There will be two optional activities available should participants feel moved to engage. The first uses the Asian American Literary Review’s Book of Curses, designed to use magic and literature to "reimagine justice inside the empire" and reverse the ills of our society. The second will be personal mandala making for liberation and self-preservation. 
Presenter(s): Charlene Martinez, Micknai Arefaine




Coloring "In Between The Lines," An Adult Coloring Book made by Incarcerated Women
Makers & Wellness Space
Coloring "In Between The Lines" invites participants to experience the therapeutic benefits of creative activity. Participants will have an opportunity to color works of art created by incarcerated artists and discus the power of creativity in carceral spaces. 
Presenter(s): Peter Dickson




Enacting and narrating a new youth-powered story in Baltimore and beyond 
This multi-station workshop, facilitated by people from four interrelated Baltimore projects, engages participants in storytelling, discussions and building a shared online resource for organizing with youth anywhere. Building a collective syllabus of abolition: How might we incorporate principles of abolition into educational spaces inside and outside state detention centers? 
• Choice Program at UMBC, The Choice Program at UMBC provides intensive advocacy and mentoring services for youth. The program supports youth and families in navigating complex systems in juvenile justice, social services, education and the workforce.
• Culture Works, cultural organizing and community building initiative in West Baltimore working on cultural mapping of stories and aspirations and linked to Alternate Roots and USDAC.
• Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Campus Center at UMBC (one of 10 AAC&U campuses) led by youth working to reveal and connect cultural artifacts, stories and possibilities for anti-racist work across the campus and throughout the city.

Presenter(s): Frank Anderson, Andrea Tompkins, Denise Griffin Johnson, Lee Boot, Sherella Cupid, Fikir Ejigineh, Jordan Harper, Olayinka Lawal, Bev Bickel, Kate Drabinski, Nicole King, Joby Taylor



Day 2 | 2:15 – 3:15 pm | Loop Hub





The Long Term Book Launch
Book launch. Roosevelt University, WB 1016
This roundtable features contributors and editors to the new book The Long Term (Haymarket Books, 2018) and addresses the unjust and ineffective practice of long-term sentencing. Long Term Offenders, or LTOs, is the state’s term for those it condemns to effective death by imprisonment. Often serving sentences of sixty to eighty years, LTOs bear the brunt of the bipartisan embrace of mass incarceration heralded by the tough on crime agenda of the 1990s and 2000s. Like the rest of the United States prison population—the world’s highest per capita—they are disproportionately poor and non-white. The Long Term brings these often-silenced voices to light, offering a powerful indictment of the prison-industrial complex from activists, scholars, and those directly surviving and resisting these sentences. The Long Term elaborates on the devastation caused by a draconian prison system and highlights the humanity and courage of the people most affected. 
Presenter(s): Tara Betts (moderator), Eric Blackmon, Ibi Cole, Erica Davila, Audrey Petty, Jill Petty



Creative Community Development Coffee Hour
Roosevelt, Fainman Lounge



Womxn in the Creative Fields: A Gathering
Roosevelt, AUD 306
How do we support women artists and designers who are positioned outside of traditional models of leadership, but are hungry to be the change-makers of our society? These are women who are exploring new models of practice, driven by personal values and moving beyond the status quo. How do we hold space for thought-leaders that is inclusive and equitable?
We recognize the value of convening as a catalyst to shift the constructs of traditional leadership and support structures, and aim to generate a path for meaningful and sustainable practice. How might we behold our lived experiences to build community with ourselves? In this gathering we will celebrate diversity, share our lived experiences around identities, and identify areas of need and capacity-building. Though recognizing our allies that are committed to advancing diversity and equity, this gathering will hold space for self-identified womxn / women of color (students and faculty).
Hosted by Shalini Agrawal, California College of the Arts



Emertix Leaders Council Meeting (Closed)
Roosevelt, AUD 320
Closed meeting of the IA Emertix Leaders Council, a peer led and managed group of veteran IA leaders.
Presenter(s): David Scobey




