Join us for a workshop for formerly incarcerated folks who are applying to college or graduate school. This workshop will cover the basics of the personal essay: its purpose, content, and why it matters. After discussing an overview, writers will read examples of personal essays – both strong and emerging – to begin the writing process. Using a pre-grad guide provided by the facilitator, writers will brainstorm ideas, outline, and structure their own essay. Finally, writers will get an opportunity to share-out what they’ve written, ask questions, and receive feedback. Register here.
Abolitionist Teaching and Learning Network: Building Skills for Re-Entry; Navigating Higher Education: The Graduate School Process
December 2, 2021
6:00PM – 7:30 PM CDT
Join us for a panel and workshop for formerly incarcerated graduate school applicants by graduate students with lived experience, faculty, and professional staff, who will discuss all things graduate school from exploring which specific programs are fitting for you and your needs to engaging with the financial aid process. After the panel, there will be time to ask your own questions and receive answers from professionals familiar with both the graduate school process and the complexities of being formerly incarcerated as a graduate applicant and student. Register here.
Virtual Winter Auction
December 11, 2021
4:00PM – 5:30 PM CDT
PNAP’s Winter Auction will feature items donated by community members and supporters. By participating in the auction, you ensure we can continue to offer classes at Stateville prison and engage in a variety of Chicago-area programming with communities impacted by the carceral state. The auction will feature a performance during the intermission. Register here. View item details here.
NEIU’s Traditions of Challenging the U.S. Prison Industrial Complex
November 17, 2021
6:00PM – 7:30 PM CDT
This virtual panel explores NEIU’s history of addressing mass incarceration. And features Robert Wiley, Renny Golden, and Colette Payne. Register here.
The panel will present initiatives led by activists to challenge the prison system and educate and and advocate for those impacted by it. We hope to mobilize students and faculty to engage in anti-prison work on university campuses and take action in making education accessible for people inside and outside of prison walls.
Book Launch and Spoken Word by Orion Meadows
Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies, Lower Level Conference Room; 700 E. Oakwood Blvd., Chicago, IL 60653
November 1, 2021
6:00PM – 8:00 PM CDT
Join PNAP Learning Fellow, Orion Meadows, as he launches his newest book, The Rose That Grew Through The Barbwire. A collection of the Art and Creative Writing by incarcerated artists who invested their time and effort to depict the everyday living experiences and emotions of human beings in bondage within the Department of Corrections.
The event will also feature spoken word performed by Orion and guests as well as art available for view created by those impacted by the prison system. November 1st from 6:00 – 8:00 PM at the Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies. We can’t wait to see you there! Venue will be accessible via elevator.
Mural Painting for Justice and Freedom – Canceled
Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation; 5114 S. Elizabeth St., Chicago, IL 60609
September 11, 2021
11:00 AM – 5:00 PM CDT
Join Prison + Neighborhood Arts/Education Project and Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation to paint a new community mural designed by artists at Stateville Prison. After the paint day the mural will be installed in the neighborhood. This mural design challenges us to break the school to prison pipeline and end the Truth in Sentencing law that incarcerates so many people for long prison terms. We are calling for community-spirited individuals for food, music and painting!
No painting experience necessary. Kids and families welcome.
For more information email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We Are All We Have: Screening and Discussion of The Long Term
August 18, 2021
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM CDT
Join us on August 18 for a special screening of The Long Term (2018, 13 min.), a hand-drawn animated film created by a group of artists serving long and life sentences and co-produced by the Prison + Neighborhood Arts/Education Project (PNAP). Blending candid autobiography, potent political analysis, and visionary imagery, the film is a powerful call to transform how we approach harm and imagine justice. After the screening, several of the artists involved will share their reflections on the film, on political struggles against the prison system, and on their experiences surviving and building community over the long term.
Participating artists in this event include Brandon Shaw, Charles McLaurin, Chester “Chuck” Brost, Darrell W. Fair, Devon Daniels, Elton Williams, Flynard “Fly 1” Miller, Joseph Dole, and Johnny Taylor. The other artists behind The Long Term are Francisco “Paco” Estrada, Raul Fernandez, Damon Locks, R Dot Nandez, Andrés Reyes, Sarah Ross, and Bring.
Pablo Mendoza, a lead organizer at Parole Illinois who was previously incarcerated, will moderate the event. A member of the RAPP Campaign (Release Aging People in Prison) will bridge struggles in Illinois and the fight for parole justice in New York State.
This event is a collaboration between Third World Newsreel, the Documentary Forum at CCNY, PNAP, Parole Illinois, and RAPP. Additional cosponsor: Haymarket Books. Please RSVP to receive the link to the Zoom webinar. There will be live Spanish and ASL interpretation. RSVP here. View the Facebook event here.
Joint Book Release Celebration
P.O. Box Collective, 6900 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago
July 31, 2021
3:30 PM – 5:30 PM CDT
Join us for outdoor music, food, and a celebration of two books, both set deep in the landscape of Illinois politics.
