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Chicago, IL

Cities of Peace seeks to amplify the struggles of young people in Chicago and Phnom Penh as they organize to transform harm and create community healing. Using their own site-specific histories as a jumping off point, the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Peace Institute of Cambodia will form Community Peace Councils which will interrogate the roots of structural and relational violence and practice transformative justice. They will produce a documentary film, develop exhibitions, and participate in an international exchange which will culminate in a Community Peacebuilding Summit in Chicago in the summer of 2015.


Questions and reflections, transformations, and manifestations by and for Cities of Peace. 



Maria De La Paz

Hull House hosted a Chicago Police Torture event, in which Cities of Peace fellows got to listen to firsthand accounts from the victims of torture under the hands of John Burge, former Chicago Police Department detective. Lawyers, prison abolitionists, and people from 'We Charge Genocide' all spoke at the panel, about the history, of Police torture in Chicago, and a ways these victims can begin healing.

Darrell Cannon, Chicago Police Torture survivor spoke about the torture he had experienced when he was in his youth, and ripple effect that had happened because of his wrongful incarceration. The room got emotional we he spoke about the loss of his mother, father and son, and the mental impact he experienced from not being able to attend their funerals.

Mark Clements, another victim of police torture, had been wrongfully accused of arson, when he was just 16 years old. He was taken in for an interrogation by Jon Burge, using racial slurs and inhumane methods of torture, they got a false confession out of him. When he told the judges about what had happened to him, they had just laughed, in disbelief that Chicago Police were capable of doing such things.

After their release from prison they began speaking about the unjustified torture they had endured at the hands of the Chicago Police department, and the helplessness they felt when no one would help them.

Dorothy Burge, began to speak about how the city of Chicago, and the CPD, could begin to even pay for the crimes they committed, with a commission of $2 million. A small price to pay, considering the city has paid a lot more, to defend the police, and silence the victims and witnesses.

It was overall, a good learning experience and emotional roller-coaster, for Cities of Peace.


- Stephan