3:15 – 4:45 pm



Day 2 | Session Block #3 | 3:15 – 4:45 pm | South Chicago Hub




South Chicago Hub Session Block #3


Diving into Deep Waters: Connecting the Pacific Island Community through Campus Partnership
Film Screening + Talk Back
Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC), an organization founded to create and share stories of Micronesian, Melanesian and Polynesian peoples through film, video and online content has instituted an annual film series and showcase, Deep Waters in partnership with the University of San Francisco to bring Bay Area Pacific peoples together in celebration of indigenous storytelling, music, dance and food. The program brings together community partners, faculty, staff, students from around the Bay to explore cultural memory and current challenges for Oceanic people, both at home and on the U.S. mainland. In its third year of Deep Waters in March-April of 2018, PIC co-presented three films including OUT OF STATE, a documentary exploring the state of Hawai’i’s outsourcing of roughly two thousand of its male prisoners to a private, for‐profit prison on in the desert of Arizona. Exiled thousands of miles across the ocean from their island home, a group of indigenous Hawaiian inmates have discovered their calling on the inside––teaching each other their native language and dances while behind bars. As several of the men complete their sentences, the film follows their reintegration back home in Hawai’i.
Presenter(s): Leslie Lombre, Evelyn Rodriguez




3:30 – 5 pm



Day 2 | Session Block #3 | 3:30 – 5:00 pm | Loop Hub




Loop Hub Session Block #3

PUBLIC Editorial Board Meeting (Closed)
Closed meeting of the Editorial Board for PUBLIC: A Journal of Imagining America.




Re-Imagining Assessment for Democracy and Social Justice
Imagining America’s Assessing Practices of Public Scholarship (APPS) research group has authored a white paper on Democratically Engaged Assessment (DEA). DEA seeks to reclaim assessment as democratic practice and leverage it to dismantle hierarchies, amplify stakeholder voices, and transform oppressive systems on campuses and in communities.
This session builds on the 2018 pre-conference by opening space to learn from and with colleagues who engage in liberatory and transformative assessment.
After a brief framing of DEA, pre-conference participants will present on their models of assessment, followed by discussion. Some questions that will be asked in this session include: What does assessment mean to you and what could it mean? When have you seen effective assessment co-created by stakeholders? What does that look like? What do you believe the role of assessment could be in bringing about a more just communities and society? 
Presenter(s): IA APPS research group, Joe Bandy, Anna Bartel, Mary Price, Patti Clayton, Sarah Stanlick, Stephani Woodson




Building a College-in-Prison Program: What We Do, How We Got Here, Where We’re Going
The primary goals of our session will be to discuss the purpose and practice of college‐in‐prison, how incarcerated students can use the classroom to develop their own agency in collaboration with other learning communities, and how other higher ed institutions can partner with correctional facilities to address community-wide problems. Attendees will leave our session with a deeper understanding of how a college-in-prison program can act as a practice of restorative justice and as an ongoing support for reentry success and degree completion. Attendees will hear a variety of perspectives from those who participate in the program — professional educators, program administrators, the warden, and transcribed accounts from our students. We welcome active discussion with others who have some familiarity with college-in-prison programs, and with those interested in implementing their own.
Presenter(s): Ken Brown, Heather Erwin, Aliza Fones, Kathrina Litchfield, Kayla Lyftogt, Jim McKinney, Mark Petterson, Heidi Pierce, Katie Rodgers, Jennifer Stone




Abolition Radio: Airing America’s Mass Incarceration Crisis
Within antenna distance of University of California’s Davis campus, hundreds of incarcerated persons tune into KDVS, the university’s campus radio station. This fall, "KDVS: Abolition Radio" launched a mix of practical, political, and entertainment content that reaches hundreds of incarcerated listeners as it forges new possibilities for how campus media across the country might collaboratively engage with incarcerated persons, their families and communities and the wider public. Session attendees will learn about historical and current efforts to bring educational, political, and practical media to incarcerated persons, gain an understanding of the prison media ecosystem, and develop group ideas about how campus radio and print media can creatively engage America’s mass incarceration crisis. Bring your ideas and energy for an inspiring discussion and creative group work session.
Presenter(s): Matthew Nesvet and Milmon Harrison, joined by special guests including a prison media pioneer, the leader of an activist and aid organization that serves currently and formerly incarcerated persons, and an executive-level public communications specialist.




