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Chicago, IL
USA

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.

Staff

ERICA BROOKS: PROGRAM ASSISTANT Erica is an artist, storyteller, and also the program assistant for Cities of Peace. She has worked with WBEZ’s Vocalo Storytellers, The Art Institute of Chicago,AmeriCorps, and Chicago Sun-Times.Recently she was  part of the project, Portraits ofResolution, through 96 Arces in  hopes to build conversations about the impact of Cook County jail in Chicago communities. She holds a B.A. in Visual Arts from Union College and is currently working towards an M.A. in the Master of Arts Education at School of the ArtInstitute of Chicago. Erica works to build narratives people of color by using art and storytelling to accomplish her goal. Erica is the assistant organizer for the Cities of Peace programs, and hopes to continually help the fellows through out the process!    

ERICA BROOKS: PROGRAM ASSISTANT

Erica is an artist, storyteller, and also the program assistant for Cities of Peace. She has worked with WBEZ’s Vocalo Storytellers, The Art Institute of Chicago,AmeriCorps, and Chicago Sun-Times.Recently she was  part of the project, Portraits ofResolution, through 96 Arces in  hopes to build conversations about the impact of Cook County jail in Chicago communities. She holds a B.A. in Visual Arts from Union College and is currently working towards an M.A. in the Master of Arts Education at School of the ArtInstitute of Chicago. Erica works to build narratives people of color by using art and storytelling to accomplish her goal. Erica is the assistant organizer for the Cities of Peace programs, and hopes to continually help the fellows through out the process!

 

 

DANTON FLOYD: FACILITATOR Danton is an Educator and organizer throughout Chicago, IL. He has worked in community spaces, behavioral health institutions, juvenile justice centers, and primary/secondary school based settings.  He works with youth and adults to create intergenerational spaces that value relationship building and social capital as a means to bring about sustainable and  thriving communities.  Danton believes that popular education, critical dialogue and planning and action are necessary in order to raise awareness and empower individuals, as well as their communities.

DANTON FLOYD: FACILITATOR

Danton is an Educator and organizer throughout Chicago, IL. He has worked in community spaces, behavioral health institutions, juvenile justice centers, and primary/secondary school based settings.  He works with youth and adults to create intergenerational spaces that value relationship building and social capital as a means to bring about sustainable and  thriving communities.  Danton believes that popular education, critical dialogue and planning and action are necessary in order to raise awareness and empower individuals, as well as their communities.

SHIRA HASSAN: EVALUATOR Shira began working as an activist and with non profits as a young person 18 years ago. She has focused on the experiences of girls, boys, transgender and queer youth involved in the sex trade and street economy since 1995. Using organizing and popular education as tools, Shira has lived and worked in Chicago and New York City helping young people start their own non profits and lead social justice work. As the Director of Young Women's Empowerment Project from 2006-2011, Shira transitioned the organization to become a youth run member based social justice organizing project led by and for young women, girls and transgender youth of color with current or former experience in the sex trade and street economy. In 2013, Shira helped the organization wind down as a result of the political and economic climate. She believes non-profits should have a clear life cycle and exist to help sustain our movements, rather than having our movements work to sustain large non-profits. Currently working as a consultant, Shira offers program development & design, grassroots fundraising, participatory evaluation/action research and creating sustainable, healing centered and trauma-informed environments for staff through intensive partnering with organizational leaders.

SHIRA HASSAN: EVALUATOR

Shira began working as an activist and with non profits as a young person 18 years ago. She has focused on the experiences of girls, boys, transgender and queer youth involved in the sex trade and street economy since 1995. Using organizing and popular education as tools, Shira has lived and worked in Chicago and New York City helping young people start their own non profits and lead social justice work. As the Director of Young Women's Empowerment Project from 2006-2011, Shira transitioned the organization to become a youth run member based social justice organizing project led by and for young women, girls and transgender youth of color with current or former experience in the sex trade and street economy. In 2013, Shira helped the organization wind down as a result of the political and economic climate. She believes non-profits should have a clear life cycle and exist to help sustain our movements, rather than having our movements work to sustain large non-profits. Currently working as a consultant, Shira offers program development & design, grassroots fundraising, participatory evaluation/action research and creating sustainable, healing centered and trauma-informed environments for staff through intensive partnering with organizational leaders.

