“What matters is not to know the world but to change it.” Frantz Fanon “Give Light and people will find the way.” Ella Baker Deserve your dream - Octavio Paz Action indeed is the sole medium of expression for ethics.” -Jane Addams Radical simply means “grasping things at the root.” Angela Davis


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“to create knowledge that transforms our views of the world and, through sharing and application, transforms the world.”

-UIC mission

...learn more about SJI's mission


The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

Black Panther Party Discussion

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution is a new feature length film by award-winning filmmaker, Stanley Nelson, documenting the impact and significance of one of the most well-known Black Power organizations of the late 1960s and early 70s. Join SJI, with local activists and experts, for a panel discussion after the screening...(read more about Prof. Rahman)

Presented by: Gene Siskel Film Center

When: September 25, 2015

Time: 8pm | Ticket Price: $8

Guest Speaker: Dr. Ahmad Rahman with panelists Dr. Tracye Matthews and Dr. Jane Rhodes

RSVP: www.theblackpanthers.com

Listen below to an interview with Professor Ahmad Rahman

Memories of Julian Bond (1940 – 2015)

Keynote Speaker at SJI’s Freedom Dreams/ Freedom Now Conference in 2014

Barbara Ransby Talks with Julian Bond

I first met Julian Bond as a graduate student in the early 1990s when I was working on my dissertation on Ella Baker. I gave a paper on Baker at the Organization of American Historians’ annual meeting. I saw Julian (who I thought of as Mr. Bond at the time) in the audience. The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) veterans are a tough bunch. They don’t mince words and they don’t like folks meddling in their history, unless they are prepared to do enough work to get the story right. So, I was nervous when I saw Julian coming toward the stage after the panel. Maybe I could act like I did not notice him and hurry off in the other direction. But there was no time. He looked right at me, striding with a confident gait, and a purposeful gaze. These were not good signs, I thought to myself. When he finally reached me, he stuck out his hand and said “well done.” What a relief. I moved forward with greater determination to finish the dissertation and then the book. Every time I saw him after that he was friendly, warm, and generous...(read more from Barbara Ransby)

Sawyer Seminar

UIC wins Mellon grant for social justice series

The University of Illinois at Chicago’s Social Justice Initiative has been awarded a $175,000 Sawyer Seminar grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support a yearlong seminar series beginning in January.

The Sawyer Seminar operates like a temporary research center for interdisciplinary exchange in the humanities and social sciences, where faculty, postdoctoral researchers, graduate students and guest speakers participate in intensive study and public programs...(read more)

August 2015 Summer Film Series: Defining Race. Diagnosing Racism.

2015 Summer Film Series

What is the social, legal, and political history of racism in the United States? How do we even define race? These are critical questions that inform how we understand and talk about these issues today. From the recent controversy about the racial status of a white woman claiming to be black (Rachel Dolezal), to anti-police violence protests in Ferguson, Missouri and dozens of other cities, race continues to be at the center of what defines and divides us as Americans and world citizens. Join us for three thought-provoking documentaries about the social construction of race in the U.S.

When: Wednesdays in August 2015

Time: 6:00pm- 8:00pm (based on length of film)

Location: 1255 S. Halsted | PUJA - Pop Up Just Art Gallery

Rsvp: www.definingracediagnosingracism.eventbrite.com

Facebook and Twitter: #ChicagoSJLens

Social Justice Minor

In the Fall of 2015, Gender and Women’s Studies in partnership with the Social Justice Initiative will offer a minor in Social Justice. This minor will allow students to gain experience working with community-based organizations and provide opportunities for students to combine their experiences with new skills and strategies for future careers in organizing, non-profits, or applying a social justice lens to any professional field. Students who minor in Social Justice will learn about strategies to work toward social change, discuss movement work and link local movements to global ones. Minoring in social justice will entail focusing on critical analyses of social systems and movements that create and perpetuate equality and inequality. Additionally, all minors will complete at least one in-depth community-based learning experience with a partnering organization.

To learn more about the Social Justice Minor, click here.

Interested students please contact Emily at emilywil@uic.edu

First Recipient of the Nesbitt, Carrasco, Unzueta Border Crossing Scholarship

The 2015 Recipient of the Nesbitt, Carrasco, Unzueta Border Crossing Scholarship is Jocelyn Munguía Chavez...read more

"28, 43" A Photographic Exhibit Opening

Over 70 people attended the opening reception for "28/43": Ferguson to Ayotzinapa, a photo exhibition at our new Pop Up JUST Art space at 1255 S. Halsted. Over 140 people have visited the gallery and 6 classes have visited the exhibit.

Gallery hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 12 to 5 p.m. and by appointment. To schedule a class or group visit, email sjiuic@gmail.com

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