Beyond the Hashtag 101: Activists & Accomplice Strategies for Justice Against Anti-Blackness & Prison Industrial Complex
Roundtable, Workshop, Media Session
We will focus on the expertise of the panel of community activists who have created change throughout the country through art, community engagement, self-authored books and policy change. Our panel will share their own unique fights against anti-Blackness followed by a roundtable where participants will develop strategies to address oppressions in their home communities.
Music, poetry, guided discussions, dialogue, brainstorming and interactive exercises will allow for participants to develop and walk away with concrete strategies to address communal challenges and utilize this session as grounds for deploying activism around gendered racism and other anti-Black oppressions.
With the support of expert activists, participants will walk through the creation of a toolkit for fighting anti-Blackness in their own communities. 
Presenter(s): Lisa Covington, Kim Moore, Kuttin Kandi, Christina Griffin, Jason Sole




Facing the Tensions: Prison Education, Abolition and Positionality
This session will focus on some of the tensions that exist in working in and against the prison industrial complex, including: the racialized nature of both those who are incarcerated and those who often volunteer or teach inside and the paradox straddled in teaching inside in order to attend to the immediate needs of those trapped in this system while working towards the long-term aim of dismantling it. Often times the powerful educational programs we build inside unwittingly uphold the very system we and our students study, critique, and advocate for dismantling. In fact, can we both teach within while advancing abolition? The facilitators of this session will address each of these areas and invite participants to live together in the tensions that they create—and talk through, with transparency and truthfulness, how we can address these tensions individually and collectively. 
Presenter(s): Tessa Hicks Peterson, Ella Turenne




Challenging Money Bail and Pretrial Incarceration through Storytelling
Media Session
90% of the 450,000 people currently incarcerated before trial in the U.S. are locked up only because they cannot afford to pay money bail. Although most people incarcerated pretrial are in county jails, an increasing number are jailed inside their own homes in virtual prisons that use surveillance technology, such as electronic monitoring, to shift the site of incarceration into criminalized communities.
Using video testimony from impacted people, this session will advance participants’ understanding of the need to eliminate the use of money bail and all pretrial incarceration as part of the grassroots movement against mass incarceration. Working within an explicitly abolitionist framework, we will engage in participatory exercises to dream of and demand the world we want to live in and to identify & reject compromises that reinforce the legitimacy & necessity of carceral systems.
Presenter(s): Sharlyn Grace, Lavette Mayes, James Kilgore




College Unbound: Building the Curriculum with Students Inside
College Unbound’s Prison Education Program is designed to increase post-secondary graduation rates for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated adult learners looking to complete their bachelor degrees. The framework is rooted in our innovative project-based curriculum combining students’ academic work with their passions and interests. At the heart of our pedagogy is a question raised by Paulo Freire, "Do I feel a vocation to be fully human?" Our commitment to this question is a reflection of our own pedagogical praxis of teaching in carceral spaces that often deny the humanity of the population we serve. Participants in this session will learn what it looks like to build a prison education model that is both emancipatory for students inside and committed to walking with students through their transitions beyond release. 
Presenter(s): Chris Dickson, Adam Bush, Jose Rodriguez 




Freedom. Surveilled.






Liberating the Voice through Improvisation
Experiental Presentation
BFree improvisation sprang to life in the 1950s when musicians wanted to break free of the rules of jazz and composition. Free vocal improvisation is a powerful tool that can support wellness within and beyond incarcerated life. For example, it facilitates release of emotions, develops multi-sensory awareness, creates order from diverse tools and interactions in the moment, navigates the give-and-take of authentic relationships, and much more.
This experiential session will demonstrate that free vocal improvisation has tremendous promise as a generative strategy that can model and nurture interdependence, encourage shared power, and foster personal / communal resilience. After leading attendees in a sample improv experience, presenters will review the purpose and scope of the class; discuss issues of artist accountability; share impact stories from currently and formerly incarcerated women; review key benefits, lessons, and challenges; and answer questions. 
Presenter(s): Pam Blevins Hinkle, Michelle Jones



