Events At Stateville

Throughout the year, PNAP invites area artists, scholars, writers, filmmakers, and organizers to give one-time lectures at Stateville. The series serves as an exchange between in and outside communities.

2018-2019 Events

May 15, 2019

This spring seven students at Stateville graduated from Northeastern IL University, marking a pivotal milestone in Illinois for the advancement of educational programming behind bars. The graduation ceremony took place inside the prison’s gym and featured remarks by Angela Y. Davis, Professor Emeritus at University of California Santa Cruz, and Juliana Stratton, Lieutenant Governor of Illinois. The ceremony also featured a guest musical performance by Chancelor Bennett, popularly known as Chance the Rapper.

PNAP Lecture Series

PNAP is partnering with the Human Rights Lab at University of Chicago to present a guest lecture series featuring scholars and community leaders. This series will explore the following themes: democracy and culture, gender and identity, immigration and health, and race and citizenship.

Feb: Creative Democracy

Lisa Lee, Executive Director of the National Public Housing Museum, will discuss democratizing the museum and creating spaces to teach, build and learn from one another. Lee will draw on her work establishing the only cultural institution devoted to telling the story of public housing.

March: Gender and Identity 

Key community leaders and scholars will discuss how issues of gender and identity inform their justice work. Janae Bonsu, BYP100, Jane Addams College of Social Work at UIC Jason Lydon, Black and Pink, First Unitarian Church of Hyde Park Deana Lewis, National Women's Studies Association

April: Immigration and Health 

Susan Gzesh, Executive Director of the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights, will discuss current issues in immigration reform and her work promoting cross-border, transnational dialogues on migration policy. Evan Lyon, a physician who works with Heartland Alliance and Partners in Health, will share his work developing community-based responses to address public health concerns globally.

May: The Contours of Black Citizenship 

University of Chicago professors Adom Getachew and Yanilda Maria Gonzalez will discuss the diverse practices that citizens, activists, and artists employ to reimagine and rethink black citizenship.

2016-2017 Events

May 10, 2017

We will host a graduation for Spring 2017 classes. Students will receive a certificate of completion and read essays and share work developed in classes.

May 17, 2017
Art and Actions

Participants: Dan Wang, independent writer and artist; Faheem Majeed artist and faculty at School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Rashayla Marie Brown artist and Director of Student Affairs for Diversity and Inclusion at School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Spring 2016 Guest Panel Series

February 8th, 2017

From the Local to Global Solidarities: This panel discussion will look at local and global solidarities for social change. Speakers will talk about their work across cities and nations for human rights in the areas of education and civil rights.
Participants: Prexy Nesbit, Columbia College; Dayo Harris, Vice Principal of Village Leadership Academy; Cris Toffolo, Chair of Justice Studies, Northeastern Illinois University.

Fall 2016 Guest Panel Series

November 16th Panel Discussion:

Criminal justice reforms: Building possibility for the long-term. Key leaders from local and national criminal reform initiatives and projects will share their work and perspectives on recent reforms and the national discussion around reform. Hosted by PNAP members Jill Petty and Erica Meiners.

Participants: Charlene Carruthers, National Director of BYP100; Alice Kim, Writer, editor and PNAP faculty; Alan Mills, Attorney at Uptown People’s Law Center.

December 7th Panel Discussion:

Chicago educational justice movements: Building access and opportunity for the long-term. Key leaders from local and national educational justice movements will share their work and visions for the road ahead for public education. Hosted by PNAP members Jill Petty and Erica Meiners

Participants: Andres Hernandez, Artist and Professor, School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Eve Ewing, Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Chicago; Charles Preston, BYP100; Isaura Pulido, Professor, Northeastern Illinois University

2015-2016 Guest Lectures

May 29, 2016: Artists Dialogue: Maria Gaspar + Cheryl Pope
Maria Gaspar, an artist and organizer of the 96 Acres Project, and Cheryl Pope, artist and organizer of the Just Yell Project, will discuss their practices and share recent projects around the ways can art foster critical dialogues around community, violence and incarceration.

