contact us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right.


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.

12487081_794935440634942_2089685365856338322_o.jpg

WELCOME OUR TEACH-IN COHORT OF 2016!

Jane Addams Hull-House Museum is proud to welcome 25 Chicago Public School Teachers and community-based youth workers to participate in a youth-led Teach-In Series from January - May 2016. These teach-in's will center the lived experiences and action-based research of Cities of Peace Fellows who have been interrogating the roots of structural and interpersonal violence, community resistance, and healing through the lens of Hull-House and Chicago history, Cambodia, and Chicago today. This Teach-In Series is an inaugural pilot which we hope to launch nationally and internationally in coming years. We're honored to be working with this community of fearless educators who will help us radically re-imagine learning spaces as sites for healing and resistance in Chicago and beyond!

For more information on Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, its exhibitions, public programs, and other educational opportunities please visit www.hullhousemuseum.org

ALEXANDRA ANTOINE My name is Alexandra Antoine and I’m a Visual Arts Teacher teaching on the South Side of Chicago and loving it! I received my Bachelors in Fine Arts and Art Education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. As an arts educator, teaching African-American students, I aim to expose them to historical and contemporary artists of the African diaspora while simultaneously looking at how these works reflect our history and shared experiences. I introduce my students to a variety of art making techniques and skills that allow them to understand the power of art and learn to visually communicate their ideas. I approach some of my art projects by looking at current events happening in Chicago and globally through dialogue as well as inviting local artists into my classroom. I encourage my students to not just think about the world around them but to understand their place within it as critical thinkers and valuable assets within their communities. Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? I am interested in participating in this teach-in series to first and foremost be able to hear from the young people here in Chicago and globally about their experiences with violence and what they are envisioning to help their communities heal. As a teacher working with youth who have experienced things that I myself don't understand, having not grown up in Chicago, I am very conscious of not dictating or creating solutions that I think they need but instead allowing their voices to be heard and encouraging them to lead in changing their communities for the better.

ALEXANDRA ANTOINE

My name is Alexandra Antoine and I’m a Visual Arts Teacher teaching on the South Side of Chicago and loving it! I received my Bachelors in Fine Arts and Art Education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. As an arts educator, teaching African-American students, I aim to expose them to historical and contemporary artists of the African diaspora while simultaneously looking at how these works reflect our history and shared experiences. I introduce my students to a variety of art making techniques and skills that allow them to understand the power of art and learn to visually communicate their ideas. I approach some of my art projects by looking at current events happening in Chicago and globally through dialogue as well as inviting local artists into my classroom. I encourage my students to not just think about the world around them but to understand their place within it as critical thinkers and valuable assets within their communities.

Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? I am interested in participating in this teach-in series to first and foremost be able to hear from the young people here in Chicago and globally about their experiences with violence and what they are envisioning to help their communities heal. As a teacher working with youth who have experienced things that I myself don't understand, having not grown up in Chicago, I am very conscious of not dictating or creating solutions that I think they need but instead allowing their voices to be heard and encouraging them to lead in changing their communities for the better.

AMY NAVVAB Amy Navvab is currently a Restorative Justice Specialist with Umoja Student Development Corporation, coordinating the Peace Room at South Shore International College Prep High School. Amy works with the students and staff at South Shore International to not only heal from conflict but proactively build a restorative school culture. In her work, Amy implements a wide variety of restorative practices including peace circles, restorative conversations, community building circles, and alternatives to suspension.  Additionally, Amy provides professional development and training to Chicago Public School staff on restorative practices and the restorative justice philosophy. Before joining Umoja, Amy completed her Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan focusing on youth civic engagement and community organizing. During her time as an undergraduate student, also at the University of Michigan, Amy was involved in student activism around gender equity in University Housing, facilitating creative writing workshops with incarcerated youth and adults, and facilitating dialogues on race on campus. Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? I’m interested in the Teach-In Series because I know it would support my own development as a young professional. I am eager to engage in a community of people who are also interested in creating healing spaces within education in Chicago. I feel fortunate to have made connections through Umoja, but am looking for another space outside of work where I can connect with educators. I have a lot of experience with curriculum and facilitation that I would be excited to contribute to the group and the Cities of Peace curriculum. Finally, I would love the opportunity to share the experience with the young people I work with and my teachers. I would work to make this as much of an opportunity for them as it would be for me.

AMY NAVVAB

Amy Navvab is currently a Restorative Justice Specialist with Umoja Student Development Corporation, coordinating the Peace Room at South Shore International College Prep High School. Amy works with the students and staff at South Shore International to not only heal from conflict but proactively build a restorative school culture. In her work, Amy implements a wide variety of restorative practices including peace circles, restorative conversations, community building circles, and alternatives to suspension.  Additionally, Amy provides professional development and training to Chicago Public School staff on restorative practices and the restorative justice philosophy. Before joining Umoja, Amy completed her Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan focusing on youth civic engagement and community organizing. During her time as an undergraduate student, also at the University of Michigan, Amy was involved in student activism around gender equity in University Housing, facilitating creative writing workshops with incarcerated youth and adults, and facilitating dialogues on race on campus.

Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? I’m interested in the Teach-In Series because I know it would support my own development as a young professional. I am eager to engage in a community of people who are also interested in creating healing spaces within education in Chicago. I feel fortunate to have made connections through Umoja, but am looking for another space outside of work where I can connect with educators. I have a lot of experience with curriculum and facilitation that I would be excited to contribute to the group and the Cities of Peace curriculum. Finally, I would love the opportunity to share the experience with the young people I work with and my teachers. I would work to make this as much of an opportunity for them as it would be for me.

ANNIE TERRELL Annie Terrell is a queer artist and activist. They currently teach first grade in Little Village where they have the pleasure of seeing the ways in which practices of accountability and transformative justice in the classroom culture empower both students and their voices. They believe education is the key to transformation- be it personal or global. Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? Because I believe youth are the most.powerful instigators of change and I want to help them develop their voices, strategies and critical thoughts.

ANNIE TERRELL

Annie Terrell is a queer artist and activist. They currently teach first grade in Little Village where they have the pleasure of seeing the ways in which practices of accountability and transformative justice in the classroom culture empower both students and their voices. They believe education is the key to transformation- be it personal or global.

Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? Because I believe youth are the most.powerful instigators of change and I want to help them develop their voices, strategies and critical thoughts.

BRIDGET BANCROFT Bridge Bancroft is a Chicago based artist, activist and educator. After receiving her BFA in Painting and her Masters of Arts in Teaching from Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Bridget moved back to Chicago to continue helping her brother run a small nonprofit youth arts organization in Humboldt Park. She began teaching in the classroom in 2010, and currently works as a K-8 Visual Art Teacher on the South Side of Chicago. Much of her current teaching involves exploring ideas of peace, community, and art in a student centered classroom environment. Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? I am interested in connecting with other youth and educators from around the city who engage in social justice and community healing. I am incredibly interested in learning new ways to promote peace and address social emotional needs within the classroom. I consider myself to be an artist, activist, and an educator. I am most fulfilled when I can connect all of these interests in the classroom with my students.

