The intersectionality of racism, classism, and immigration policy is as pertinent today as in the past. Who is deemed legal and illegal, afforded full citizenship rights or not, is almost always determined by master-class politics and race.
By Alice Kim
Last week, the city of Chicago made history when the City Council unanimously voted to pass a reparations package for Chicago Police torture survivors, specifically a group of African American men who were tortured by former Commander Jon Burge and detectives under his command. The culmination of decades of struggle against Burge torture and a more recent #RahmRepNow campaign led by Chicago Torture Justice Memorials (CTJM), Amnesty International, Project NIA, and We Charge Genocide, this marks the first time in the United States that a municipality will provide reparations to African Americans in response to police violence.
The package was based on the Reparations Ordinance introduced to the City Council in October 2013 by Aldermen Joe Moreno and Howard Brookins. One year before this, the ordinance had made its first public appearance on the walls of an exhibit called “Opening the Black Box: The Charge is Torture.” Curated by CTJM, a collective of artists, educators, activists and attorneys, this exhibit illustrated the power of art as a call to action.
“Artists are here to disturb the peace,” James Baldwin said. And that was the intent of our collective. Preceding the exhibit, we put out a call for proposals asking justice seekers to unleash their radical imaginations and create speculative monuments that memorialized the brutal history of Burge torture and the struggle against it. Our call for proposals was not a juried contest, instead we promised to showcase all proposals received in an art exhibit or a dedicated website. Over 70 artists from around the world responded with submissions, and one year after we put out our call for proposals, we produced the “Opening the Black Box” exhibit at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Sullivan Gallery.
By Rasmea Odeh In the early morning on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 Rasmea Yousef Odeh, Associate Director of the Arab American Action Network in Chicago, was arrested at her home by agents from the Department of Homeland Security. Sixty-five years … Continue reading
By Lisa Brock, Senior Editor and Academic Director, Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership On December 17, 2014, President Obama announced to great excitement that he planned to modify the 55-year-old US blockade against Cuba. Given that Congress passed major … Continue reading
By Andrea Ritchie On March 26-29, INCITE! hosted a national conference, Color of Violence 4 (COV4) “Beyond the State: Inciting Transformative Possibilities.” To mark INCITE!′s 15 year anniversary, conference participants gathered to engage in grassroots organizing projects, critical conversations, national … Continue reading
By Bernardine Dohrn “Those who kill their own children and discriminate daily against them because of the color of their skin; those who let the murderers of blacks remain free, protecting them, and furthermore punishing the black population because they … Continue reading
By Skylah S. Hearn Activism Revisited Last year I participated in a conversation on WSTS (West Side) Radio’s roundtable on community engagement and activism called “Activism in Our Community, Honoring MLK” on “The Corner,” a topical show that focuses on … Continue reading
By Allana Akhtar Originally published on Michigan in Color A few weeks after 9/11, I remember walking down the playground with my best friends, Maureen and Kathleen, after a tiring day of first-grade arithmetic and grammar. I was a timid, … Continue reading
By Hadeel Assali The summer of 2014. Children were appearing en masse at the US/Mexico border, the news was abuzz about a passenger jet crash in the Ukraine, and once again, Gaza was under attack, filling many TV screens and … Continue reading
By Lisa Brock, Academic Director Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership Hello Praxis readers. Welcome to 2015. We launch the second year of Praxis Center with the first of a three-part series, Rage Against the Narrative, by Senior Editor Dr. … Continue reading
By Jonathan Romero, Contributing Editor, Race, Class, and Immigration Another year has passed and the United States still cannot come to an agreement with itself about how to legislate the future of 11 million people living in the country without … Continue reading
By Babli Sinha This year, we have been awash in images of violence committed by states, by domestic partners and parents, and by organizations and individuals. The images of children’s bodies on the beach in Gaza and of Tamir Rice … Continue reading
By Shayna Plaut, Contributing Editor, Human Rights Praxis is the intersection of theory and practice and, as we commemorate international human rights day, it is only fitting that we examine the praxis of human rights. How can we have laws … Continue reading
By Shayna Plaut, Contributing Editor, Human Rights Peter W. Klein is the director of the Global Reporting Centre. He has won three Emmys and has been a journalist for over 25 years. He cut his teeth covering the war in … Continue reading
Compiled by Alice Kim, Editor “Art hurts. Art urges voyages – and it is easier to stay at home.” Gwendolyn Brooks “I stood back and said ‘What have I done?’ and I cried. I was blown away and was in … Continue reading
By Garth Mullins Jeff has been using crack and heroin for twenty years. He has been on the methadone maintenance program for the last nine years and credits it for keeping him from going back to jail. When it works, … Continue reading