Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-06-24
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Event looks at Trayvon Martin case through queer, feminist eyes
by Yasmin Nair, Windy City Times
2013-08-21

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


In the wake of the Trayvon Martin verdict, Chicago has seen several public events and workshops exploring its aftermath. On Aug. 15, queer and feminist scholars gathered at the famous Hull House for a panel titled, "Transformative Justice and The Trayvon Martin Case: A Consideration."

There have been many cries for justice and calls for the prosecution and incarceration of George Zimmerman, who shot and killed Martin. However, this panel was put together to explore the possibilities of transformative justice (TJ) in the wake of the event.

TJ emphasizes alternatives to what is called the prison—industrial complex (PIC). For its proponents, TJ forgos revenge and believes that more incarceration only worsens the conditions that made the violence possible in the first place. TJ also resists using the PIC, believing that it is in itself brutal and harmful toward both the guilty and the injured parties.

With a strong commitment to TJ, three panelists and the organizer, Mariame Kaba, addressed the immediate responses to the Trayvon Martin verdict and discussed what TJ alternatives might be.

Kaba—founding director of Project NIA, a center whose goal is to end youth incarceration—said the aim of the evening's conversation was to initiate a much-needed conversation, not to declare absolute solutions at the end.

She said that the panel came out of her long-standing sense of "being unsettled," as she grappled with first the shooting, then the various outcries for justice which went against her prison abolitionist politics, and then her certain knowledge that the verdict would be "not guilty."

At the same time, Kaba understood why another verdict had been important for many. When it came through, she was taken aback and saddened when her 13-year-old nephew asked, "Why did they not convict him? Don't they know it's wrong to kill Black kids?" She said, "He feels his life is not valuable."

Kaba went on to say that the panel would not provide easy answers but would explore "how we might envision justice in a more expansive way."

The panelists were Traci Schlesinger, associate professor of sociology at DePaul University who works on racial disparities in sentencing; Erica Meiners, professor at Northeastern Illinois University who looks at youth incarceration and the PIC; and Beth Richie, professor of criminal justice as well as gender and women's studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago whose work focuses on feminism, African-American studies and the PIC.

Schlesinger spoke of TJ as "the transformation of the social conditions that perpetuate violence." She said that the breakdown of elements like public schooling in cities like Chicago, coupled with more intense private and public policing of Black bodies like Martin's were indirectly and directly the cause of such events.

Meiners made connections between what she called "interconnected histories," of various local, national and global events, including the Bradley Manning trial, the bombing of Yemen, the expansion of the prison system, the high presence of police in Chicago public schools and the targeting of trans youth.

According to Meiners, a TJ model would consider the connections between such issues in terms of how they pushed for greater policing and violence.

Beth Richie spoke of the "degradation of young people in our communities, because of how the state thinks of them." In that sense, she emphasized, it was natural that everyone should think collectively about how to respond to their deaths, and that "the mourning then turns into an action [such as outcries for revenge or marches] that feels important."

But, Richie continued, "If we only embrace punishment and conviction, we will only be responding to dead bodies, we'll keep finding ourselves calling for the same actions." Like the other speakers, she cautioned against using the PIC to call for justice: "It will not diminish in power and control, and instead gives the state more legitimacy."

The rest of the panel and the Q&A session continued with panelists and participants discussing both the difficulties and possibilities of TJ.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

New honorees named for Nat'l LGBTQ Wall of Honor at Stonewall Inn 2020-06-30 - New York, NY—During last year's 50th anniversary celebrations of the Stonewall Riots, the oldest LGBTQ organization in North America, The International Imperial Court ...


Gay News

Mapping the Gay Guides project plots queer spaces, launches digital map 2020-06-26 - When Eric Gonzaba travels across the United States, he often wonders about the history of the places he passes through — specifically, their ...


Gay News

Memories of Pride 2020-06-24 - We asked our readers to share some of their favorite Pride memories from years past. Enjoy our shared history! I never ...


Gay News

Downstate activist Buff Carmichael talks husband, the Prairie Flame 2020-06-24 - In the May 27 issue of Windy City Times, in the first of a three-part series, Springfield-based activist Buff Carmichael discussed his early ...


Gay News

PODCASTS 'A Queer Serial' delves into LGBTQ history 2020-06-24 - Devlyn Camp, the host of A Queer Serial podcast, is preparing for season two, continuing the stories of milestones in LGBTQ history before ...


Gay News

Leaders in LGBTQ history documentation, interpretation, outreach create fact sheet 2020-06-23 - NEW YORK, NY — Tuesday, June 23, 2020 — The Stonewall 50 Consortium, Making Gay History, NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, New York ...


Gay News

Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame selection committee to meet 2020-06-22 - The Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame, now entering its 30th year, announced earlier this year that it would resume inducting new members. After ...


Gay News

Lightfoot, Ross, Nasim among LGBT History Month icons 2020-06-15 - Equality Forum has named its LGBT History Month icons for October—and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, transgender actress Angelica Ross ( Pose ) and ...


Gay News

June 23 program to look at Jewish LGBTQ+ historical figures 2020-06-10 - The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center will host the Pride Month virtual program "LGBTQ+ Upstanders with Eric Marcus" Tuesday, June 23, at ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Harvey Milk, trans woman killed, 'Queer the Census,' NYC Pride 2020-05-18 - LGBTQ-rights icon Harvey Milk would have turned 90 on May 22—and San Francisco is coming together ( virtually ) that day, a press ...


 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.