ICYMI: Human Rights Lab Winter Event Roundup
Catch up on a jam-packed Winter Quarter of Human Rights Lab event programming! In case you weren’t able to catch all of these amazing conversations live, we’ve compiled them here for you to enjoy. Click the titles below to view the recorded videos:
MLK Week Program: Letter Writing to Incarcerated Individuals (1/22/21)
The Human Rights Lab and IOP’s Bridge Writing Workshop collaborated to host a virtual letter writing program for folks currently incarcerated in Illinois. The event featured mini-keynote addresses from Maya Schenwar and Colette Payne, tools on how to write a letter of solidarity, and guidance for continuing a pen pal relationship beyond this event. In addition, Samantha Dunn from Black and Pink: Chicago facilitated a breakout group for those interested in long-term letter writing.
Rising Up for Their Lives: Prison Organizing from Attica to Closing Rikers (2/18/21)
The Mass Incarceration Working Group welcomed Brittany Friedman and Heather Ann Thompson for a discussion of what history can teach us about contemporary struggles for human rights within prisons and efforts to decarcerate. This was the inaugural event in the Mass Incarceration Working Group discussion series “More Beautiful and More Terrible: Prison Organizing and Abolition in Unsettled Times.”
Carving Out Rights Book Launch (2/25/21)
The Lab and its partners celebrated the launch of Carving Out Rights from Inside the Prison Industrial Complex (Hat & Beard, 2021). This Prison + Neighborhood Arts/Education Project book features 30 brilliantly crafted foam block prints—one for each article in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights—made by artists at Stateville Prison, who struggle daily for their own human rights. Editors and contributors to the book discussed what it means to represent justice and carve out rights from inside the prison industrial complex.
“Building Together”: Prison Organizing in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond (3/5/21)
The Mass Incarceration Working Group welcomed historian Dan Berger and activist Clifton “Skye” Williamson to discuss the current conditions within jails and prisons, how the impact of COVID-19 informs prison organizing, and abolition as an obligation to those most vulnerable. This was the second event in the Mass Incarceration Working Group discussion series “More Beautiful and More Terrible: Prison Organizing and Abolition in Unsettled Times.”
Mariame Kaba: Chicago Reparations and the Fight for an Abolitionist Future (3/9/21)
A conversation with Mariame Kaba, moderated by Director of Human Rights Practice Alice Kim and Assistant Professor Reuben Jonathan Miller, to discuss reparations for Jon Burge torture survivors, what justice looks like, and Mariame’s new book, We Do This ’Til We Free Us: Abolitionist Organizing and Transforming Justice.