BRIDGET BANCROFT

Bridge Bancroft is a Chicago based artist, activist and educator. After receiving her BFA in Painting and her Masters of Arts in Teaching from Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Bridget moved back to Chicago to continue helping her brother run a small nonprofit youth arts organization in Humboldt Park. She began teaching in the classroom in 2010, and currently works as a K-8 Visual Art Teacher on the South Side of Chicago. Much of her current teaching involves exploring ideas of peace, community, and art in a student centered classroom environment.

Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? I am interested in connecting with other youth and educators from around the city who engage in social justice and community healing. I am incredibly interested in learning new ways to promote peace and address social emotional needs within the classroom. I consider myself to be an artist, activist, and an educator. I am most fulfilled when I can connect all of these interests in the classroom with my students.

EMMANUEL GUTIERREZ I am an interdisciplinary artist in the Fine and shamanic arts. I have a personal mission to create a just and loving world through my art. I'm currently teaching enrichment theatre 3rd-8th grade and performance art to high schoolers. Juxtaflowz identifies as one of God's many bond servants. After being born and brewed in Chicago's South Side neighborhood, La Villita, he chose a path filled with peaceful and artistic pursuits. Some of his work can be found at www.juxtaflowz.com. A firm believer in karmic manifestation and heaven on earth, Juxta continuously aims to collaboratively analyze the borne fruits of life to know how to best plant their seeds for future generations. Going on 7 years of working with youth, Juxtaflowz knows that all are born geniuses, and is interested practices aimed at maintaining everyone's genius in mint condition, and/or beckoning the long forgotten genius out of them. Currently studying at DePaul and working with youth in Logan square and Pilsen, he hopes to be a sponge at the Cities of Peace workshops so that he might be able to improve his humble works. Why are you interested in the Teach-In Series? Because of the impact that I would be able to assist in. Not to mention the possibility of integrating it with my youth, and having the youth potentially exchange with the others and/or visit Hull House as a field trip.

EMMANUEL GUTIERREZ

I am an interdisciplinary artist in the Fine and shamanic arts. I have a personal mission to create a just and loving world through my art. I'm currently teaching enrichment theatre 3rd-8th grade and performance art to high schoolers. Juxtaflowz identifies as one of God's many bond servants. After being born and brewed in Chicago's South Side neighborhood, La Villita, he chose a path filled with peaceful and artistic pursuits. Some of his work can be found at www.juxtaflowz.com. A firm believer in karmic manifestation and heaven on earth, Juxta continuously aims to collaboratively analyze the borne fruits of life to know how to best plant their seeds for future generations. Going on 7 years of working with youth, Juxtaflowz knows that all are born geniuses, and is interested practices aimed at maintaining everyone's genius in mint condition, and/or beckoning the long forgotten genius out of them. Currently studying at DePaul and working with youth in Logan square and Pilsen, he hopes to be a sponge at the Cities of Peace workshops so that he might be able to improve his humble works.

Why are you interested in the Teach-In Series? Because of the impact that I would be able to assist in. Not to mention the possibility of integrating it with my youth, and having the youth potentially exchange with the others and/or visit Hull House as a field trip.

GERARDO GALÀN I was born in 1990, in Chicago, Illinois. My family is originally from Mexico, and I go there often. I attended Lane Tech College Prep for high school, and later attended Loyola University Chicago where I graduated with a B.A. in English and a B.S. in Secondary Education. This is my third year as a teacher and I am currently working at Scammon Elementary School as a sixth grade ELA teacher. Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? Besides being amazed that there are programs like these, I have tried to operate on the principle that students are people, and when I am teaching, I have to treat them as such. Giving these students a chance to share that space, where people are dedicated to listening to them, would be amazing to participate in. It also presents a rare opportunity. Even when working with Peer Council, there was always a sense that the teachers had some final say, and since these students do not have me as a teacher, it allows me to listen and them, to speak without filters.We can learn a lot from our coworkers, but no one knows more about the students than they do.

GERARDO GAN

I was born in 1990, in Chicago, Illinois. My family is originally from Mexico, and I go there often. I attended Lane Tech College Prep for high school, and later attended Loyola University Chicago where I graduated with a B.A. in English and a B.S. in Secondary Education. This is my third year as a teacher and I am currently working at Scammon Elementary School as a sixth grade ELA teacher.

Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? Besides being amazed that there are programs like these, I have tried to operate on the principle that students are people, and when I am teaching, I have to treat them as such. Giving these students a chance to share that space, where people are dedicated to listening to them, would be amazing to participate in. It also presents a rare opportunity. Even when working with Peer Council, there was always a sense that the teachers had some final say, and since these students do not have me as a teacher, it allows me to listen and them, to speak without filters.We can learn a lot from our coworkers, but no one knows more about the students than they do.

JOSEPH WILKERSON Hi my name is Joseph Wilkerson, I am a senior at Urban Prep West campus. I am a very passionate individual towards my community and what I believe in. I've been known by many of my friends and families to go after, and only live as the individual that I believe in or want to be. As for the community I identify with it goes as follows: anyone and anything pertaining to black culture, the oppressed in the struggle for freedom, those who want or have the potential to gain vast amounts of knowledge (of self), and the spiritual. I work with many activists, community volunteer workers, and mentors that I have met along my life. Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? I am very interested in this Teach-In Series because I want to be very involved in my community. I love to meet new people, especially when our goals are aligned, and even more when they don't have exactly the same perspective or perception of life as I do. This allows me to grow as a person, put my time to good use, and build a beautiful web of connections that can better serve my aspirations in the future and now.

JOSEPH WILKERSON

Hi my name is Joseph Wilkerson, I am a senior at Urban Prep West campus. I am a very passionate individual towards my community and what I believe in. I've been known by many of my friends and families to go after, and only live as the individual that I believe in or want to be. As for the community I identify with it goes as follows: anyone and anything pertaining to black culture, the oppressed in the struggle for freedom, those who want or have the potential to gain vast amounts of knowledge (of self), and the spiritual. I work with many activists, community volunteer workers, and mentors that I have met along my life.

Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? I am very interested in this Teach-In Series because I want to be very involved in my community. I love to meet new people, especially when our goals are aligned, and even more when they don't have exactly the same perspective or perception of life as I do. This allows me to grow as a person, put my time to good use, and build a beautiful web of connections that can better serve my aspirations in the future and now.

LARRY DEAN Larry Dean is a recent graduate from Roosevelt University with a Bachelor of Arts in African American Studies. Larry has worked in various community organizations such as Chicago Votes, where he and a group of 15 organizers complete a mass voter registration drive, mobilizing 15,000 new voters in the city of Chicago. Larry has also worked in Chicago Public Schools instituting restorative justice policies as a fellow for the Mansfield Institute for Social Justice and transformation. He has a passion for black queer feminist politics and social work. He has participated in south side stories creating digital stories around the experience of black gay men on the southside of Chicago. He has also traveled to South Africa to do research around whiteness and the racial politics of the post-apartheid era. He currently works as a youth empowerment specialist at La Casa Norte and hopes to continue his education at the graduate level. Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? I’m interested in Teach-In series because I have wanted to engage the youth in structural violence and interpersonal violence in a very direct way and lead the groups of youth at La Casa Norte. I have followed the work of the Cities of Peace fellows. I’ve been inspired to incorporate more of the work that Cities of Peace is focused on, such as structural violence and gendered violence in the education that I teach. I want to reach more young people who may not be exposed to the narratives, such as structural violence.

