Below is a sample of some workshops that I’ve developed. I am available to facilitate on these and other topics. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for information about cost and logistics.
The ABC’s of the PIC:
H. Bruce Franklin has said that “[a]ny radical teacher who is not teaching today about the American prison is like a radical teacher who was not teaching in the 1850s about American slavery.” This workshop offers curriculum ideas and interactive activities that participants can use to teach youth and adults about the modern prison industrial complex. Participants will leave with practical tools and resources that have been developed by members of the Chicago Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) Teaching Collective and Project NIA. This workshop was offered at the Free Minds, Free People Conference in July 2013. I also offered it in a workshop for educators at Oakton Community College in October 2013.
Train the Trainer: Creating A Community-Specific Juvenile Justice Data Snapshot:
This is a workshop to help participants understand how to access and use juvenile justice data to create reports that can be used in their advocacy and organizing.
Criminalizing Black Girls: Black girls and young women are the fastest growing population in the juvenile legal system. They are disproportionately targeted at every stage of the process. Black girls are also consistently suspended, expelled, and arrested from school at a higher rate than their peers. Yet most of the discussions and concern about criminalization are centered on boys and young men. The workshop will provide a space to consider the following questions: 1. How and why are black girls targeted? 2. What are the effects and impacts of their disproportionate criminalization? 3. How can we intervene to interrupt this criminalization?
Droppin’ Science: How Community-Based Organizations Can Support and Foster Youth Participatory Research and Action: This workshop addresses how community-based organizations can engage youth to research issues of concern to them. Youth-led participatory research and evaluation can be used to develop skills in young people while also offering an opportunity to engage in social action. I have years of experience in supporting youth-led participatory research projects. Participants will leave with concrete resources and ideas.
Evaluation: Getting the Data That Matters:
Aimed at demystifying the process, this workshop explores how community-based groups can and should own and direct their own program evaluations and research. Participants discuss case studies of successful data collection and strategic uses of research to advocate for social change. Some of the questions addressed include: How can you document problems in your community and put that information into action? What are the ways to use storytelling as the basis for program evaluation? How can you use participatory evaluation and research to build leadership among your constituents? The discussion explores how evaluation, particularly those that are participatory can be used as a tool for organizing and strengthening campaign and organizational work. The workshop considers the following issues: 1. Things to consider at the start of your project such as capacity to carry out an evaluation project, goals and outcomes, types of resources needed; 2. Explore various types of methods and tools that are available and; 3) Strategies for choosing the methods and tools that will be most effective for your work. I’ve offered this workshop several times including at UMOJA University in 2009.
Grassroots Fundraising 101:
You have just started a new project or you are thinking of an idea… You need to raise some money. What are the most important things you need to know? What should you do first? Are you nervous or even fearful about raising money to support your idea? How can you feel more confident about asking for money? When you think about the word “fundraising” is the ONLY thing that comes to mind writing a grant? This workshop session will focus on the steps you need to take to start raising money from individuals in your community. Each participant will leave this workshop with a draft of a letter that can be used to raise funds from individuals.
Healing Internalized Oppressions: This workshop/discussion focuses on questions like: What are the connections between healing generation trauma, violence in our communities, and internalized oppression? How does it affect our work, family and personal lives? How do we get away from blaming and shaming ourselves throughout the healing process?
Mobilizing Youth for Social Change/Preparing Youth to Lead (A Workshop for Adults): How do adult allies support young people to become community leaders? This workshop relies on case studies and concrete examples to provide adult allies with ideas and resources that can be used in working with young people.
Plantation to Penitentiary:
This workshop provides youth with an introduction to understanding the prison industrial complex. The interactive and experiential workshop offers youth an opportunity to learn specific facts about the current effects of prison expansion while also addressing how young people can organize to address this issue.
Policing, Violence, Resistance & Alternatives:
This workshop introduces participants to the work of Chain Reaction, a participatory research and popular education project with the goal of supporting conversations about alternatives to calling police on young people. Driven by our political goal of ending youth incarceration, Chain Reaction volunteers held workshops and recorded audio and video at youth centers and other spaces around the city, including a center for LGBTQ youth and youth experiencing homelessness. Youth told stories about being targeted by police because of their race, gender identity, sexual orientation, and age. Their experiences with police often set off a chain reaction that funnels youth into the prison industrial complex, a system that targets people of color, transgender women, and other folks from marginalized groups.
The workshop provides an overview of a history of policing and police violence. Participants then learn about the work of Chain Reaction and listen to some of the stories we collected. Through interactive activities and personal storytelling, we explore what alternatives to calling police exist for those considering relying on police interventions within our communities, and imagine the ideal chain reaction we could set off in response to fear, violence, or harm in our communities. We also ask what role can adult allies can play in promoting alternatives to calling the police on young people and diverting young people from the prison industrial complex. Finally, Project NIA and the Chicago PIC Teaching Collective have developed several resources (including zines, curricula, and pamphlets) that can be used to foster conversations with youth about policing. We share these resources with workshop participants.
Reconceptualizing Relationship Violence by Centering Young Women of Color:
Over the past 20 years, several teen dating violence and date rape curricula have been developed to educate youth about the warning signs and dynamics of abuse. This seems to be a good time for adult allies, youth workers, and educators to assess whether these curricula are relevant to the current lived realities particularly of young women of color. How should relationship violence prevention programs and curricula be re-conceptualized to meet the specific needs of young women of color in Chicago? Participants in this workshop will discuss the strengths and limitations of current teen dating violence and date rape curricula and programs. They will leave with specific ideas for how to more effectively intervene particularly with young women of color who are experiencing violence in their lives and relationships. Note: This is NOT an introductory workshop. Participants should have previous knowledge and/or experience addressing teen dating violence.
The Ties that Bind: How to Collaborate with Others to Maximize Organizational Effectiveness: [description is forthcoming]
Understanding the Criminalization of Youth 101:
The goal of this workshop is to increase awareness of the systematic criminalization of young people, specifically youth of color in Chicago, and to address the myths of “criminal youth” to prevent young people from being victimized by it. Workshop participants will leave with a better understanding of the individual and social forces that lead to the hypercriminalization of youth of color in Chicago.