Day 2 | 6 – 8:10 pm | Loop Hub





6 – 8:10 pm

Performance: Time Alone
Studebaker Theatre

Time Alone is a play that is “poignant and heartbreaking” that “bridges divides” and leaves audiences “spellbound.” – Los Angeles Times

Time Alone, is the compelling story of a young man convicted of killing a gang rival, and a middle-age woman, whose son is a police officer murdered in the line of duty.  Their parallel journeys deliver them to the world’s most lonely places: a solitary confinement cell, and the silent house of a single mother who lost her only child. The characters – both sympathetic, both impassioned – bring forth their radically different views on the nature of time, regret, and the criminal justice system.  The play explores the devastating isolation of a world where we only see victims and perpetrators, and asks us to imagine a world where redemption and reconciliation might be possible.

This staged reading is produced by Bonnie Franklin’s Classic and Contemporary American Plays, and presented by Imagining America, The Court Theater, and Illinois Humanities.

(90 minutes, followed by a 30 minute talkback with actors, playwright, and activists working to end solitary confinement.)

The award-winning cast includes:

XAVIER RAMÍREZ MORENO JR, a native Angelino, born, raised, and staged in the historic barrio of Boyle Heights. Xavi has written, directed, produced, designed and performed for multiple theater’s including, Independent Shakespeare Co., South Coast Repertory, Center Theater Group, Hero Theatre, Gala Hispanic Theatre, Latino Theater Company, Cornerstone Theater, Company of Angels, About Productions, & Casa 0101 to name a few. Recognized as a Young Leader of Color by Theatre Communications Group, Xavi is also Marketing Director for The Latino Theater Company at The Los Angeles Theatre Center & Producing Director for Company of Angels

HATTIE WINSTON, an actress, singer, writer, producer, director and Broadway veteran with a career that spans five decades. Winston is a founding member of The Negro Ensemble Company in New York City, and has acted in shows such as The Tap Dance Kid, Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Me Nobody Knows, and the Vagina Monologues.  

ALESSANDRO CAMON (Playwrightis a writer and producer, best known for writing The Messenger, a contemporary drama about military officers delivering casualty notifications, with writer/director Oren Moverman. His works have been nominated for an Academy Award, and he has won the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay at the Berlin Film Festival.

The mission of Classic and Contemporary American Plays is to educate, entertain, and enrich the lives of high school students in underserved school districts, by introducing them to the study of significant American plays – and to develop a new generation of life-long theatergoers. To support CCAP, learn more about us or find out about upcoming shows, please visit us at www.bfccap.org


Day 3 | Sunday, October 21st | Loop Hub






8 am – 12:30 pm

Registration at Loop Hub

Roosevelt University, Fainman Lounge 

8 – 9 am


Roosevelt University, Fainman Lounge 


9am – 2 pm

• IAStoryShare
• Booksellers
• Community Tabling
• Makers & Wellness Spaces



Drawing Connections Between Arts Education and Equitable Futures
Makers & Wellness Space
Please join artists and organizers of Madison Public Libraries’ Making Justice programming for court-involved youth and the Oakhill Prison Humanities Project in a comics workshop! Making Justice and OPHP partner with facilitators to provide programming that supports the reclamation of dignity to populations for whom it is actively and systematically denied. 
In this workshop, round-robin cartooning exercises will connect participants to narratives from their own lives. We also aim to cross-pollinate and discuss the value of our respective groups in the context of comics. We will engage in this artistic practice to center dialogue around the role of arts education for incarcerated populations, connecting people to means of expressing stories with perspectives that are worthwhile and mostly unheard. We are all experts of our own story; comics provides a shared language for that expertise.
Presenter(s): Emily Shetler, Alexandra Lakind, Lauren Lauter