LARRY DEAN

Larry Dean is a recent graduate from Roosevelt University with a Bachelor of Arts in African American Studies. Larry has worked in various community organizations such as Chicago Votes, where he and a group of 15 organizers complete a mass voter registration drive, mobilizing 15,000 new voters in the city of Chicago. Larry has also worked in Chicago Public Schools instituting restorative justice policies as a fellow for the Mansfield Institute for Social Justice and transformation. He has a passion for black queer feminist politics and social work. He has participated in south side stories creating digital stories around the experience of black gay men on the southside of Chicago. He has also traveled to South Africa to do research around whiteness and the racial politics of the post-apartheid era. He currently works as a youth empowerment specialist at La Casa Norte and hopes to continue his education at the graduate level.

Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? I’m interested in Teach-In series because I have wanted to engage the youth in structural violence and interpersonal violence in a very direct way and lead the groups of youth at La Casa Norte. I have followed the work of the Cities of Peace fellows. I’ve been inspired to incorporate more of the work that Cities of Peace is focused on, such as structural violence and gendered violence in the education that I teach. I want to reach more young people who may not be exposed to the narratives, such as structural violence.

MICHELLE BROWN My mantra is to live in love and spread love to the best of my abilities. Currently residing on the South Side of Chicago, I organize with Black Youth Project 100. I strongly believe in uplifting and investing in Black youth and their futures, which is why I work with them in various capacities. While working towards my Masters in Social Work, I am interning at Gary Comer College Prep in the social work department and also work with an amazing group of youth at UCAN Residential Home. What drew me to Cities of Peace is my belief in a transformative approach towards education. Quality education should be holistic, restorative, and accessible to all. I hope to gain more insight on how to create space in schools for young people to step into their power. I believe that in order to provide political education to others, you must also educate yourself. This teach-in series provides a space for me to expound on my education and teach me different ways to approach a wide range of topics, while providing beneficial and necessary information to spread to youth.

MICHELLE BROWN

My mantra is to live in love and spread love to the best of my abilities. Currently residing on the South Side of Chicago, I organize with Black Youth Project 100. I strongly believe in uplifting and investing in Black youth and their futures, which is why I work with them in various capacities. While working towards my Masters in Social Work, I am interning at Gary Comer College Prep in the social work department and also work with an amazing group of youth at UCAN Residential Home. What drew me to Cities of Peace is my belief in a transformative approach towards education. Quality education should be holistic, restorative, and accessible to all. I hope to gain more insight on how to create space in schools for young people to step into their power. I believe that in order to provide political education to others, you must also educate yourself. This teach-in series provides a space for me to expound on my education and teach me different ways to approach a wide range of topics, while providing beneficial and necessary information to spread to youth.

MOLLY WEILAND A recent graduate of Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, WI, with degrees in Secondary Education, English, and Writing. While in Milwaukee, Molly spent several years working at an alternative school for court-mandated youth, many of whom experienced interpersonal and state violence in their communities. Molly is now a Youth Care Worker at Mercy Home for Boys & Girls in Chicago, where she is learning more about implementing trauma-informed care in a residential setting.

MOLLY WEILAND

A recent graduate of Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, WI, with degrees in Secondary Education, English, and Writing. While in Milwaukee, Molly spent several years working at an alternative school for court-mandated youth, many of whom experienced interpersonal and state violence in their communities. Molly is now a Youth Care Worker at Mercy Home for Boys & Girls in Chicago, where she is learning more about implementing trauma-informed care in a residential setting.

NIAMH BURKE Niamh Burke is a College and Career Readiness teacher at Sawyer Elementary in Brighton Park. After graduating from The University of Chicago with a B.A. in Comparative Human Development, she spent a year tutoring and mentoring middle schoolers in Texas before returning to the city for a teaching residency. Graduating from National-Louis University with a M.A. in Teaching. Niamh has dedicated herself to student learning and serving CPS children from grades 1-8. A passion for social justice has brought Niamh to the classroom and continues to drive her progress as an educator. Niamh has been awarded several grants to enrich her classroom through Donor’s Choose, Chicago Foundation for Education, and Rochelle Lee Boundless Readers. Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? While I am confident in my ability to communicate with my students, I believe there is always room to grow in learning how to better listen and support their experience. I am excited to have the opportunity of being directed by socially conscientious youth and hope to break down barriers in my own thought and become more aware. While I understand the problems of the city, I will never know what it is like--having grown up in a relatively safe South Side suburb. It is important for me to look at the nexus of where our life paths are very different, so that I can be better prepared to assist my students in reaching their future goals.

NIAMH BURKE

Niamh Burke is a College and Career Readiness teacher at Sawyer Elementary in Brighton Park. After graduating from The University of Chicago with a B.A. in Comparative Human Development, she spent a year tutoring and mentoring middle schoolers in Texas before returning to the city for a teaching residency. Graduating from National-Louis University with a M.A. in Teaching. Niamh has dedicated herself to student learning and serving CPS children from grades 1-8. A passion for social justice has brought Niamh to the classroom and continues to drive her progress as an educator. Niamh has been awarded several grants to enrich her classroom through Donor’s Choose, Chicago Foundation for Education, and Rochelle Lee Boundless Readers.

Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? While I am confident in my ability to communicate with my students, I believe there is always room to grow in learning how to better listen and support their experience. I am excited to have the opportunity of being directed by socially conscientious youth and hope to break down barriers in my own thought and become more aware. While I understand the problems of the city, I will never know what it is like--having grown up in a relatively safe South Side suburb. It is important for me to look at the nexus of where our life paths are very different, so that I can be better prepared to assist my students in reaching their future goals.

QUENNA LENÉ Quenna Lené Barrett serves as Education Programs Manager for the University of Chicago’s Arts + Public Life, managing and supporting arts programs for teens in underserved communities on Chicago’s South Side. Quenna received her BFA from NYU Tisch Drama (‘11) and her MA in Applied Theatre from the University of Southern California (‘13). She is a teaching artist, cultural fieldworker, organizer with the Black Youth Project 100 and the #LetUsBreathe Collective, working actress, and Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) practitioner blending TO techniques with acting skills to give teens voice and space to rehearse, tell, and change the stories of their lives.

QUENNA LENÉ

Quenna Lené Barrett serves as Education Programs Manager for the University of Chicago’s Arts + Public Life, managing and supporting arts programs for teens in underserved communities on Chicago’s South Side. Quenna received her BFA from NYU Tisch Drama (‘11) and her MA in Applied Theatre from the University of Southern California (‘13). She is a teaching artist, cultural fieldworker, organizer with the Black Youth Project 100 and the #LetUsBreathe Collective, working actress, and Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) practitioner blending TO techniques with acting skills to give teens voice and space to rehearse, tell, and change the stories of their lives.

