November 2: Wake Forest University School of Law in Winston Salem, NC. Noon.
November 18: National Association of Social Workers, NC Chapter in Asheville, NC. 11:15am-12:45pm.
Invite us to your college, city, or organization
by sending Emily a note at firstname.lastname@example.org
WAAC + Conflict Resolution Center
Thanks to the Conflict Resolution Centers of Duluth and St Cloud Minnesota for hosting two WAAC gatherings. City council members and community members, public defenders and judges, advocates and probation officers, social workers and service providers, professors and students joined us to discuss investment over incarceration.
WAAC @ The Whole
Jewish Community Action of the University of Minnesota hosted WAAC. Among the students and recent grads was Star Wynn. Star is an Americorps VISTA at Operation de Novo– a Minneapolis-based nonprofit that provides diversionary programs for people arrested or charged with felonies in Hennepin County. In addition to these programs, OdN creates education and employment resources for clients seeking a second chance–and that’s where Star comes in. Among other things, she’s conducting focus groups to get a better understanding of the barriers clients face.
Many employers, she says, are scared off by a criminal record.
Together, we’re working to change that.
WAAC @ The University of Minnesota
Thanks to the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development for hosting WAAC. Special thanks to Kelly Winters and KC Harrison for the invitation.
To the class of 2020: we see you, we hear you, we need you. Thank you for using your voice, your talent, and your unique experience to question narratives, shift paradigms, and change the world.
WAAC Bday Bash @ Indeed
Thanks to everyone who helped us celebrate WAAC’s bday. Special shout out to Patrick, the brewer who invited us, Indeed Brewery for donating the night’s proceeds, and to The Smoking Cow food truck, for donating 10% of the day’s sales to WAAC. With your help, this year’s gonna be even better than the last!
WAAC @ Bridges / Voices for Racial Justice
Thanks to Kevin Reese, Zeke Caligiuri, and others at Bridges and their partners at Voices for Racial Justice for inviting WAAC to be a part of the day celebrating family, fellowship, and power.
Madison, Wisconsin: The Criminal Justice System, its Failures, and the Consequences for our Country
“There is nothing that we have talked about today that we cannot fix.” –Dean Strang
WAAC was thrilled to join Dean Strang, Jerry Buting, Keith Findley, Everett Mitchell, and Carrie Sperling at the 2016 ForwardFest in Madison, Wisconsin.
Thanks to Rachel Neill and Shobhan Thakkar for putting it all together — to the National Council on Crime and Delinquency and FarWell for sponsoring, Madison Public Library for hosting, Field59 for catching it all on video, and Underground Food Collective and 3rd Sign Brewery for all the food and brew.
Google + KQED
Thanks to Irene @ California’s KQED for featuring us, and to Amrit for hosting WAAC @ Google.
WAAC Bday Bash @ Bauhaus Brew Labs
To the nearly 200 people who celebrated and supported WAAC at our Bday Bash–thanks!
ForwardFest @ Madison Central Library
Free beer and food generously provided by Mobcraft and Underground Catering.
Check out the ForwardFest website to learn more about this event.
Saint Louis University
We Are All Criminals is honored and humbled to have been a part of the WEB DuBois Conversation on Social Justice at Saint Louis University. Special thanks to the panelists that anchored the hope for change within the community, and to Nebu, Norm, and Katie for making it all happen.
Midwest Mentoring Forum
Mentors and advocates, many of whom had been incarcerated, gathered together to discuss reentry at the Hope Presbyterian Church in Richfield, Minnesota. We Are All Criminals was part of the keynote address, and banners with the project’s stories and photographs were on display. Special thanks to Anthony, Delaine, and Steve!
Spirit of Peace UCC
Spirit of Peace UCC in Sioux Falls opened up their community room for a two-week WAAC exhibit. The banners were placed throughout the room’s meditative maze, lending the perfect atmosphere to the question: what have you had the luxury to forget? Or: what would your chalkboard say? Many thanks to Pastors Jean and Rachel, and the more than 50 people who attended the Sunday discussion.
