Critical Ethnic Studies Conference 2013

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The Progressive Pupil team recently came back from Chicago for the Critical Ethnic Studies 2nd Conference Decolonizing Future Intellectual Legacies and Activist Practices.  Held over three days from Thursday September 19th – Saturday, September 21st and hosted by the University of Illinois at Chicago and The Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy Thursday, this year’s event was a unique conference that sought answers outside the academy to challenge today’s issues.

 According to their website:

CESA’s second conference has as its central goal the development of an approach to scholarship, institution building, and activism that is animated by the spirit of the decolonial, antiracist, and other global liberationist movements that enabled the creation of Ethnic Studies (Asian American Studies, Black Studies, Native American Studies, Arab-American Studies, Latino/a Studies, and Postcolonial Studies) and continues to inform its political and intellectual projects.

It was a great conference that included a diversity of folk—artists, musicians, organizers, designers, professors, teachers and students—who are all thirsty for social change through education and community activism. In other words, right up our alley! While there we screened Black and Cuba and received insightful feedback from viewers. The panels were amazing, particularly, Decolonizing Intellectual and Activist Practices and Activism Beyond the Academy and we also got the chance to sell a bunch of our Liberation tees and totes.

The best part of the conference, however, were the hardworking activists we met who are making a splash in their neighborhoods and all over the world. Special shoutouts to our friends at Grassroots Curriculum Taskforce, Black Youth Project, Revolutionary Lemonade Stand and Incite! Women of Color Against Violence.  There’s a lot of great and inspiring work being done in Chicago and we hope to see you all again at next year’s conference.

by Shannon Shird

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