April 13, 2016: Guest Lecture: Charles Payne
Charles Payne, Professor in the Social Service Administration program at University of Chicago will make a comparison between the justice frameworks of MLK and Malcolm X.

Feb. 10, 2016: Guest Lecture: Martha Biondi
Martha Biondi, Chair and Professor of African American Studies and faculty at Northwestern University, will discuss African Americans and gun control.

Dec. 2, 2015: Guest Lecture: Christina Gómez
Christina Gómez, Director of Academic Affairs for Diversity & Inclusion at School of the Art Institute of Chicago, will discuss contemporary state of Latino politics with a particular emphasis on immigration policies.

October 28, 2015: Education Roundtable: Schools and Education in Chicago
This roundtable featuring Ann Aviles de Bradley, Northeastern Illinois University; Dave Stovall, University of Illinois Chicago; Prudence Brown, University of Illinois Chicago/Dyett Hunger Strike; Maureen Gillette, Northeastern Illinois University-- will discuss working in Chicago to create sustainable neighborhood schools that provideequality of opportunity for all, particularly communities of color.

March-May, 2015: Film Series at Stateville Prison


Throughout the months of March -May a series of films will play on the "inmate TV" channel. These films have been curated by Chicago area curators, Amir George, Josh Rios & Anthony Romero and Michael Phillips. On April 1& April 29 curators will visit the prison for a group screening and discussion!

Series 1: curated by Amir George
For this series, a collection of film shorts was curated that revolve around time, survival, and manhood. The films are Native Sun, Vicissitude, Ghetto Art, Jonah and Kichwateli.

Series 2: curated by Josh Rios and Anthony Romero
Alambrista! (Robert M. Young, 1977, 1 hr 50 m)
Alambrista! tells the story of Roberto, a young Mexican man, who illegally crosses the border to the United States in search of work. Exploited by his employers, Roberto labors in harsh conditions while continually on the lookout for immigration raids.

Series #3: curated by South Side Projections
The Other MJ (Tom Weinberg, 1999, 28 min.) tells the story of Michael Johnson, a janitor at the United Center during the reign of Michael Jordan. A resident of Chicago’s notorious Cabrini Green, Johnson struggles to support himself and six kids on a meager salary.

More Than a Game (Joel Cohen and Joe Angio, 1992, 48 min.) interviews a group of young streetballers on the role of basketball in their lives. In an era when many Chicago high school students were being recruited by major college programs, the film looks at the lives of players who didn’t make the cut.

Past Guest Lectures 2012-2015

Conrad Worrill (Director of the Center for Inner-City Studies, Northeastern Illinois Univerisity)
Frank Gaytan
(Sociology, Northeastern Illinois Univerisity)
Mia Henry (Owner-Operator of Freedom Lifted)
Mariame Kaba (Director, Project NIA)
Nicolas Lampert (Art, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
Matthew Lippman (Criminality, Law and Justice, University of Illinois, Chicago)
Emmanuel Pratt, Executive Director, Sweet Water Foundation
Alberto Aguliar, Artist, Harold Washington College
Diane Nash, civil rights organizer
Laurie Palmer, Artist, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Bob Hanlon, Neurophychology, Northwestern University
Tim Barnett, English, Northeastern Illinois University
Jeff Slansky, History, University of Illinois Chicago
Walter Burnett, Chicago Alderman
Audrey Petty, Creative Writing, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Frank Gaytán, Sociology, Northeastern Illnios University
Rob Warden, Center for Wrongful Conviction, Northwestern University
Tom Ginsburg, Law, University of Chicago
Corey Capers, History, University of Illinois Chicago
Micheal Rakowitz, Art, Northwestern University
Marilyn Katz, MK Communications
Rebecca Zorach, Art History, University of Chicago
Bennie Lee, National Alliance for Empowerment of the Formerly Incarcerated
Chuck Schiedel, Downstate Innocence Project
Natasha Barnes, University of Illinois, Chicago
Cheri Honkala, Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign
Jerry Mead Lucero and Victoria Thurmond, Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization
Heather Radke, Jane Addams Hull House

Between 2012-2013 Aviva Futorian/Volunteer Projects and Erica Meiners and Ben Almassi coordinated this series.