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The Human Rights Lab and the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture at UChicago are pleased to announce our inaugural 2021 Practitioner Fellows. 
Renaldo Hudson 
Artist for the People Practitioner Fellow
Dr. Tara Betts  
Poet for the People Practitioner Fellow 

 Renaldo Hudson is an educator and community organizer whose work is focused on ending extreme sentencing in Illinois. He survived death row and life without the possibility of parole. He is a self-taught artist who learned to paint while on death row and has created a gallery of artworks. During his 37 years of incarceration, he obtained multiple certifications, an associate’s degree and a seminary bachelor’s degree. Renaldo is responsible for the groundbreaking Building Block Program, a transformational program run by incarcerated people within the Illinois Department of Corrections. He is currently the Education Director for the Illinois Prison Project. 

Dr. Tara Betts is the author of two poetry collections, Break the Habit, Arc & Hue, and the forthcoming Refuse to Disappear. In addition to her work as a teaching artist and mentor for young poets, she has taught a weekly poetry workshop at Stateville Prison and has also taught at several universities, including Rutgers University and University of Illinois-Chicago. Tara is Poetry Editor at Another Chicago Magazine and The Langston Hughes Review and the Lit Editor at Newcity.  


As part of their fellowships, each practitioner will complete a fellowship project of their own design that explores an aspect of the carceral system, curate their own series of public events, and participate in various community and university engagements throughout the year.  
Stay tuned for a virtual welcome in the Spring, where fellows will have the opportunity to share more about their work. 
Practitioner Fellows are supported in part by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to the Centering Race Consortium, a partnership between race studies centers at Brown University, Stanford University, UChicago, and Yale University to center the study of race in the arts and humanities.