Cleansing Space: [JT1] "Reimagining Justice Inside the Empire"
Organic in nature, choose your own adventureMakers & Wellness Space
Need a mental-spiritual supplement from the traditional conference sessions? This session is an opportunity to be in community with fellow participants and to decompress. There will be two optional activities available should participants feel moved to engage. The first uses the Asian American Literary Review’s Book of Curses, designed to use magic and literature to "reimagine justice inside the empire" and reverse the ills of our society. The second will be personal mandala making for liberation and self-preservation. 
Presenter(s): Charlene Martinez, Micknai Arefaine




9 -10:30 am

Day 3 | Loop Hub | Session Block #1 | 9 – 10:30 am




Session Block #1


Imagining America Tomorrow: on the refreshed vision, mission, values, and future goals of IA
With a new home, a new staff, and a quickly approaching 20th anniversary, Imagining America has been engaged in a strategic planning process to refresh and re-align our vision, mission, and values, and to set goals for the years ahead. In this workshop IA staff and National Advisory Board members will share the refreshed Vision, Mission, and Values statement and engage participants in an interactive feedback and imagining session directed towards our future goals. In a time of political urgency, and as the fields of community engaged higher education and cultural organizing have expanded, IA is redefining its central value proposition and developing a strategic action plan to be shared publicly at its 20th anniversary in 2019. Join this session to provide your own input, ideas, and critiques at this critical conjuncture. 
Presenter(s): Lisa Lee, Erica Kohl-Arenas, Kal Alston, Mina Para Matlon




From Incarceration To Education – Short Documentary Film, followed by Q & A with Formerly Incarcerated Students
Media Session
The screening of a short-documentary title: From Incarceration to Education (FITE), followed by a conversation with formerly incarcerated students from California and Illinois. FITE, delves into the lives of four formerly incarcerated students at UC Berkeley and their journeys to and through higher education. The film, which features the lived experiences of those who are formerly incarcerated, highlights the barriers individuals must face post-incarceration as well as their stories of success. First, a keynote speaker will give opening remarks, then the 25-minute film screening will follow. Immediately after, a Q&A session will occur, with formerly incarcerated individuals, involved in higher education and affiliated with the film, participating.
Presenter(s): Danny Murillo, Shalita Williams, Richard Rodriguez, David Maldonado, Lulu Matute, Monica Cosby




Transforming Societal Attitudes through Choral Singing in Prisons
This Roundtable-Media-Performance-Discussion session explores how choral singing can support and sustain an ethic of decarceration. The session involves conversations among the warden of the Oakdale Prison, Jim McKinney; the founder and leader of the Oakdale Choir, Dr. Mary L. Cohen; documentary filmmaker Daniel Kolen; formerly incarcerated singer Kenneth Bailey; former outside singer Dr. Catherine Wilson who founded a songwriting workshop at Green River Correctional Center in Kentucky; and the founder and leader of the Voices of Hope, Dr. Amanda Weber. Our discussion will examine the social forces of choral singing in prison contexts and show excerpts from the upcoming documentary about the Oakdale Choir—The Inside Singers. Members of the Oakdale Choir and panel presenters will lead small group conversations about a relational sense of identity to further mutual respect and understanding between free and incarcerated members of society.  
Presenter(s): Mary Cohen, Kirsten Kumpf Baele, James McKinney, Kenneth Bailey, Daniel Kolen, Catherine Wilson, Amanda Weber




Beyond Lockdown: Decarcerating Our Practice Inside and Out 
As resources are directed to arts and educational programming in carceral settings, there is a growing concern about the direction in which the field is going. Can we program our way out of mass incarceration? Or must practitioners rethink our role in a historical moment where communities are driving the closure of prisons and jails? In this interactive workshop, we will explore what it means to teach in carceral spaces. Teasing out the tensions involved from a personal and political point of view, the facilitators will share over 18 years of experience working in juvenile detention centers through performance and dialogue. Participants will engage in activities from Lyrics on Lockdown, a course on arts in carceral settings that has been taught in more than five colleges/universities. 
Presenter(s): Piper Anderson, Ella Turenne




