People Involved for Café Society en Español

  • Staff

    • Alice Kim, Director of The Public Square, received her Bachelor of Arts in English and Women's Studies from Northwestern University and her Master of Arts in English from DePaul University. She is a Chicago activist and has worked on a wide range of social-justice issues. She currently serves on the board of directors of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty (CEDP) and was a recipient of the Ford Foundation's Leadership for a Changing World Award for her work to end capital punishment in Illinois. She also previously worked at the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) and served as the coordinator for the WIHS National Community Advisory Board.
      ahk@prairie.org
    • Paula Bui, Program Coordinator, received her BA from Loyola University Chicago in Communications and Spanish. She was a student leader with the United Students for Fair Trade and the Student Trade Justice Campaign. She is an interpreter, avid vegan baker, and interested in creating a better and safer food system with the Chicago Fair Food collective. 
      pab@prairie.org

    Advisory Committee

    • Lisa Yun Lee is the Co-Founder and former Director of The Public Square. Currently, she is the Director of the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum and is a faculty member of the Art History Department at the University of Illinois Chicago. She also teaches a class on art and politics and the relationship between theory and practice as a visiting professor at the School of the Art Institute Chicago. She received her B.A. in Religion at Bryn Mawr College and her Ph.D. in German Studies from Duke University. Her last book was Dialectics of the Body: Corporeality in the Philosophy of Theodor W. Adorno (Routledge, 2005), and she is working on a new project about the radical potential and practice of oppositional body language and gesture. She serves on the Board of Trustees of Bryn Mawr College, the Ms. Magazine Advisory Board, and on the boards of Young Chicago Authors, the Public Housing Museum, Chicago Humanities Festival, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, WBEZ Chicago Public Radio, the International Contemporary Music Ensemble, and the Chicago Children's Theatre.
    • Barbara Ransby, The Public Square Advisory Committee Co-Chair, received her B.A. from Columbia University and her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. She has published in academic journals, as well as in The Nation and Knight-Ridder newspapers. Additionally, she is a regular contributor to Chicago Public Radio's Eight Forty-Eight. Her biography of civil rights activist and intellectual, Ella Jo Baker, was published in 2003. The biography entitled, Ella Baker & the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision (University of North Carolina Press), can be found at bookstores around the city. Her work as an activist and scholar is well known nationally. She is also a professor of African-American Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
    • Bill Ayers is a school reform activist and Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is founder of the Center for Youth and Society and founder and co-director of the Small Schools Workshop. He has written extensively about social justice, democracy, and education. His most recent book, Fugitive Days, is a memoir that chronicles the anti-war movement of the 60s.
    • Geoffrey Banks is an Instructor and PhD student in sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago with a concentration in Race, Ethnicity, and Gender. He has worked with several civic and community-based organizations in Chicago. Currently, Geoffrey works in nonprofit development at The Community Renewal Society, which organizes church groups and publishes The Chicago Reporter and Catalyst Chicago magazines. He worked as a community organizer with Southwest Youth Collaborative, and developed juvenile court alternatives with the Children & Family Justice Center at the Northwestern University School of Law Legal Clinic. He was previously the Know More Project Coordinator for The Public Square where he developed civic programming in underserved communities.
    • Martha Biondi is an associate professor of African American Studies and History at Northwestern University and currently serves as Director of the Center for African American History at Northwestern. She is the author of To Stand and Fight: the Struggle for Civil Rights in Postwar New York City, published by Harvard University Press in 2003, and winner of Harvard's Thomas J. Wilson prize for best first book of the year. She chairs the Chicago Workers' Rights Board, a coalition of clergy, educators and community leaders who advocate for workers' rights. In 2009-2010 she will be a visiting scholar at the American Bar Foundation in Chicago where she will be completing a book manuscript on Black student activism and the origins of Black Studies, 1966-1980.
    • Joel Bleifuss is the editor and publisher of In These Times, where he has worked as an investigative reporter, columnist and editor since 1986. He is co-author of the book Was the 2004 Presidential Election Stolen? Exit Polls, Election Fraud, and the Official Count with Steven F. Freeman (Seven Stories 2006). He worked with the late Kurt Vonnegut, an In These Times senior editor, on his 2005 best seller A Man Without a Country. His reporting on environmental health issues, national security scandals, the public relations industry, and electronic voting has been reprinted in newspapers and magazines around the country.
