Race, Justice, Reparations
Members from Chicago Torture Justice Memorials and Critical Resistance lead a conversation about racial justice
Saturday, February 4, 2017
6:00 – 6:30 PM Community gathering and reception
6:30 – 7:45 PM Conversation
Partnering with Southern Exposure, four members of Chicago Torture Justice Memorials will discuss the social and historical context of police torture in Chicago and how they achieved a historic victory in securing reparations for torture survivors and their families. Critical Resistance's Oakland Chapter will lead the discussion, bridging connections to local organizing strategies for racial justice and against state-sanctioned violence, including through community organizing, art, social media, collaboration, and direct action.
Critical Resistance is an international movement to end the Prison Industrial Complex by challenging the belief that caging and controlling people makes us safe.
Chicago Torture Justice Memorials is a collective of artists, activists, and attorneys that organized for, and won – in alliance with We Charge Genocide, Project NIA, Amnesty International, and Black Youth Project – historic reparations legislation for African Americans tortured by Chicago police.
Biographies of the invited CTJM participants:
Dorothy I. Burge is Program Director and Internship Coordinator for the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, where she also teaches seminars on systematic racism, criminal justice and social problems. Burge conducts workshops for a wide variety of audiences, including colleges, high schools, student organizations, social service agencies, and religious and community-based organizations on anti-racism and the criminal justice system, among other topics. She is known for her interactive style that provides theory and validates the life experiences of the participants.
Darrell Cannon is a former prisoner and survivor of torture by Chicago police. He spent 24 years in prison based on a false confession that was procured by torture. Since his exoneration in 2004 and eventual release in 2007, Cannon has been an outspoken advocate for justice for torture survivors and other victims of racialized police violence. He has spoken about his experience and the movement for justice for all survivors at venues throughout Chicago and around the U.S., including at the Allied Media Conference in Detroit and Moore College's Art and Social Practice program in Philadelphia.
Alice Kim is a co-founder of Chicago Torture Justice Memorials. She is a long-time death penalty and prison abolitionist who worked closely with the Death Row 10 (a group of African American men on Illinois' death row who were tortured by former Commander Jon Burge) and their family members to organize a grassroots campaign for justice for the Death Row 10. She is the Editor of Praxis Center, an online social justice resource center, and teaches writing at Stateville Prison with the Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project. Kim is a Soros Justice Fellow and is co-authoring a book with Joey Mogul about the struggles for justice in the Burge torture cases.
Janaé E. Bonsu is a Black queer feminist activist, writer and Ph.D. candidate at the University of Illinois Chicago. She currently serves as the National Public Policy Chair of Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100), an activist member-led organization of Black 18-35 year olds dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black and oppressed people. Janaé has played key roles in BYP100’s anti-criminalization and police accountability campaigns and co-authored the organization’s public policy agendas – the Agenda to Keep Us Safe and the Agenda to Build Black Futures. She is also a member of the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) Policy Table, which produced the Vision for Black Lives: Policy Demands for Black Power, Freedom & Justice. Her written work has been featured in Dissent Magazine, Ebony, The Root, The Hill, Truthout, People’s World, and peer reviewed journals. Janaé is dedicated to building a world free of punitive state systems through transformative justice.