Imagining Decarceration in Gunned-Up America
Interactive Display & Dialogue
Organizers will facilitate discussion of guns and their connection to incarceration through an interactive display of several of David Hess’s 112 mock assault rifles, made from thousands of “rescued objects” – old hand mixer, raggedy crutch, pink Barbie bike frame, etc. Hess worked intensively on this series following the tragedy at Sandy Hook until all 112 sculptures were finished and exhibited in “Gun Show” at UMBC’s Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture last fall. He’s shown smaller groupings on NYC and DC sidewalks, museums, outdoor art festivals, and a commercial gun show in central Pennsylvania. The purpose? To foster non-polarized, non-polarizing discussion of one of today’s most volatile issues: GUNS, who should/should not own them; whether/how to legislate them; ramifications of their use/misuse; and how issues of race/class/gender identity/age impact all these questions.
Presenter(s): Kathy O’Dell, David Hess, Chinen Aimi Bouillon




Uniting States of Design
This workshop is a strategic reflection on the status of community engaged design practice. Who are we (both those of us that are within the IA network and those beyond)? Who are we engaging with (nationally and internationally)? And to what end? And, in relation to the 2018 theme focused on the incarceration system and social justice, we will specifically ask in what ways design is already engaged in advancing individual and collective freedoms. What are the limitations of our existing partnerships and how might we better serve our communities? Participants are invited to contribute to an online map both to feature our own work as well as relevant work by peers, mentors, and recent historical inspirations. We will use this map as a prompt to further discussions around our collective needs and aspirations.
Presenter(s): Brett Snyder, Mallika Bose




Making the Artivist; Activating the Citizen Artist 
What happens when individuals understand the resources that lay dormant inside their person? How can they activate these resources to change their current and future circumstances? How can they use these resources to affect positive change in their communities? Explore these questions and more with us at the intersection of arts and activism in civic engagement. Workshop participants will investigate essential skills and processes artivists employ to assert civic voice; participate in movement and storytelling activities designed to clarify meaning for individuals and communities around the topics of justice, systems, agency, community building, and advocacy; and learn about the framework crafted by Red Clay Dance Company to ignite the flame of artivism in program participants at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center. 
Presenter(s): Sara Ziglar, Chaniece Holmes, Destine Young




Reshape the Mo(u)rning: Community-led Organizing towards a World Without Prisons
Media Session
“What would it take to abolish policing and prisons?” This question is posed in the opening scene of the short film SpiritHouse: Reshape the Mo(u)rning, and will be explored through this session, co-led by members of SpiritHouse and Alternate ROOTS. We’ll screen the film which features SpirtHouses’s rich legacy of using art, culture, and media to support the empowerment and transformation of communities most impacted by racism, poverty, gender inequity, criminalization, and incarceration. Then, we’ll move through an interactive dialogue, grounded in SpiritHouse’s cultural and community organizing practices. This session also highlights ROOTS’ new publication Creating Place, of which the film is a part. This multimedia collection of podcasts, films, and essays amplifies the work of ROOTS members, artist-activists working on the frontlines of social justice movements in the US South. 
Presenter(s): Nicole Gurgel-Seefeldt, Nikki Brown




11 am – 12 pm

Day 3 | Loop Hub | Session Block #2 | 11 am – 12 pm




Session Block #2


Write an Incarcerated LGBTQ Penpal!
Black & Pink Chicago will lead a penpal matching session for people on the outside interested in forming a penpal relationship with an LGBTQ person on the inside.The workshop will include an orientation that covers basics of Black & Pink as an organization, expectations for penpals, navigating the Prison Industrial Complex as you write, communicating and understanding boundaries, and a discussion around power and trauma.
Attendees will have time to read through "intro letters" and find a new incarcerated penpal, as well as time to ask questions about penpaling and Black & Pink.
Please come to this workshop if you’re looking to learn more about the PIC, to engage in mutual aid, and to make a new friend.
Presenter(s): Black & Pink Chicago, Charley Guptill, Linnea Hurst