ALEXIS SMYSER: SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR Alexis is a freshman studying Communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She comes to the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum after completing a year of service through the Americorps program Public Allies and immersing herself in Social Justice work. As a Public Ally she spent a year working for the international nonprofit, the Goldin Institute developing curriculum, interviewing grassroots leaders from around the world, and improving the organization’s internal database. As a museum educator at Hull-House she hopes to sharpen her public speaking skills and convey enriching history to museum visitors in a relatable way. As a communication associate for Cities of Peace she hopes to efficiently facilitate dialog and spread awareness through social media.

ALEXIS SMYSER: SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR

Alexis is a freshman studying Communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She comes to the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum after completing a year of service through the Americorps program Public Allies and immersing herself in Social Justice work. As a Public Ally she spent a year working for the international nonprofit, the Goldin Institute developing curriculum, interviewing grassroots leaders from around the world, and improving the organization’s internal database. As a museum educator at Hull-House she hopes to sharpen her public speaking skills and convey enriching history to museum visitors in a relatable way. As a communication associate for Cities of Peace she hopes to efficiently facilitate dialog and spread awareness through social media.

ZAKKIYYAH DUMAS: DOCUMENTARIAN Zakkiyyah is a student/photographer here at UIC, studying black culture with an emphasis on black art practices and social movements. Zakkiyyah works as a museum educator at the Jane Addams Hull House Museum. She is also the co-organizer of The Art History Society. This organization is an informal gathering of students that have interests in art and art history. AHS welcomes majors and non-majors interested in engaging in discussions, art led activities and attending art centered events on campus and throughout Chicago. AHS encourages student/professor engagement, gallery and museum tours, curatorial led discussions, workshops with local Chicago artists, and graduate student partnership. Outside of work and school Zakkiyyah has a deep love for photography, particularly photo-documentation. In recent months she has become more interested in documenting social and cultural movements of the black diaspora, beginning right here in Chicago. She would love for people to get a visual perspective on the positive and transformative work that is being done in the city. 

ZAKKIYYAH DUMAS: DOCUMENTARIAN

Zakkiyyah is a student/photographer here at UIC, studying black culture with an emphasis on black art practices and social movements. Zakkiyyah works as a museum educator at the Jane Addams Hull House Museum. She is also the co-organizer of The Art History Society. This organization is an informal gathering of students that have interests in art and art history. AHS welcomes majors and non-majors interested in engaging in discussions, art led activities and attending art centered events on campus and throughout Chicago. AHS encourages student/professor engagement, gallery and museum tours, curatorial led discussions, workshops with local Chicago artists, and graduate student partnership. Outside of work and school Zakkiyyah has a deep love for photography, particularly photo-documentation. In recent months she has become more interested in documenting social and cultural movements of the black diaspora, beginning right here in Chicago. She would love for people to get a visual perspective on the positive and transformative work that is being done in the city. 

KEISA REYNOLDS: COMMUNITY EDUCATOR Keisa is a queer black feminist, writer and educator from Richmond, Calif. They are a certified rape crisis counselor in Illinois and California and have extensive training in other areas including domestic violence, child abuse, community violence, and trauma. They have led and co-facilitated workshops and conversations on alternatives to policing, transformative justice for survivors of sexual violence, and understanding anti-blackness and gender violence. They previously worked and interned with In These Times, Rape Victim Advocates, Brava! for Women in the Arts, and other non-profit organizations in Chicago and Bay Area. They are a former member of We Charge Genocide and student organizer at Columbia College. They earned their BA in Cultural Studies from Columbia in 2015 and studied at UC Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy as a 2014 PPIA fellow. They are a lover of black girl magic and protector of black girlhood. They fight for everyone's liberation, especially their mother's. And yours. 

KEISA REYNOLDS: COMMUNITY EDUCATOR

Keisa is a queer black feminist, writer and educator from Richmond, Calif. They are a certified rape crisis counselor in Illinois and California and have extensive training in other areas including domestic violence, child abuse, community violence, and trauma. They have led and co-facilitated workshops and conversations on alternatives to policing, transformative justice for survivors of sexual violence, and understanding anti-blackness and gender violence. They previously worked and interned with In These Times, Rape Victim Advocates, Brava! for Women in the Arts, and other non-profit organizations in Chicago and Bay Area. They are a former member of We Charge Genocide and student organizer at Columbia College. They earned their BA in Cultural Studies from Columbia in 2015 and studied at UC Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy as a 2014 PPIA fellow. They are a lover of black girl magic and protector of black girlhood. They fight for everyone's liberation, especially their mother's. And yours. 

