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Event 2 Critical Pedagogy and the Prison Classroom
Wednesday, Oct 20, 2021
5:00-6:30 p.m

Many educators and students experience a common assumption from guards, administrators and our own colleagues and friends: that people in prison are less informed or less interested in the most critical issues of our time. In fact, we know this to not be true as incarcerated students across the nation have written legislation, created policy and formed inside-out organizations that impact their communities. Education scholar Henry Giroux says “All education is an introduction to the future”. This panel will ask what kind of future are we building inside our classrooms in prison? How does the framework of critical pedagogy shape what we teach and learn inside? Moderated by Simone Waller.

Event 3 Getting Classes Started
Wednesday, Nov 3, 2021
5:00-6:30 p.m. 

Higher education in IL prisons has had a long but inconsistent history starting in the 1950s. In person and correspondence classes have been offered through community colleges, theatre companies, individual artists, poets and faculty at various universities and more. In 2008  the Education Justice Project out of University of IL Urbana Champaign proposed to build 3000-5000 level classes on top of an existing community college program at Danville prison in central IL. A few years later Kim Moe from DePaul University and Sarah Ross from Prison + Neighborhood Arts/Education Project started classes at Stateville Prison. Since that time many other programs have started and educators around the state are interested in learning more. What are the practical steps for developing a new HEP program? This panel will feature ILCHEP members who have developed a guide for Emerging Programs and field questions about the successes and challenges of starting a higher education program in prison and making education accessible to students once they are released.  
Join us in conversation with panelists: Sharon Varallo, Chez Rumpf, Tim Barnett and Chris Rivers

Event 4. Education for Everyone, Everywhere
Wednesday, Nov 17, 2021
5:00-6:30 p.m. 

  • Recent successful campaigns like “Ban the Box” (removing the “felony” box on student applications) have suggested that Higher Education could be more accessible to formerly incarcerated students. Yet access to funding, navigating technology, finding student housing or confronting new classroom dynamics in the free world is not something prison prepares students for. What can colleges and universities be doing to support students once released? What can students and educators advocate for to make our campuses a supportive space for all students, everywhere? 


Event 1 Freedom & Education
Wednesday, Oct 6, 2021
5:00-6:30 p.m

Teaching and learning in state prisons is often experienced as a paradox. Panelists in this discussion will focus on how critical theory and critical race, gender and ethnic studies formed a much needed liberatory pedagogy. How can education emancipate from behind bars? What does one do with such transformative experiences with life or long sentences ahead of them? From the perspective of students and educators, this discussion challenges us to think about teaching and learning in prison as both the same and necessarily something quite different than our on-campus classrooms. 
Join us in conversation with Moderator Chez Rumpf and panelists:

Sandra Brown is an incarcerated survivor at the Fox Valley Adult Transitional Center in Aurora, Illinois. Currently, she works as a visiting scholar with the Women’s Justice Institute and is a doctoral student at California Coast University. Brown is the first incarcerated woman in Illinois history to earn a master’s degree while incarcerated and the second incarcerated woman to earn the Davis-Putter Scholarship. She is also a published poet and essayist whose body of works are included in “Critical Storytelling from Behind Invisible Bars: Undergraduates and Inmates Write Their Way Out.” Upon release, Brown aspires to engage in teaching, advocacy, and public speaking in ways that promote social justice for justice-impacted women.

Johari Jabir is a musician and scholar. A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Johari began piano lessons at an early age and was immersed in the expressive culture of St. Louis’ Black working class religious community, which is the foundation for his continued practice as a musician, cultural historian, and contemplative teacher. He is currently director of music at St. George & St. Matthias Episcopal Church in Chicago, IL. Johari has enjoyed an extensive career in church music and musical theatre, including serving as associate conductor of the 1991/1990 Broadway revival of The Wiz. His researching, teaching, and writing includes Prison Abolition, Religion and Spirituality in the African Black Diaspora, Black Music and Social Transformation, and Contemplative Pedagogy and Public Education. His first book, Conjuring Freedom: Music and Masculinity in the Gospel Army of the Civil War (Ohio State University Press, 2017), is a cultural history of the nation’s first Black regiment, the 1 st South Carolina Volunteers. Conjuring Freedom attends to the “spirituals” sung by the regiment in the ring shout as a mode of conjuring the spirit for military aims.

Cedric X Cal came from generational poverty. Descendant from sharecroppers who migrated to the North,raised on the Westside of Chicago. When I was 17 years old was wrongfully convicted and served 28 years of a juvenile natural life sentence. While in prison became a student and follower of The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad under the leadership of The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. Took classes under Dr. Margaret T.G. Burroughs in Poetry.  Also many other college courses in business management, marketing, communications, American history, Poor peoples movement, and Latin American history Now work in The Nation of Islam Prison Reform Ministry and goes to school at Daley College for Advance Manufacturing.