Reimagining a Successful Reentry from Incarceration
This workshop allows participants to pull back the curtain of colorblindness to see The New Jim Crow and the complex reentry challenges facing millions of predominantly black and brown people in the United States. Participants will first go through a "reentry simulation" session to navigate and experience‚ first hand‚ how the reentry process is integrated within the system of second class citizenship and racial control characteristic of mass incarceration.
Participants will then hear first account stories directly from a panel of formerly incarcerated individuals to begin dismantling stereotypes that society holds about people who are/have been incarcerated. Lastly, participants will have opportunity for critical reflection and begin analyzing how to shift our approach to addressing mass incarceration and racism from the root using the "what, so what, what now" method. 
Presenter(s): Fabina B. Colon, Rose Fleurant




In the United States of America, racism is among the many layered societal structures that are used to define and classify human beings. Many of the resulting classifications mark and track human beings – human bodies – who reside outside of "normalized" classifications as needing to be surveilled and regulated. In speech, tone, and bodied interactions human beings are silenced and forcibly dehumanized.
Using videos, live movement, and discussion, this Performance/Dialogue centers the body to explore its connection to power. This session will explore how racialized norms are kept and perpetuated in the body and possibilities for how the body can disrupt these norms that protect racism and incarceration. Framed by contemporary issues, we will center bodied accountability, body liberation, and bodied holding of space to highlight awareness and interactions that care for human beings. 
Presenter(s): Arneshia Williams




From Punitive to Restorative: Collective Healing through Decarceration
Media Session
Three 8-10 minute critical narratives with poetry and up to 3 questions posed to generate discussion. Topic 1: "Who do you say I am? The collective consequences of identicide." Topic 2: "Scaling the bricks, transcending the bars, rebirthing my Self." Topic 3: "Guess who’s back? What true restoration to useful citizenship means to returning citizens and communities." The session goal is to raise awareness, compassion, and empathy for a demographic dehumanized by stereotypes that perpetuate fear, ignorance, and hate. How prisoners are sent away and treated determines how they return to their communities. This awareness encourages advocacy for educational/legislative policies providing humane, holistic, and transformative opportunities for all prisoners. The goal of the session is to create among participates a vision of a justice system devoid of practices that foster identicide. 
Presenter(s): Sandra D. Brown




Imagining Decarceration through Attention, Encampment and Resistance
(STOP) Southside Together Organizing for Power and the Mental Health Movement are motivated, in part, by the fact that mental health care access is one meaningful alternative to incarceration and an approach that promotes the reinvestment of government dollars away from mass incarceration to more effective investments. The Healing Village, in Woodlawn, brings awareness to Chicago that 50% of our city run mental health facilities were closed in 2012 under Rahm Emanuel and the five remaining are struggling. The stigma associated with seeking mental health care must be reduced. The Healing Village and Resistance Architecture: brings mental health care into public space to reduce stigma; provides access many alternative modalities beyond traditional talk therapy ; urges communities members to see individuals going into a carceral system not as criminals but as individuals in need of healing.
Presenter(s): Amber Ginsburg, Amika Tendaji, Ronald Jackson




11:30 am – 1 pm

Lunch pick-up
Roosevelt University, Fainman Lounge 



12:30 am – 2 pm

Day 3 | Loop Hub | Session Block #3 | 12:30 – 2 pm




Session Block #3




Discover: Dismantling the carceral state through cultivating individual wellness in a community college setting. 
Contemporary analysis of the school-to-prison pipeline (Annamma, 2017; Krueger, 2010; Sojoyner, 2013) has reconceptualized previous terminology to highlight the ways that schools mirror prisons‚ referred to as the school-to-prison nexus. We, as researchers and practitioners, must turn our focus towards healing the pain caused by the constant exposure to the carceral state experienced in school contexts.
Harold Washington College has recently adopted trauma-informed practices to support our students’ wellbeing. This workshop will present research related to these practices including their framing, implementation, and impact on student well-being. The workshop leads will also facilitate a planning process that helps participants determine how does this work fits in their local context(s).
Presenter(s): Dr. Asif Wilson, Dr. Evelyn Murdock, Nina Owolabi