LAUREN O'BRIEN: PROGRAM ASSISTANT Lauren is a storyteller. As an aspiring historian and educator, her practice is grounded in her personalization of history. She finds strength and inspiration through her ancestral roots as the granddaughter of Caribbean immigrants and Southern cotton pickers. Lauren takes immense pride in her identity as a woman of color and believes that positive representations and reflections of people of color in art and history are crucial to their overall development and success as a people. With a BA in Black Studies and as a current graduate student in Public History, Lauren understands the power, politics and privilege within the collection, preservation, and dissemination of history. She lives through the words of Arundahti Roy who believes, “there’s really no such thing as the ‘voiceless.’ There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.” Therefore, Lauren's goal is not to speak for those who are silenced and instead dedicate her career path and education to creating space and finding opportunities to highlight and document the fringed and overlooked voices of marginalized individuals and communities of color. Born and raised in South Los Angeles, Lauren’s work with teaching black and brown youth makes her a strong advocate for multicultural coalitions and peace building. She has worked in several museums and cultural institutions including the UCSB Multicultural Center, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Jane Addams Hull House Museum. She became the Cities of Peace Education Program Assistant in order to expand her knowledge about the many intersections between history and social activism. She hopes the program will assist her in becoming a better educator and working towards making history more transformative and restorative for all. 

LAUREN O'BRIEN: PROGRAM ASSISTANT

Lauren is a storyteller. As an aspiring historian and educator, her practice is grounded in her personalization of history. She finds strength and inspiration through her ancestral roots as the granddaughter of Caribbean immigrants and Southern cotton pickers. Lauren takes immense pride in her identity as a woman of color and believes that positive representations and reflections of people of color in art and history are crucial to their overall development and success as a people. With a BA in Black Studies and as a current graduate student in Public History, Lauren understands the power, politics and privilege within the collection, preservation, and dissemination of history. She lives through the words of Arundahti Roy who believes, “there’s really no such thing as the ‘voiceless.’ There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.” Therefore, Lauren's goal is not to speak for those who are silenced and instead dedicate her career path and education to creating space and finding opportunities to highlight and document the fringed and overlooked voices of marginalized individuals and communities of color. Born and raised in South Los Angeles, Lauren’s work with teaching black and brown youth makes her a strong advocate for multicultural coalitions and peace building. She has worked in several museums and cultural institutions including the UCSB Multicultural Center, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Jane Addams Hull House Museum. She became the Cities of Peace Education Program Assistant in order to expand her knowledge about the many intersections between history and social activism. She hopes the program will assist her in becoming a better educator and working towards making history more transformative and restorative for all. 

IRINA ZAODV: PROGRAM DIRECTOR Irina is an artist, educator, and cultural organizer. Born in Soviet Belarus, her practice explores home, place, and the relationship between the domestic and the public, the intimate and the political. She received her BA and BFA in philosophy: social policy and community-based art at the University of Colorado in Boulder (2005) and her MAT in art education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2007). She served as the director of experience and community engagement at the Children's Creativity Museum in San Francisco and co-founded Feast of Words and Open Feast a site-specific and global storytelling series curated around communal meals. She is currently the education manager at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, founding executive producer of the Chicago Home Theater Festival and curator-in-residence at the Chicago Art Department. 

IRINA ZAODV: PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Irina is an artist, educator, and cultural organizer. Born in Soviet Belarus, her practice explores home, place, and the relationship between the domestic and the public, the intimate and the political. She received her BA and BFA in philosophy: social policy and community-based art at the University of Colorado in Boulder (2005) and her MAT in art education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2007). She served as the director of experience and community engagement at the Children's Creativity Museum in San Francisco and co-founded Feast of Words and Open Feast a site-specific and global storytelling series curated around communal meals. She is currently the education manager at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museumfounding executive producer of the Chicago Home Theater Festival and curator-in-residence at the Chicago Art Department