Testimony by Peter Lazare and Sarah Lazare is a left-wing thriller novel about the corporate capture of utility regulators, the buildup to the Iraq War, and the way “public-private partnerships” enrich the powerful and take control away from the people.
Carving Out Rights from Inside the Prison Industrial Complex, edited by Aaron Hughes, Sarah Ross, and Tara Betts, explores the way people incarcerated inside Illinois prisons struggle every day for their basic rights, claiming again and again their status as human beings. Poetry from the book will be read by Cean Gamalinda, Anna Martine Whitehead, and others TBA.
There will be DJing by Kate Walsh, and snacks and refreshments will be provided. The event will take place at the outdoor space of the P.O. Box Collective.
Memorial Quilting Workshop: Honoring Lives Lost in Illinois Prisons During COVID-19
Precious Blood Ministry Of Reconciliation; 5114 S. Elizabeth St., Chicago
July 16, 2021
3:00 PM – 7:00 PM CDT
Join us Friday, July 16, from 3 PM to 7 PM at Precious Blood Ministry to learn the art of quilt making, build community, and create your own quilt square to contribute to the Memorial Quilt for lives lost in the Illinois Department of Corrections during COVID-19. This event will be held outdoors and, in case of inclement weather, we will reschedule.
We will have two segments to this outdoor event: From 3 PM to 5 PM, the wonderful Dorothy Burge a.k.a. Mama Dorothy will facilitate a workshop on how to create a quilt square and guide us through the process. From 5 PM to 7 PM, we will have time to come in and create a quilt square at your own pace with the assistance of some of our staff and community members. Come out to have fun, build relationships, and be a part of something beautiful.
About Mama Dorothy:
Quilt artist and long-time activist Dorothy Burge is a native and current resident of Chicago, but is descendent from a long line of quilters who hailed from Mississippi. These ancestors created beautiful quilts from recycled clothing. While she showed no interest in this art form as a child, she grew to treasure the quilts that were created by family elders. Her realization that the history and culture of her people were being passed through generations in this art form inspired her to use this medium as a tool to teach history, raise cultural awareness, and inspire action.
Our Tuesday Girl: An Unfurling for Dr. Margaret T.G. Burroughs
June 18, 2021
7:00 PM EDT
Join PNAP, Project NIA, the South Side Community Art Center, and The People’s Forum June 18th for a special Juneteenth event honoring Dr. Margaret Burroughs with a new book titled Our Tuesday Girl: An Unfurling for Dr. Margaret T. G. Burroughs published by Sojourners for Justice Press and Project NIA.
This new collection reflects her early life, her organizing and correspondence, and her impact as an educator at Stateville and Pontiac prisons and Cook County Jail. In addition, a special section of this publication includes an Unfurling, a social practice whereby people, as liberatory memory workers, pull materials from existing archives and share what those materials mean to them.
For this Unfurling, we turned to artists and writers whose work has been influenced by the legacy of Dr. Burroughs. In this way, this collection iterates the impact of Dr. Burroughs and her politics of culture, care, freedom, and love for Black people.
This event will include readings from Our Tuesday Girl: An Unfurling for Dr. Margaret T. G. Burroughs, along with a discussion of the role of cultural organizing in the midst of anti-Black state violence. Panelists include Mariame Kaba, Sarah Ross, Tempestt Hazel, Skylah Hearn, and Carl Williams. Together we will also consider how Dr. Burroughs’s prisoner education and support work is a model for current abolitionist organizers.
Community Mural Painting
DuSable Museum of African American History; 740 E. 56th Pl., Chicago
June 19, 2021
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM CDT
Join PNAP and the Dusable Museum to paint new community murals designed by artists at Stateville Prison, including former students of the legendary Dr. Margaret Burroughs. These works challenge us to break the school to prison pipeline and build a new future of resistance and love. We are calling for community-spirited individuals to help paint a mural for a Juneteenth celebration! Snacks, drinks, and paints will be provided (professional painting experience is not necessary).
April 21 and 26, 2021
In partnership with local and national community-based organizations that continue to lead the way to shape abolition — groups like Critical Resistance, Black & Pink, Love & Protect, Parole Illinois — we are kicking off two years of programming with two events featuring key thinkers in conversation about teaching and learning, cultural work, and abolition. Join us and learn from local and national organizers, cultural workers, educators, and scholars who are building radical teaching and learning pathways for currently and formerly incarcerated communities, sustaining crucial campaigns for freedom, and creating more just and beautiful communities. This is the first event of a two-part series.
These events are free, but if you have the resources to support the strong abolitionist work of PNAP, please consider donating. Donate here.
Teaching and Learning for Freedom: Visions, Study, and Practice
April 21, 2021
5:00 PM – 6:30 PM CDT
Panelists include: Colette Payne, Julian Thompson, Danny Murillo, and Romarilyn Ralston
Imagining and Remaking a World Without Prisons: Visions, Study, and Practice
April 26, 2021
5:00 PM – 6:30 PM CDT
Panelists include: Angela Davis, Beth Richie, Kathy Boudin, and Timmy Châu
Click here for a full list of past events.