RIOTcon 2016: Mapping a Movement focuses on the history, organization and necessary tools for social justice movements. These two days feature a dynamic program and training schedule, including three keynote addresses, panel discussions and workshops led by the brightest minds of today.
RIOTcon, the annual Spring conference hosted by Chicago Theological Seminary, is quickly becoming one of the leading events for social justice.
CTS invites activists, students, scholars, religious leaders, artists, and concerned community members to engage in the Raging Issues Of Today (RIOT) conference. Join us for two dynamic days of keynote addresses, panel discussions, and breakout workshops.
You can download the RIOTcon app here to help you fully enjoy the experience.
RIOTcon has over a dozen inspiring workshops lead by provocative industry leaders. Each session will help you learn, network and channel your passions.
Friday workshops are offered at 1:15-2:30 pm and again at 3:00-4:25 pm. Attendees should select two sessions from the list below.
One of the greatest challenges to sustaining political movements is consistent funding. In this workshop, activists Starsky Wilson, Joy Messinger, Jim Lewis (3 pm only), and Angel Ysaguirre share their expertise in funding models for organizational activism. Learn various tactics for economic sustainability including ways of marketing political messages, modes of raising funds, tapping into networks and accessing funding streams.
We recognize privilege in the context of race, but what about religion? This session explores social issues through the power-privilege and oppression framework of social justice movements, and an interfaith framework centered on the preserving positive relationships. The students in CTS’s ECOmmunity Cohort will present this workshop.
As we celebrate 50 years of MLK’s vision of a Beloved Community, we analyze its progress. Yes, faith communities have nurtured radical transformation, but have also reproduced structural violences and inequalities. In this workshop, Rev. Otis Moss, III, Rachel Laser and Rabbi Susan Talve will engage the radical potential of faith communities not only within their own denominations, but as the community interacts and strives to build open and empathetic coalitions with others.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr established the principles and standards for non-violent protest. This important workshop immerses you in the philosophy, skills and systematic framework critical for solving personal and community problems. Led by certified Kingian trainers, Sherri Bevel, Mary Lou Finley, and Pam Smith, you will become fluent in strategies and methodologies to reduce violence and promote positive peace.
While Chicago was an important chapter in Dr. King’s life, we rarely see any video footage or hear audio from King’s time here. WBEZ reporter Linda Lutton has been researching King’s stay in North Lawndale, where he lived for much of 1966 in his campaign to “end the slums.” It was in Chicago that King sharpened his call to end poverty and economic inequality. Join Lutton and Jim Ralph, Rehnquist Professor of American History and Culture at Middlebury College, to hear and discuss excerpts of rarely heard audio unearthed from Dr. King’s stay in Chicago. Ralph is an expert on King’s Chicago period and the author of Northern Protest: Martin Luther King, Jr., Chicago, and the Civil Rights Movement.
Saturday workshops are offered at 10:30-11:30 am and again 1:00-2:00 pm. Attendees should select two sessions from the list below.
In this interactive workshop/cooking class, food justice activists Erika Allen and Bryant Terry lead a conversation about food politics. They’ll discuss the power of culture to transform the habits, attitudes, and politics of people living in communities most impacted by food insecurity. This culinary workshop will also include hands-on food preparation so participants can enjoy the sensual pleasures of a seasonal dish. Delicious!
Often more powerful than raw theory alone, art can be a critical means of articulating political expression and emotions. Art does not exist in a silo of creativity: it complements and strengthens ideas and understandings. By speaking truth, art can more deeply connect personal visions with political realities. In this workshop, actor and filmmaker Anisia Uzeyman, poet Saul Williams, and writer-poet Ladan Osman will guide attendees through the processes of utilizing art as a tool for catalyzing emotions, galvanizing support and motivating political action.
Social media has transformed the narratives and impact of contemporary social justice movements. The ability to report has been decentralized; social media users may now act as citizen journalists. Institutions and organizations may construct their own politics and narratives. This workshop led by Natalie Moore, Kathy Chaney and Zoe Samudzi will discuss this era of more horizontal storytelling, and provide tools for individuals, organizations, and institutions alike to shape responses to conflict and crisis.
