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Illinois Humanities Council

In These Times magazine has followed 5th Ward residents as they navigate the participatory budgeting process. Series author Joel Handley led a panel discussion on the lessons to be learned from the participatory budgeting program in Chicago and its effectiveness in empowering residents to take part in the fiscal decisions that impact their communities.
Join the Illinois Humanities Council and the Chicago Cultural Alliance for an exciting panel and audience discussion with representatives from three Chicago ethnic community organizations: Casa Michoacán, the Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago, and the Ukrainian National Museum.
How can digital media help combat gun violence and other social problems plaguing our youth? And how are youth already taking action via media spaces to organize and amplify their voices in their daily lives? A panel explores the possibilities of transforming the lives of young people through new media technologies.
Brutal war has engulfed villages and cities in Mali. Violence in Colombia has forced people out of their homes and left anger, fear and poverty in its wake. Does post-apartheid South Africa offer a vision and a model for war-torn societies? Many countries that have been torn apart by civil war ask: how do we rebuild, how can we make amends, or does accountability trump reconciliation?
The tragic deaths of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old girl who was shot and killed just a few blocks away from her school, and “Nirbhaya,” the 23-year-old woman who was gang-raped by six men in a moving bus in Delhi, raise the question: what does justice for victims and survivors look like?
Art
Eslanda Robeson was an anthropologist, a tireless advocate of women’s rights, an outspoken anti-colonial and anti-racist activist, and an internationally sought-after speaker. Yet historians for the most part have confined Essie to the role of Mrs. Paul Robeson, a wife hidden in the large shadow cast by her famous husband. Eslanda: The Large and Unconventional Life of Mrs. Paul Robeson, by Barbara Ransby, changes all that.
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Award-winning writer Angela Jackson invokes the poetry of the late Carolyn Rodgers to honor her work and contributions to to the black arts movement. Together, Jackson and Rodgers worked with other African American artists during the civil rights era to organize cultural and artistic expression in support of struggles for freedom, justice, and equality.
This event marks the occasion of the inaugural issue of SOULS: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society to be published here in Chicago. Listen in to a lively post-election roundtable discussion with an impressive group of SOULS contributors, editors, and supporters.
Listen in to a conversation with scholar activist Beth Richie and a panel of activists working to end violence against women. This conversation is centered on Richie’s new book, Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence, and America’s Prison Nation, which shows that the threat of violence to black women has never been more serious.
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In the late 1960s and early 1970s, black students organized hundreds of protests that sparked a period of crackdown, negotiation, and reform that profoundly transformed college life. At stake was the very mission of higher education. In this talk, author and scholar Martha Biondi vividly demonstrates the critical linkage between the student movement and changes in university culture.
All summer long, WBEZ embarked on a series of in-depth stories, honest discussions, and lively public events called “Race: Out Loud.” Listen in to the final culminating event in this important series about the state of race relations in Chicago and our region.
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The South Side Community Art Center is one of the oldest African American art centers in the nation. This event brings together Useni Eugene Perkins and Julia Perkins to discuss the history of the South Side Community Art Center, its extensive art collection, and the individuals who have been part of the center over the years.
Barbara Ransby, professor of African American studies, history, gender, and women’s studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, speaks about W. J. T. Mitchell’s new book, Seeing Through Race, and issues of race, “post-race,” and racism.
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Krista Franklin and Michael Warr perform poems from their new collections. Franklin’s Study of Love & Black Body deals with ideas of motherhood, the body, cultural and internal conflict, and identity from a variety of angles. In The Armageddon of Funk, Warr uses “poetic memoir” to interconnect a world of opposites—the morality of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the revolutionary theories and free love of Black Panthers, the promise of a bourgeois future from bank executives, and more.
The designer of Ping Tom Memorial Park talks about the challenges of developing the park, its successful completion in 1998, and its significance to the Chinese community in Chicago. He also discusses the demolished Hardin Square Park and the Sun Yat-sen Park on 24th Place, focusing on the use of green spaces within the Chinatown area.
The Kony 2012 controversy raised important questions about activism at home and abroad. How can those in the United States building meaningful transnational solidarities in Africa and around the globe? What should informed activism look like?
This panel explores real world economic injustices and possibilities for creating a more equitable and fair system locally and globally. Listen in to this examination of globalism, militarism, and the impact of the economic crisis.
The shooting of Trayvon Martin has prompted weeks of public protest. What does this fatal shooting—and the multi-faceted responses of Americans—reflect about the politics of race and racial violence in the 21st century?