Radical Design for Speculative Futures
Surrounded by our society’s norms and structures, it can be difficult to imagine futures with radically different social systems. This workshop will share methods to loosen our expectations of the future and enable us to imagine alternatives. Building on speculative practices of design, we will work to make ideas tangible so that people with different worldviews can discuss them together. After a brief presentation, workshop participants will work together to turn one of our current societal beliefs on its head and imagine an alternative justice system. Participants will be encouraged to challenge utopian visions and to consider both positive and negative impacts. At the end of the workshop, we will discuss how participants might use these methods in their own work, and how we could use speculative and exploratory design in imagining and developing alternative systems of justice. 
Presenter(s): Alix Gerber




Learning a Healthy Rhythm: Percussion-Based Mindfulness Practices to Promote Health among Afro-Latino Youth
The goal of our community-academic partnership project is to contribute to a vision of justice in which children and young people protect and nurture their own well-being and health. Percussion-based mindful practices were incorporated into the curriculum of Bembé Drum and Dance to teach children ways to change how their minds & bodies respond to stress. Bembé Drum and Dance is a Milwaukee-based, after school Afro-Latino percussion and dance performance ensemble for children ages 9-13. In our session, we will describe the training our staff received to help young people manage their own stress and we will demonstrate, with audience participation, percussion-based mindfulness techniques. We will describe the implementation, feasibility and acceptability of adding stress-management content and percussion-based mindful practices to a curriculum for children and early adolescents. 
Presenter(s): Kristin Haglund, Johanna de los Santos, Imani Jalil, Bony Plog-Benavides, Carlos Ademas




A Revolutionary Scholar’s Approach: A Student Guide into Organizing Formerly Incarcerated Students in Higher Education with an Abolition Praxis
The prison abolition movement maintains that incarceration is a tool in the white supremacist organization of society where communities of color are disproportionately criminalized. The goal of the workshop is for participants to engage the concept of abolition praxis and to take concrete ideas to their communities. While abolition is often understood as a more ideological position than a real possibility, workshop presenters will share their communities’ experiences with the criminal legal system and how, even though they do not use the language of abolition, they have engaged the politics of abolition for a long time because of their experiences of criminalization by state representatives, particularly the police. In addition, workshop presenters will engage with participants in efforts to understand the value of the experiential knowledge of formerly incarcerated and systems impacted. 
Presenter(s): Diego Paniagua, Rocio Rivera-Murillo




The Art of Restoration: Changing the Narrative about Returning Citizens
Words are powerful because they stir emotions and shape perceptions. Words such as ex-offender and felon often conjure fearful images among the general public, even if the person has chosen a positive path after incarceration. This workshop will focus on the power of words and introduce Spellcasting 4 Peace (S4P), an arts-based employment project funded by Elevated Chicago, a collective launched in 2017 that uses transit-oriented development to eliminate racial inequities. The four-month program was implemented at the Safer Foundation, one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit providers of services designed exclusively for people with criminal records, based in Chicago. Attendees will learn how arts-based programs like this can shift the negative narrative about returning citizens to one of hope, promise, respect and employability. 
Presenter(s): Kimberly Vann, Brian K. Ellison, Roberto Requejo




Edu-LARP for Change: Engaging Afrofuturistic Speculation Through Life Action Game Play
This session draws upon the wisdom of children, who imagine new worlds every day while playing make-believe. Educational LARP or edu-LARP is defined by Lisa Gjedde as an “approach based on design that combines role-playing games with narrative scenarios.” Edu-LARP can be used to open a learning space for creative interrogation of and participation in social justice and Afro-diasporic stories. This workshop will serve as an INTRODUCTION to Afrofuturism and live action role play. During the workshop, we will focus on character development and world building using storytelling as a foundation. This will include time for creative writing, making art, and sharing with one another. We will work to open a space for participants to engage in working through difficult histories and societal issues while building empathy and compassion. 
Presenter(s): Micknai Arefaine




Day 3 | Loop Hub





2:15 – 2:30 pm

Special Event
All convene at Fainman Lounge




2:30 – 4 pm

Closing Session
Studebaker Theatre, Fine Arts Building 
Red Clay Dance, Avery Young, the Chicago Bucket Boys, and Bernardine Dohrn

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