In this workshop, Samantha Master and Fawzia Mirza will engage attendees about LGBTQIA organizing and activism. One major core value of the collective is the radical and purposeful inclusion of all young black people, including young queer, transgender, genderqueer, and intersex black people. The workshop will engage these intersectionalities, these exclusions, and the opportunities for deep and meaningful inclusive social justice work in communities.
While we’re all familiar with the historic notion of a “Just War,” surprisingly little conceptual thinking has gone into what constitutes a “Just Peace.” Nationally-know academics Dr. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, and Dr. Michael Eric Dyson share their experience of teaching together at CTS, the development of the Just Peace paradigm, and how activists can engage with the public square.
This panel discusses emergent and ongoing political movements. We explore the messaging, momentum, strategies and tactics of successful movements for social justice. CTS’s own Dr. Christophe Ringer will moderate this panel of distinguished guests that includes Dr. Prexy Nesbitt, Rev. Starsky Wilson, and Bernadine Dohrn.
Anti-Muslim bigotry and Islamophobia are some of the most urgent issues of our day. This panel discussion focuses on the issues of race and national security, as well as the response of the Muslim community to the current challenges and opportunities of the moment. The discussion will be facilitated by Dr. Sherman Jackson and participants will include Linda Sarsour, Dr. Su’ad Abdul Khabeer, Dr. Reza Aslan (via Skype) and Dr. Azeem Ibrahim.
For a detailed map and room locations, you can download our venue map below:Venue Map
RIOTcon 2016: Mapping a Movement invites you to a spectacular evening featuring live readings and performances by Saul Williams, Ladan Osman, Bryant Terry, and featured guest hosts Black Girl in Om.
Hack into the mind of Saul Williams as he speaks on poetry as design, and reads selections from his new works, "US(a.)" and Martyr Loser King. Written and recorded between Senegal, Reunion Island, Paris, Haiti, New Orleans and New York, Martyr Loser King is his new multimedia project that engages the digital dialogue between the 1st and 3rd Worlds, and the global street sounds that yoke the two.saulwilliams.comMartyr Loser King
Born in Somalia and raised in Ohio, Ladan is a poet whose work appears in Seven New Generation African Poets (2014). Ladan’s The Kitchen-Dweller’s Testimony (2015) is the winner of the Sillerman First Book Prize. And, she is a contributing editor at The Offing and lives in Chicago. The Kitchen-Dwellers Testimony
A 2015 James Beard Foundation Leadership Award-winning chef, educator, and author renowned for his activism to create a healthy, just, and sustainable food system. Bryant’s fourth book, Afro Vegan was named by Amazon.com as one of the best cookbooks of 2014 and was nominated for an NAACP Image Award in the Outstanding Literary Work category. bryant-terry.com
This group promotes holistic wellness and inner beauty for women of color. Through their online publication and offline experiences, BGIO encourages self-care and self-love for women, inside and out. blackgirlinom.com
What would a conference be without some swag? Show off your commitment loud and clear with T-shirts, buttons, you name it!
T-Shirts for RIOTcon are available by order only. If you place your order before Wednesday at 9am CT, your shirt will be ready for you when you check in to the conference. All other orders will be shipped to you.
More than sponsors and supporters, these are our cohorts in the fight for social justice. They share our commitment to addressing the Raging Issues Of Today. We hope that you support them.
CTS is grateful for the partners who helped make RIOTcon 2016, “Mapping A Movement” possible.
CTS is proud to work with partners who are committed to advancing and supporting civil rights activism and activists! Call us and let's discuss adding your organization to our partner list. Contact Susan M. Cusick, Director of Marketing at email@example.com or 773.896.2435.
One of the primary purposes of RIOTcon is to create space for dialogue and discussion. This plays out in person – as well as in social media. Here is our live social media wall. It collects and aggregates all of the conversations going on at the conference – and beyond.
RIOTcon is quickly becoming a leading national event for social justice. So here’s a list of recommended hotels, directions and maps for all our out-of-town guests.
The following properties are holding rooms for our event – please mention RIOTcon when you book!
If you choose to drive to RIOTcon, we recommend parking at one of these locations:
There is a wealth of information about public transportation through the Chicago Transit Authority.