ROMAINNE KELLEY Hello my name is Romainne Kelley. I have been an educator here in Chicago for about 3 years. I am very passionate about teaching high school English and have always looked at teaching as an art, so I'm basically an artist everyday I am in class! In the classroom I am quite theatrical and welcome discussion on varied issues. I love to laugh and make others laugh, I also love to read ( but need to get better at sitting down and enjoying a book). During my Undergraduate years I was fortunate enough to travel around the world and during that time I was exposed to different cultures and people. Since that moment I have been heavily influenced to implement knowledge of different cultures in the classroom. I am very anxious and excited about this program. Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? I am interested in this Teach-In Series because I feel that any way that I can improve as an educator to find strategies to implement for my students is quite beneficial. As an educator it is hard to find professional developments that seem engaging and helpful but this one I believe would be great to be involved in.

ROMAINNE KELLEY

Hello my name is Romainne Kelley. I have been an educator here in Chicago for about 3 years. I am very passionate about teaching high school English and have always looked at teaching as an art, so I'm basically an artist everyday I am in class! In the classroom I am quite theatrical and welcome discussion on varied issues. I love to laugh and make others laugh, I also love to read ( but need to get better at sitting down and enjoying a book). During my Undergraduate years I was fortunate enough to travel around the world and during that time I was exposed to different cultures and people. Since that moment I have been heavily influenced to implement knowledge of different cultures in the classroom. I am very anxious and excited about this program.

Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? I am interested in this Teach-In Series because I feel that any way that I can improve as an educator to find strategies to implement for my students is quite beneficial. As an educator it is hard to find professional developments that seem engaging and helpful but this one I believe would be great to be involved in.

SONJA HENDERSON Sonja Henderson was born in Gettysburg, PA and now resides and works in Chicago, IL.  She is a professional artist, as well as a teaching artist who works with Urban Gateways, C.A.P.E., and Gallery 37’s After School Matters program.  Sonja is a figurative painter, sculptor, muralist and installation artist who has shown in several Galleries in Chicago, Berkeley, and San Francisco. She has also led numerous large-scale mural projects in Chicago Public Schools and special projects in Kigali, Rwanda and Puerto Varas, Chile.  She is currently working with Chicago Public Art Group to create a carved brick monument and plaza devoted to the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Fair Housing Marches. Sonja received her B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Painting and Drawing and her M.F.A. degree from the University of California at Berkeley, where she concentrated in Sculpture and Installation. While at Berkeley, Sonja created life-size earthworks and temporal structures that spoke to Space, Place, and Gender. She also taught undergraduate students and led community-based programs for at-risk youth. She received the Eisner Prize for excellence in the art field and made “The A List” in Sculpture Magazine.  Now in Chicago, Sonja continues to work with children and marginalized communities developing gardens and urban farms while also creating rich bodies of work dealing with ritual, myth, and the figure. Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? I am extremely interested in the Cities of Peace Teach-In Series for several reasons. I am a huge proponent of professional development and sharing skills. I teach a wide range of ages from many backgrounds and would love an opportunity to be taught by our new youth leaders. I am interested in hearing their experiences and how they problem solve and meet the challenges of today’s complex world. I thoroughly enjoy the collaborative process especially with younger people. They help to bring fresh positive approaches when brainstorming and problem solving. I am also very interested in the healing and peace work you are doing in Cambodia. I have a filmmaker friend named Masahiro Sugano who wrote, produced, and direct a film called “Cambodian Son”. This excellent film has helped me to reflect on unfair and unlawful deportation of people from prison directly to what would be a “foreign country” to someone who has never lived there. I am interested in what the youth leaders of the Teach-In think about the Industrial Prison Complex, School to Prison Pipeline, and the heinous crimes against humanity committed on our Indigenous (black and brown) brothers and sisters? How has it affected them, what are their thoughts, and what are some solutions? I look forward to the dynamic discussions and the creation of art, content, and solutions with them.  

SONJA HENDERSON

Sonja Henderson was born in Gettysburg, PA and now resides and works in Chicago, IL.  She is a professional artist, as well as a teaching artist who works with Urban Gateways, C.A.P.E., and Gallery 37’s After School Matters program.  Sonja is a figurative painter, sculptor, muralist and installation artist who has shown in several Galleries in Chicago, Berkeley, and San Francisco. She has also led numerous large-scale mural projects in Chicago Public Schools and special projects in Kigali, Rwanda and Puerto Varas, Chile.  She is currently working with Chicago Public Art Group to create a carved brick monument and plaza devoted to the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Fair Housing Marches. Sonja received her B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Painting and Drawing and her M.F.A. degree from the University of California at Berkeley, where she concentrated in Sculpture and Installation. While at Berkeley, Sonja created life-size earthworks and temporal structures that spoke to Space, Place, and Gender. She also taught undergraduate students and led community-based programs for at-risk youth. She received the Eisner Prize for excellence in the art field and made “The A List” in Sculpture Magazine.  Now in Chicago, Sonja continues to work with children and marginalized communities developing gardens and urban farms while also creating rich bodies of work dealing with ritual, myth, and the figure.

Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? I am extremely interested in the Cities of Peace Teach-In Series for several reasons. I am a huge proponent of professional development and sharing skills. I teach a wide range of ages from many backgrounds and would love an opportunity to be taught by our new youth leaders. I am interested in hearing their experiences and how they problem solve and meet the challenges of today’s complex world. I thoroughly enjoy the collaborative process especially with younger people. They help to bring fresh positive approaches when brainstorming and problem solving. I am also very interested in the healing and peace work you are doing in Cambodia. I have a filmmaker friend named Masahiro Sugano who wrote, produced, and direct a film called “Cambodian Son”. This excellent film has helped me to reflect on unfair and unlawful deportation of people from prison directly to what would be a “foreign country” to someone who has never lived there. I am interested in what the youth leaders of the Teach-In think about the Industrial Prison Complex, School to Prison Pipeline, and the heinous crimes against humanity committed on our Indigenous (black and brown) brothers and sisters? How has it affected them, what are their thoughts, and what are some solutions? I look forward to the dynamic discussions and the creation of art, content, and solutions with them.

