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Event Videos

Police, Politics, Power and Race Heading link

Police, Politics, Power and Race is an online discussion hosted by UIC Social Justice Initiative (SJI) on June 15th. The event explores how the current movement for Black Lives has led to the defunding of police in certain cities, calls for massive investments and new economic models for community empowerment. Guest speakers shared knowledge and analyses of the racial and political implications for Chicago. The event concluded with a performance by singer-songwriter, Jamila Woods.

This video features: – SJI Director, Barbara Ransby – – SJI Associate Director, Essence McDowell – – Artist, Jamila Woods – – Organizer, Kristiana Colon – – Data expert, Trina Reynolds-Tyler – – Human rights lawyer, Renee Hatcher –

Belonging Place Power Impossibilities Heading link

Virtual Opening of Exhibition, Belonging: Place, Power, (Im)Possibilities by the Social Justice Initiative (SJI) at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Featuring: Photographer, Tonika Johnson Organizer, Taylore Norwood SJI Director, Barbara Ransby SJI Communications Director, Essence McDowell Details: This recording is the online exhibition opening of Belonging: Place, Power, and (Im)Possibilities, the inaugural exhibition at the Chicago Justice Gallery featuring the work of Tonika Lewis Johnson.

About the Exhibit: In a series of portraits and interviews, Johnson chronicles the ways in which young people have been made to feel they don’t belong in their own city (Chicago, IL). While Johnson’s portraits of young peoples’ experiences paint a grim picture of hierarchy, surveillance, entitlement and narrow mindedness, it is not a tale of defeat. Through their own creative agency, young people push back against the politics of racism, exclusion and containment by creating their own “free spaces” and organizations that contest the commons. Learn more at or