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Education Across the Prison Walls: Freedom & Education

October 6, 2021 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

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.


October 6, 2021
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
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