 

ALYSSA RAMOS Alyssa Vera Ramos is an educator and theatre artist in Chicago with an emphasis on social justice work. Alyssa is the Chicago Media Corps Coordinator and youth group leader for the teen artist-activists of Scenarios USA. She currently teaches creative sexual health, conflict resolution, and media literacy at the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health with the FYI Performance Cadre. As a teaching artist focusing on collaborative skills, ensemble-created theatre, and arts integration, Alyssa engages youth across Chicago with Urban Gateways, Auditorium Theatre, and Northlight Theatre, among others. She is currently devising and directing THE BARRIO PROJECT, with a focus on teens' relationship to gang violence, with teens at The Miracle Center / Center Theatre. In 2014-15, Alyssa directed and developed a social practice theatre project about youth sexual assault and cyberbullying, The Scarlet 'S' Project Presents: I AM THE RAT, as an Individual Artist Grant recipient from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events (DCASE) and from 3Arts. Alyssa is also a member of the newly formed women of color theatre collective, FEMelanin. She is a rape crisis counselor and medical advocate for Rape Victim Advocates. Alyssa holds a Bachelor's Degree in Theatre from Northwestern University and a Certificate in Sexuality Education from the University of Michigan School of Social Work. www.alyssaveraramos.com Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series?Sexuality can be a very personal and even private topic with which individuals have myriad experiences. Often, much of that experience - even, and sometimes especially, if that experience is based in learning - is steeped in shame. I do not wish to expect students to leave those experiences "at the door," yet quick class period-length sections of time are challenging spaces in which to begin to heal, or even manage, trauma and deep shame. My Scenarios USA Media Corps students have shared stories with the group about their friends who practice self-harm or have committed suicide; sisters who have experienced sexual violence in their relationships; families who actively do not support their non-"normative" gender expression or trans identities. My students act like "troopers," yet my relationship to them as a close adult ally and even chosen family leads me to want to serve them better if I can, especially as personal storytelling is involved in the program. One of my students at The Miracle Center was late because of culture wars - and they said, and meant, wars - that crackled and burst at their school one afternoon. With our play adaptation project, we are tackling violence that no young person has voiced having experience with; yet many are connected to sites of harm and trauma (whether that be gang violence, divorced parents, a parent in jail, etc). To me, treating the project solely as a play feels not only irresponsible and naive, but unjust to the students. I can articulate these truths, yet often come up short on ways or tools to help me support and meaningfully process these experiences with my students. As a teaching artist, though I work within larger organizations, there are few opportunities to spend substantial amounts of time with colleagues grappling with these questions. Addressing harm - whether interpersonal, historical, systematic - and engaging in a process of healing, can often slide into "lofty ideals we unfortunately must sacrifice." I hope that this Teach-In Series will offer me strategies and an engaged community network as I learn how to better support the young people I work with, and help them to support each other while finding their own paths.

ALYSSA RAMOS

Alyssa Vera Ramos is an educator and theatre artist in Chicago with an emphasis on social justice work. Alyssa is the Chicago Media Corps Coordinator and youth group leader for the teen artist-activists of Scenarios USA. She currently teaches creative sexual health, conflict resolution, and media literacy at the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health with the FYI Performance Cadre. As a teaching artist focusing on collaborative skills, ensemble-created theatre, and arts integration, Alyssa engages youth across Chicago with Urban Gateways, Auditorium Theatre, and Northlight Theatre, among others. She is currently devising and directing THE BARRIO PROJECT, with a focus on teens' relationship to gang violence, with teens at The Miracle Center / Center Theatre. In 2014-15, Alyssa directed and developed a social practice theatre project about youth sexual assault and cyberbullying, The Scarlet 'S' Project Presents: I AM THE RAT, as an Individual Artist Grant recipient from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events (DCASE) and from 3Arts. Alyssa is also a member of the newly formed women of color theatre collective, FEMelanin. She is a rape crisis counselor and medical advocate for Rape Victim Advocates. Alyssa holds a Bachelor's Degree in Theatre from Northwestern University and a Certificate in Sexuality Education from the University of Michigan School of Social Work. www.alyssaveraramos.com

Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series?Sexuality can be a very personal and even private topic with which individuals have myriad experiences. Often, much of that experience - even, and sometimes especially, if that experience is based in learning - is steeped in shame. I do not wish to expect students to leave those experiences "at the door," yet quick class period-length sections of time are challenging spaces in which to begin to heal, or even manage, trauma and deep shame. My Scenarios USA Media Corps students have shared stories with the group about their friends who practice self-harm or have committed suicide; sisters who have experienced sexual violence in their relationships; families who actively do not support their non-"normative" gender expression or trans identities. My students act like "troopers," yet my relationship to them as a close adult ally and even chosen family leads me to want to serve them better if I can, especially as personal storytelling is involved in the program. One of my students at The Miracle Center was late because of culture wars - and they said, and meant, wars - that crackled and burst at their school one afternoon. With our play adaptation project, we are tackling violence that no young person has voiced having experience with; yet many are connected to sites of harm and trauma (whether that be gang violence, divorced parents, a parent in jail, etc). To me, treating the project solely as a play feels not only irresponsible and naive, but unjust to the students. I can articulate these truths, yet often come up short on ways or tools to help me support and meaningfully process these experiences with my students. As a teaching artist, though I work within larger organizations, there are few opportunities to spend substantial amounts of time with colleagues grappling with these questions. Addressing harm - whether interpersonal, historical, systematic - and engaging in a process of healing, can often slide into "lofty ideals we unfortunately must sacrifice." I hope that this Teach-In Series will offer me strategies and an engaged community network as I learn how to better support the young people I work with, and help them to support each other while finding their own paths.

BOBBY BIEDRZYCKI Bobby Biedrzycki is an artist, educator, and human rights activist who resides in Chicago, IL. His performances have appeared on pages, stages, and public spaces around the globe. His work is rooted in cross-disciplinary collaboration that focuses on creating social change. Bobby works in the Department of Education at the Goodman Theatre, is a company member of 2nd Story and Free Street Theater, and is faculty at Columbia College Chicago, where he was the 2013 recipient of the Excellence-in-Teaching award. Bobby is a prison abolitionist, a love enthusiast, and is deeply committed to collaborating with youth artists working to change the world. Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? First off, I'm really interested to see the fellows present their curriculum and to support youth-led spaces. I know some of the work is available online, but nothing trumps sharing space and building together. Community is at the core of my personal pedagogy, so being in spaces with other educators, sharing ideas and frameworks, building lessons, is probably my favorite place to be in the world. The topics are also so on point: violence, resistance and healing. This is stuff I want and need to dig into more deeply, always. So I'd love to collaborate on new frameworks for teaching these things.

BOBBY BIEDRZYCKI

Bobby Biedrzycki is an artist, educator, and human rights activist who resides in Chicago, IL. His performances have appeared on pages, stages, and public spaces around the globe. His work is rooted in cross-disciplinary collaboration that focuses on creating social change. Bobby works in the Department of Education at the Goodman Theatre, is a company member of 2nd Story and Free Street Theater, and is faculty at Columbia College Chicago, where he was the 2013 recipient of the Excellence-in-Teaching award. Bobby is a prison abolitionist, a love enthusiast, and is deeply committed to collaborating with youth artists working to change the world.

Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? First off, I'm really interested to see the fellows present their curriculum and to support youth-led spaces. I know some of the work is available online, but nothing trumps sharing space and building together. Community is at the core of my personal pedagogy, so being in spaces with other educators, sharing ideas and frameworks, building lessons, is probably my favorite place to be in the world. The topics are also so on point: violence, resistance and healing. This is stuff I want and need to dig into more deeply, always. So I'd love to collaborate on new frameworks for teaching these things.