Minnesota State Capitol Rotunda
The banners were up in the Capitol’s Rotunda, where passersby were invited to return on March 12th for the annual Second Chance Day on the Hill. Special thanks to Mark Haase from the Council on Crime and Justice and the Minnesota Second Chance Coalition and Representative Ray Dehn for sharing their remarks concerning the need for reform.
More information: We Are All Criminals MN State Capitol Rotunda
Yale University and Bridgewater State University
Thanks to the more than 200 students, faculty, and community members who attended We Are All Criminals events in Connecticut and Massachusetts. For those still in New Haven, you can catch the WAAC exhibit in the gallery of the Afro-American Cultural Center at Yale. Many thanks to Nia, Jessie, Aria, and Mitch.
Art Shanty Projects
We Are All Criminals will be at the Townhall Shanty at the Art Shanty Projects this Saturday, February 15 at 2pm. Join us as we discuss criminal justice policy on the frozen waters of White Bear Lake
The WAAC photographs are on display at Boneshaker Books in Minneapolis for the month of January. Make an evening out of it: drop by to check out the exhibit, pick up a book from Boneshaker’s handpicked select, then walk a block to a table and a lassi at the Himalayan or a booth and a Surly at Luce for some novel time. Special thanks to Ann and HJ.
First Covenant Church
On December 29th, the First Covenant Church in downtown Minneapolis invited Emily from We Are All Criminals and Stephen JohnsonGrove from the Ohio Justice & Policy Center to talk about legalizing redemption. After service, people gathered in the foyer to engage in the We Are All Criminals exhibit and discuss second chances. Special thanks to Nekima, Barbara, and Stephen!
Goodwill Easter Seals
On December 12th, Goodwill / Easter Seals hosted a WAAC exhibit and criminal records seminar. Throughout the day, nearly 100 people stopped by and joined the collateral consequences discussion. Special thanks to Andy, Eric, and the young woman who took a break from mopping to let me know the project was speaking the truth.
Minnesota Humanities Center
With the help of the Minnesota Humanities Center, the Community Justice Project at the University of St Thomas School of Law, the University of Minnesota Law School’s Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, and MetroState School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, more than 200 people from the law schools, business schools, law enforcement and criminal justice programs, and sociology departments engaged in the WAAC project this fall. Below are photographs from the UST exhibit. Special thanks to Nekima, Jessie, Perry, Galen, Chris, David, Ebony, and Jason.
Robina Institute WAAC Exhibition
Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice invited University of Minnesota students, faculty and passers-by to stop by the We Are All Criminals exhibit held on November 5th at the U of M Law School. More than 100 people dropped in, viewed the exhibit, shared their own stories, and discussed what it means to be a criminal. Thanks to the Minnesota Humanities Center for making the event possible!
Speak Easy Twin Cities
Local storytellers gathered in a residential basement for Speak Easy Twin Cities, “a traveling home show coming to a living room, kitchen, basement, backyard, or rooftop near you.”
WAAC Website Launch
To the more than 200 people that dropped by The Belmore on October 24th, thank you. Together, we tested out the new exhibit (thanks, Matt!), listened to music mixed with confessions (thanks, Brad!), and officially launched the website and project. Thanks to the Council on Crime and Justice, the Bush Foundation, the Minnesota Humanities Center, Jennifer, Sandy, Martha, Perry, and Christy. Additional and profound thanks, as always, to the participants: this wouldn’t have been possible without you.
Each year in Northeast Minneapolis, more than 500 artists’ studios, galleries, and exhibits open to the public for a weekend-long Art A Whirl tour. This year, We Are All Criminals was in the historic Thorp Building. WAAC had been featured at local lit mag Revolver’s Confess event the weekend before (see below event), and continued to occupy the space through the open studio tour. More than 200 people dropped by, listened to confessions of uncaught crimes shared during Confess, read stories of WAAC participants, and viewed the photographs. A handful of guests signed the WAAC book, sharing their own stories.
Local literary magazine, Revolver, partnered with We Are All Criminals to host Confess, an evening of storytelling, truth, and revelry. The event featured photographs, audio clips, and text of people who had participated in the project – while collecting new confessions from the partygoers themselves. Below are some of the stories from that night.