Applying an Anti-racism and Anti-oppression Lens to Violence Prevention

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 | 1:00 PM - 4:30 PM*
*Refreshments and check-in begin at 1:00 PM, meeting will start promptly at 1:30 PM

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago
Conference Center | 11th Floor

225 E. Chicago Avenue

This meeting will focus on structural violence and how intersectional, anti-oppression strategies can be applied to SCY’s areas of focus: youth development, mental health services, gun violence prevention, justice system reform, and community investment. Action-oriented small group discussions on these topic areas will follow a panel discussion on racism and oppression.



Jennifer Arwade, Co-Executive Director
Communities United |
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | 773-583-1387 ext. 206

Jenny Arwade is Co-Executive Director of Communities United (formally known as Albany Park Neighborhood Council or APNC), a community based organization located in one of the most immigrant communities in Chicago. A graduate of Princeton University, Jenny has been a community organizer since 2000, and Executive Director Communities United since 2004. In that time, she has worked to organize community residents through local as well as collaborative campaigns to increase access to affordable housing, and affordable health care, improve the quality of public education, and promote immigrant rights. Jenny is also Vice President of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, an Executive Council Member of the United Congress of Community and Religious Organizations, and recently worked with 6 other organizations to form Voices of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE), a multi-ethnic youth-led community organizing collaborative to tackle the dropout rate in Chicago Public Schools.

Organization Description: As a grassroots social justice organization, Communities United builds power by developing local leadership and empowering communities to identify and address the root causes of inequity at the neighborhood, city, state and national levels. Communities United believes that community members hold the solutions to the challenges they face. Through a community organizing approach, Communities United develops institutions and community residents as leaders, convenes broad-based coalitions, and unites people across age, race, ethnicity, income, sexual orientation, gender identity, abilities and religion to advance structural change that concretely improves peoples’ lives. 

Bonsai Bermudez, Executive and Artistic Director
Youth Empowerment Performance Project |
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | 787-568-7503

Co-Founder and Executive Artistic Director Bonsai Bermúdez completed a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling from the University of Puerto Rico with a concentration on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer issues. He has been working in the social justice-service field for over 15 years - focusing on trauma, transformative justice, and harm reduction practices. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre and Dance he has worked professionally as a ballet/modern dancer and actor.  Bonsai became a part of Ballet Teatro de Puerto Rico, Conservatory of Ballet Concierto, Broadway Dance Center, Traveling Theatre of Puerto Rico, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, among others. He joined to Board of Chicago’s Orgullo en Accion in 2010 to politically advocate for the Latina/o Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Community.  He spent five years at the Broadway Youth Center, a Chicago program that serves LGBTQ youth experiencing housing instability, as the Drop-in and Resource Advocacy Manager. He is quadrilingual (Spanish, English, French and Sign Language) with a strong interest in multicultural issues.

Organization Description: The mission of Youth Empowerment Performance Project (YEPP) is to create a safe environment for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer youth experiencing homelessness to explore their history, investigate new ways to address their struggles and to celebrate their strengths through the process of developing a theatrical performance piece. 

YEPP uses harm reduction, social justice, transformative justice and education for liberation (theatre of the oppressed and popular education) frameworks to contain and guide the work.  Meanwhile YEPP members participate in the program, we support them with resources around housing, employment, educational, legal and health resources, food, transportation, among other basic needs.  

Candice Jones, Senior Advisor to Arne Duncan
Emerson Collective |
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Jones currently serves as Senior Advisor to Arne Duncan at the Emerson Collective.  There she supports the organizations work on opportunity youth and violence reduction in Chicago.  She was appointed Director of the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice in 2014 by Democratic Governor Pat Quinn, and confirmed in 2015 by Republican Governor Bruce Rauner, Candice Jones has extensive experience in the field of juvenile justice and at-risk youth.  Jones previously served as Associate Director of the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, where she managed the public safety budget and supported the executive team’s policy and planning.

She also worked for years, driving juvenile justice strategy in Illinois and nationwide, as a Program Officer at the MacArthur Foundation. Jones served as the Executive Director of the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission where she worked to accelerate reform in the State. In 2012, she served as a White House Fellow, one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious fellowship programs for leadership and public service.  Jones holds a J.D. from New York University School of Law and a Bachelor’s degree in African and African-American Studies and Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis.

Organization Description: Emerson Collective is an organization dedicated to removing barriers to opportunity so people can live to their full potential. Established by Laurene Powell Jobs, Emerson Collective centers their work on education, immigration reform, the environment and other social justice initiatives. They use a wide range of tools and strategies—partnering with entrepreneurs and experts, parents and policymakers, advocates and administrators—to spur change and promote equality.

Additional Information:

Parking is available at 321 E. Erie (entrances on E. Erie and E. Ontario) or at 222 E. Huron (entrances on E. Superior and E. Huron). Discounted parking vouchers will be provided reducing rate to $11 for up to 7 hours (see Streeterville Campus Map).

Light refreshments will also be provided.