DANETTE SOKACICH Danette Sokacich is the Principal at Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School (PACHS), an institution with over 40 years of a legacy that focuses on critical pedagogy and education for liberation. Ms. Sokacich facilitates professional development for instructional leadership, emphasizing in academic advising, professional learning communities, and educational equity. In addition, she was the Assistant Principal and managed the Lolita Lebrón Family Learning Center (FLC), a program at PACHS that provides young parenting students with supportive policies and programming to attain a high school diploma, while creating paths toward post-secondary education. This work has been presented at professional conferences, such as the American Educational Research Association, Mid-Western Educational Research Association, National Association of Multicultural Education, and Healthy Teen Network. Prior to her role as Assistant Principal, Ms. Sokacich taught courses in History and English. Ms. Sokacich completed her M.A.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Northeastern Illinois University in 2012. A member of the Illinois College cohort in Latino Studies in Secondary Education, Ms. Sokacich earned a Secondary Education certification in History and English. During her tenure as a New York City Teaching Fellow, she was an elementary education teacher, while attaining her M.S.Ed. in Childhood Education from City University of New York-Lehman College in the Bronx, New York. Ms. Sokacich also holds a B.A. in History from The George Washington University in Washington, DC. In addition, Ms. Sokacich serves on the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health School Network, the Advisory Council for the Teen Parenting Program at Christopher House, organizes activities with the Advocates for Adolescent Mothers, and is on the Event Planning Committee of The George Washington University Alumni Association-Chicago Chapter. Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? My interest in this Teach-In Series began with the initiation of the program last year and seeing the benefits of the work in the inter-city collaboration with Cities of Peace. And, although the opportunity to travel did not lend itself at the time, I do find the Teach-In Series a valuable component to the current work of addressing violence and violence prevention in our community. Building relationships with professionals from different backgrounds will empower my practice as a school leader dedicated to providing youth opportunities to express their lived realities and explore options for improving their community with healing.

DANETTE SOKACICH

Danette Sokacich is the Principal at Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School (PACHS), an institution with over 40 years of a legacy that focuses on critical pedagogy and education for liberation. Ms. Sokacich facilitates professional development for instructional leadership, emphasizing in academic advising, professional learning communities, and educational equity. In addition, she was the Assistant Principal and managed the Lolita Lebrón Family Learning Center (FLC), a program at PACHS that provides young parenting students with supportive policies and programming to attain a high school diploma, while creating paths toward post-secondary education. This work has been presented at professional conferences, such as the American Educational Research Association, Mid-Western Educational Research Association, National Association of Multicultural Education, and Healthy Teen Network. Prior to her role as Assistant Principal, Ms. Sokacich taught courses in History and English. Ms. Sokacich completed her M.A.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Northeastern Illinois University in 2012. A member of the Illinois College cohort in Latino Studies in Secondary Education, Ms. Sokacich earned a Secondary Education certification in History and English. During her tenure as a New York City Teaching Fellow, she was an elementary education teacher, while attaining her M.S.Ed. in Childhood Education from City University of New York-Lehman College in the Bronx, New York. Ms. Sokacich also holds a B.A. in History from The George Washington University in Washington, DC. In addition, Ms. Sokacich serves on the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health School Network, the Advisory Council for the Teen Parenting Program at Christopher House, organizes activities with the Advocates for Adolescent Mothers, and is on the Event Planning Committee of The George Washington University Alumni Association-Chicago Chapter.

Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? My interest in this Teach-In Series began with the initiation of the program last year and seeing the benefits of the work in the inter-city collaboration with Cities of Peace. And, although the opportunity to travel did not lend itself at the time, I do find the Teach-In Series a valuable component to the current work of addressing violence and violence prevention in our community. Building relationships with professionals from different backgrounds will empower my practice as a school leader dedicated to providing youth opportunities to express their lived realities and explore options for improving their community with healing.

MATT WALSH Matt Walsh works on the education team of a domestic violence agency called Between Friends. As a Prevention Educator, he leads conversations with young people in middle schools and high schools around the city about healthy relationships, consent, systems of oppression, and teen dating violence. He enjoys eating pizza and biking through the Chicago winter.                     Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? I respect the structure of the Teach-In Series because of how the program prioritizes the expertise of young people. During my college experience, I realized that many of the people I was learning from were not actually part of the communities they were speaking about. I want to learn how to create a curriculum that gives students the ability to add to the learning experience. I also would like to contribute to creating a curriculum that respects different learning needs, because I have been in a lot of spaces that have a one track education model, and I would like to avoid that.

MATT WALSH

Matt Walsh works on the education team of a domestic violence agency called Between Friends. As a Prevention Educator, he leads conversations with young people in middle schools and high schools around the city about healthy relationships, consent, systems of oppression, and teen dating violence. He enjoys eating pizza and biking through the Chicago winter.                    

Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? I respect the structure of the Teach-In Series because of how the program prioritizes the expertise of young people. During my college experience, I realized that many of the people I was learning from were not actually part of the communities they were speaking about. I want to learn how to create a curriculum that gives students the ability to add to the learning experience. I also would like to contribute to creating a curriculum that respects different learning needs, because I have been in a lot of spaces that have a one track education model, and I would like to avoid that.

MELISSA HUGHES Missy Hughes is an Iowa native who moved to Chicago twelve years ago where she has been teaching high school English on the South Side ever since. She is currently in her ninth year of teaching at Team Englewood Community Academy where she is also a founding teacher. She works in collaboration with Young Chicago Authors, the organization behind Louder than a Bomb, the world’s largest youth poetry festival,  in developing curriculum and classrooms that support spoken word poetry. She is also a founding and current coach of Team Englewood’s award-winning spoken word team. She created the Peace Room at Team Englewood and has helped implement  Restorative Justice practices at her school. One of her passions is the implementation of trauma-informed practices in Chicago Public Schools. She is currently studying these practices and many other amazing pedagogies and practices as agraduate student in the Youth Development Program at The University of Illinois - Chicago. Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? My students experience complex trauma, and as a school community, we have experienced our own collective trauma in the loss of seven former students and one security guard. I really want to strengthen my practice, especially around healing. I also believe in Ginwright's notions of transformative healing, and this description seems to encompass many of the attributes he identifies for transformative healing to occur.

MELISSA HUGHES

Missy Hughes is an Iowa native who moved to Chicago twelve years ago where she has been teaching high school English on the South Side ever since. She is currently in her ninth year of teaching at Team Englewood Community Academy where she is also a founding teacher. She works in collaboration with Young Chicago Authors, the organization behind Louder than a Bomb, the world’s largest youth poetry festival,  in developing curriculum and classrooms that support spoken word poetry. She is also a founding and current coach of Team Englewood’s award-winning spoken word team. She created the Peace Room at Team Englewood and has helped implement  Restorative Justice practices at her school. One of her passions is the implementation of trauma-informed practices in Chicago Public Schools. She is currently studying these practices and many other amazing pedagogies and practices as agraduate student in the Youth Development Program at The University of Illinois - Chicago.

Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? My students experience complex trauma, and as a school community, we have experienced our own collective trauma in the loss of seven former students and one security guard. I really want to strengthen my practice, especially around healing. I also believe in Ginwright's notions of transformative healing, and this description seems to encompass many of the attributes he identifies for transformative healing to occur.

NELL SEGGERSON Nell Seggerson is a Chicago Public School teacher, artist, and gardener. She currently teaches 7th  grade American History and 9th grade AP Human Geography at Morgan Park High School on the city’s far South Side. She previously taught Chicago History and United States History at Harper High School in West Englewood. She received her B.S. in Secondary Education and her B.A. in History from Loyola University Chicago in 2013, and has been working on creating and bringing meaningful curriculum to her students ever since. Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? I love learning new ways to make what happens in my classroom matter more in the real world. In my time as a teacher, I've worked to teach myself about many of the issues Cities of Peace focuses on, and would be excited to learn more about them and bring them to my students. This is an especially interesting opportunity because I teach AP Human Geography where we are tasked with exploring ways similar phenomenon happen in different locations. For instance, in our last unit we were learning about ethnic conflict and genocide, so we spent some time exploring the causes and effects of the Holocaust, The Rwandan Genocide, and the War in Yugoslavia. Then we read part of the We Charge Genocide shadow report and students debated if they thought CPD is guilty of genocide. My students really like connecting international learning to local issues so being a part of this seminar would help me better be able to do that.

NELL SEGGERSON

Nell Seggerson is a Chicago Public School teacher, artist, and gardener. She currently teaches 7th  grade American History and 9th grade AP Human Geography at Morgan Park High School on the city’s far South Side. She previously taught Chicago History and United States History at Harper High School in West Englewood. She received her B.S. in Secondary Education and her B.A. in History from Loyola University Chicago in 2013, and has been working on creating and bringing meaningful curriculum to her students ever since.

Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? I love learning new ways to make what happens in my classroom matter more in the real world. In my time as a teacher, I've worked to teach myself about many of the issues Cities of Peace focuses on, and would be excited to learn more about them and bring them to my students. This is an especially interesting opportunity because I teach AP Human Geography where we are tasked with exploring ways similar phenomenon happen in different locations. For instance, in our last unit we were learning about ethnic conflict and genocide, so we spent some time exploring the causes and effects of the Holocaust, The Rwandan Genocide, and the War in Yugoslavia. Then we read part of the We Charge Genocide shadow report and students debated if they thought CPD is guilty of genocide. My students really like connecting international learning to local issues so being a part of this seminar would help me better be able to do that.

ROCHELE ROYSTER I was born in the city of Washington D.C. but was raised in the rural south. My love for creating grew into a love for the fine arts. I studied studio art in college and later received my graduate degree in Special Education from Virginia State University and Art Therapy from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. As an art therapist, I worked with rape and incest survivors, women and children affected by homelessness and domestic violence, and refugees from Cambodia and Kenya. I have been teaching Special Education on the south side of Chicago for over 13 years. My students have been diagnosed with various disabilities such as autism, traumatic brain disorders, other health impairments, behavior and emotional disorders. I integrate art therapy into the special education curriculum to provide a holistic education that meets academic and social emotional needs. Art therapy provides an avenue for those hurt by trauma as a way of expression and enables the participant to find peace through the artistic process.  I believe in the art process and its ability to offer awareness.  Art heals and provides connection. My respect for nature, work/play and cultural resistance has inspired my imagery. Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? I am interested in further developing my community centered practice as a teacher, therapist, and artist. I am deeply interested in cultural resistance and resistance through play and participatory/ socially engaged art. I know how art can help an individual and community rebuild, focus and heal, and am constantly present in my practice as an artist, therapist and educator--allowing all hats to merge into one holistic practice.

ROCHELE ROYSTER

I was born in the city of Washington D.C. but was raised in the rural south. My love for creating grew into a love for the fine arts. I studied studio art in college and later received my graduate degree in Special Education from Virginia State University and Art Therapy from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. As an art therapist, I worked with rape and incest survivors, women and children affected by homelessness and domestic violence, and refugees from Cambodia and Kenya. I have been teaching Special Education on the south side of Chicago for over 13 years. My students have been diagnosed with various disabilities such as autism, traumatic brain disorders, other health impairments, behavior and emotional disorders. I integrate art therapy into the special education curriculum to provide a holistic education that meets academic and social emotional needs. Art therapy provides an avenue for those hurt by trauma as a way of expression and enables the participant to find peace through the artistic process.  I believe in the art process and its ability to offer awareness.  Art heals and provides connection. My respect for nature, work/play and cultural resistance has inspired my imagery.

Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? I am interested in further developing my community centered practice as a teacher, therapist, and artist. I am deeply interested in cultural resistance and resistance through play and participatory/ socially engaged art. I know how art can help an individual and community rebuild, focus and heal, and am constantly present in my practice as an artist, therapist and educator--allowing all hats to merge into one holistic practice.

SCOUT BRATT Originally from Kansas City, Scout Bratt is a Sexuality Educator at Chicago Women's Health Center (CWHC), a feminist health collective located in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago. Scout teaches comprehensive, body-positive, sex-positive sexual health education throughout Chicago Public Schools, community-based organizations, and universities. In addition to working with school staff and faculty, Scout works with young people and their adult allies to discuss sexual health and sexuality collaboratively. Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? I feel that as an educator, it is my responsibility to continue to reflect on and challenge how my lesson plans, my language, and my understandings address privilege, oppression, bias, discrimination, and power (on a variety of levels) in order to continually cultivate anti-racist, anti-oppressive classrooms and lessons that are not only age-appropriate but also responsive to the lived experiences in our city and communities. The impetus for continuous education and review is furthermore important for me to incorporate as a practice because I am a white educator and need to prioritize the checking of my privilege in order to fully support people of color-led and impacted individuals-led movements for justice. I see this Teach-In Series as a key opportunity to learn skills, perspectives, and tools for understanding the role educators play in healing and resistance and, in particular, to improve the curriculum I use so that it aligns with other organizers, educators, and youth workers in creating a trauma-informed approach to youth work across the city of Chicago that addresses, incorporates, and validates multiple identities. Walking into any given Chicago Public School classroom is an opportunity to proactively address intersecting oppressions and call for youth voice and organizing in the face of such systematic barriers to access, education, and rights. When educators are collaborating along anti-oppressive lines, we can best support young people in organizing for justice in their individual schools, their communities, and across Chicago.

SCOUT BRATT

Originally from Kansas City, Scout Bratt is a Sexuality Educator at Chicago Women's Health Center (CWHC), a feminist health collective located in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago. Scout teaches comprehensive, body-positive, sex-positive sexual health education throughout Chicago Public Schools, community-based organizations, and universities. In addition to working with school staff and faculty, Scout works with young people and their adult allies to discuss sexual health and sexuality collaboratively.

Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? I feel that as an educator, it is my responsibility to continue to reflect on and challenge how my lesson plans, my language, and my understandings address privilege, oppression, bias, discrimination, and power (on a variety of levels) in order to continually cultivate anti-racist, anti-oppressive classrooms and lessons that are not only age-appropriate but also responsive to the lived experiences in our city and communities. The impetus for continuous education and review is furthermore important for me to incorporate as a practice because I am a white educator and need to prioritize the checking of my privilege in order to fully support people of color-led and impacted individuals-led movements for justice. I see this Teach-In Series as a key opportunity to learn skills, perspectives, and tools for understanding the role educators play in healing and resistance and, in particular, to improve the curriculum I use so that it aligns with other organizers, educators, and youth workers in creating a trauma-informed approach to youth work across the city of Chicago that addresses, incorporates, and validates multiple identities. Walking into any given Chicago Public School classroom is an opportunity to proactively address intersecting oppressions and call for youth voice and organizing in the face of such systematic barriers to access, education, and rights. When educators are collaborating along anti-oppressive lines, we can best support young people in organizing for justice in their individual schools, their communities, and across Chicago.

UDAY SHARAD JOSHI Uday Sharad Joshi’s professional career, research and programmatic pursuits are heavily based in the intersection between arts practices, social justice, community development and youth leadership.  He is currently the Director of Engagement and Innovation at Old Town School of Folk Music and serves on Chicago’s Project Enrich Committee.  Previously, Uday produced national youth arts, media, and civic action programs with the Kennedy Center’s ArtsEdge. Prior, he launched a social impact performance curriculum in the Global Village Zone of the Newark Public Schools as part of a partnership between the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and New York University’s Broader Bolder Approach to Education as a strategic approach to address education achievement gaps in some of the lowest performing schools in the United States. From 2004-2007, Uday was a senior staff member at the Oakland School for the Arts and a Commissioner of Public Affairs for the City of Oakland, CA.  In addition to co-producing the Oakland Youth Arts Festival: Arts Save Lives, Uday also started a youth mentorship in the arts program in East Oakland, CA and served as a model arts education program consultant for the Alameda County Office of Education.  From 2001-2004, Uday coordinated, produced, and directed Project 2050, a socio-political youth arts program as part of the Animating Democracy Initiative at the New WORLD Theater at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.  Uday is a Kennedy Center Arts Management Institute Fellow, an Americans for the Arts Emerging Leaders Scholar, and holds a Master’s Degree and Bachelor’s Degree from Harvard University and Cornell University respectively. Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? I am interested in developing innovative curricular vehicles that use the arts as a vehicle for healing both in and out of schools. Curriculum that may be applied inter-generationally and with both national and international communities.

UDAY SHARAD JOSHI

Uday Sharad Joshi’s professional career, research and programmatic pursuits are heavily based in the intersection between arts practices, social justice, community development and youth leadership.  He is currently the Director of Engagement and Innovation at Old Town School of Folk Music and serves on Chicago’s Project Enrich Committee.  Previously, Uday produced national youth arts, media, and civic action programs with the Kennedy Center’s ArtsEdge. Prior, he launched a social impact performance curriculum in the Global Village Zone of the Newark Public Schools as part of a partnership between the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and New York University’s Broader Bolder Approach to Education as a strategic approach to address education achievement gaps in some of the lowest performing schools in the United States. From 2004-2007, Uday was a senior staff member at the Oakland School for the Arts and a Commissioner of Public Affairs for the City of Oakland, CA.  In addition to co-producing the Oakland Youth Arts Festival: Arts Save Lives, Uday also started a youth mentorship in the arts program in East Oakland, CA and served as a model arts education program consultant for the Alameda County Office of Education.  From 2001-2004, Uday coordinated, produced, and directed Project 2050, a socio-political youth arts program as part of the Animating Democracy Initiative at the New WORLD Theater at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.  Uday is a Kennedy Center Arts Management Institute Fellow, an Americans for the Arts Emerging Leaders Scholar, and holds a Master’s Degree and Bachelor’s Degree from Harvard University and Cornell University respectively.

Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? I am interested in developing innovative curricular vehicles that use the arts as a vehicle for healing both in and out of schools. Curriculum that may be applied inter-generationally and with both national and international communities.

STEPHANIE BUDD Bio: With a passion for health and healing, Stephanie’s path through life has brought her to Chicago, despite the abundance of concrete, to become a farmer in the city.  Stephanie Budd is currently working as Associate Director of Child and Community Engagement at the Chicago Lights Urban Farm, nested in the original Cabrini-Green neighborhood.  In this position, Stephanie works with young people to investigate and integrate healthy processes into our lives, build strong relationships amongst the farm and local community, and enhance the skills and experience necessary to thrive in our society. Throughout her work with young people facing community injustice, violence, and gentrification, Stephanie continues to be inspired by the wisdom and resilience that young people possess in and around these situations. As such, Stephanie has made trauma-informed and healing practices an essential part of every interaction of her professional and personal life. Stephanie moved to Chicago to attend graduate school and earned her Master’s in Education, Youth Development, from the University of Illinois at Chicago in May of 2011.  Prior to joining the Urban Farm team, Stephanie worked as Program Director of Opportunity Knocks, an organization that offers programming to young adults with developmental disabilities. Stephanie also gained valuable experience in developing, coordinating, and evaluating in community settings through previous positions at Association House of Chicago, The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, The Youth Development Summit, and The Green City Market. In addition to using the produce and natural space, Stephanie incorporates healing aspects from many different disciples into her work and life. In 2014, she completed her 200 hour Yoga Teacher certification, and additionally has plans to complete beginners Reiki Training and Circle Keeper Training in early 2016.    Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? Primarily I work with middle school aged and younger students; Even at such young ages, many of them have experienced or been influenced by many of the above focuses of the research. As I work with them at such a young age, I would like to help better prepare them with the knowledge, support, and healing that will be necessary for moving forward in their lives and navigating these complex webs of oppression, injustice, hate/fear, and ignorance.  

STEPHANIE BUDD

Bio: With a passion for health and healing, Stephanie’s path through life has brought her to Chicago, despite the abundance of concrete, to become a farmer in the city.  Stephanie Budd is currently working as Associate Director of Child and Community Engagement at the Chicago Lights Urban Farm, nested in the original Cabrini-Green neighborhood.  In this position, Stephanie works with young people to investigate and integrate healthy processes into our lives, build strong relationships amongst the farm and local community, and enhance the skills and experience necessary to thrive in our society. Throughout her work with young people facing community injustice, violence, and gentrification, Stephanie continues to be inspired by the wisdom and resilience that young people possess in and around these situations. As such, Stephanie has made trauma-informed and healing practices an essential part of every interaction of her professional and personal life. Stephanie moved to Chicago to attend graduate school and earned her Master’s in Education, Youth Development, from the University of Illinois at Chicago in May of 2011.  Prior to joining the Urban Farm team, Stephanie worked as Program Director of Opportunity Knocks, an organization that offers programming to young adults with developmental disabilities. Stephanie also gained valuable experience in developing, coordinating, and evaluating in community settings through previous positions at Association House of Chicago, The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, The Youth Development Summit, and The Green City Market. In addition to using the produce and natural space, Stephanie incorporates healing aspects from many different disciples into her work and life. In 2014, she completed her 200 hour Yoga Teacher certification, and additionally has plans to complete beginners Reiki Training and Circle Keeper Training in early 2016.   

Why are you interested in this Teach-In Series? Primarily I work with middle school aged and younger students; Even at such young ages, many of them have experienced or been influenced by many of the above focuses of the research. As I work with them at such a young age, I would like to help better prepare them with the knowledge, support, and healing that will be necessary for moving forward in their lives and navigating these complex webs of oppression, injustice, hate/fear, and ignorance.