    • Daniel Born is Vice President for Post-Secondary Programs at the Great Books Foundation, where he also edits the Foundation's quarterly magazine, The Common Review. He is author of The Birth of Liberal Guilt in the English Novel: Charles Dickens to H. G. Wells, and his articles and reviews have appeared in various journals including Conradiana, Novel, and Literature and Theology. He is a lecturer in the M.A. in Literature program at Northwestern University's School of Continuing Studies and is a member of the board of directors of the Huntington's Disease Society of America-Illinois Chapter.
    • Kevin Coval is author of Everyday People (EM Press 2008) and Slingshots (A Hip-Hop Poetica) (EM Press 2006), which was nominated for a Book of the Year Award by The American Library Association. Poems and critical essays have appeared in The Spoken Word Revolution and The Spoken Word Revolution Redux (Sourcebooks), Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop (Basic Civitas), I Speak of the City: Poems of New York (Columbia University Press), The Chicago Tribune, Crab Orchard Review, and can be heard regularly on HBO's Def Poetry Jam and National Public Radio in Chicago. Coval is a faculty member at The School of the Art Institute in Chicago, poet-in-residence at The Jane Addams Hull House-Museum, and Minister of Hip-Hop Poetics at The University of Wisconsin-Madison.
    • Bernardine Dohrn is the Director and Founder of the Children and Family Justice Center at Northwestern University School of Law. She teaches and writes about children's rights, children in conflict with the law, incarceration and justice, women's rights, and international human rights. Dohrn serves on the boards of directors of the Burns Institute and the Children's Rights Division of Human Rights Watch. She is on the steering committee of the Midwest Coalition for Human Rights, the Illinois Coalition for Fair Sentencing of Juveniles, and the Board of the National Center for Human Rights Education. Together with William Ayers, she is co-author of the forthcoming Race Course: Against White Supremacy.
    • Eve Ewing is a Chicago native and a writer whose work has appeared numerous times in New City and Time Out Chicago, and she is on the editorial board of Chicago Weekly, a publication that seeks to highlight arts and culture on the south side. She has enjoyed a long and productive relationship with Young Chicago Authors, including serving as a volunteer coordinator for the annual teen poetry festival, Louder than a Bomb, and a long tenure on the editorial board of Say What Magazine. She has a deep interest in education and has taught zinemaking for After School Matters and worked as an elementary school teacher's aide; she is interested in education policy as well as practice and served on the board of the Youth Innovation Fund under the auspices of the Kellogg Foundation and Mikva Challenge, awarding grants to Chicago youth who created service-learning based projects aimed at social change in their school and communities. She also worked with the Academy for Educational Development in Washington and New York, researching and archiving best practices from schools nationwide and meeting with congressional representatives and staffers to discuss increased education funding, and spoke alongside Senator John Glenn at a conference called "Strengthening Education, Strengthening Democracy." Aside from journalism and education, Ewing also enjoys all kinds of music, books, and contemporary art. She is a fourth-year undergraduate student at the University of Chicago, where she studies English literature, and is doing research on the life and work of Gwendolyn Brooks, with the support of a grant from the Mellon Foundation.
    • Theaster Gates is an urban planner, sculptor, and the Director of Arts Program Development at the University of Chicago. Whether it's institutional critique, object making, public discussion or performance, Theaster remains active. His creative work recently enlisted the use of a mythic character known as Yamaguchi, who represents an effort to articulate the complex relationships between Blacks and Asians in the United States by convening soul food dinners. In addition, Theaster uses public space and cultural institutions as launching pads for conversation in a series called, Representations. His most recent project, the Black Monks of Mississippi combines the richness of meditative traditions with gospel riffs and philosophical text to create a critical soul music.
    • Susan Gzesh is Director of the Human Rights Program at the University of Chicago and a Senior Lecturer in the Center for International Studies and the College. She is currently a member of the Advisory Board of Enlaces America, the successor organization to the Mexico-U.S. Advocates Network and a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She is a past chairperson of the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild and has served on the boards of directors of the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs and the Illinois Coalition for Immigration Rights. Gzesh is involved in research on the role of immigration policy in U.S.-Mexico relations and on the role of non-governmental organizations in shaping migration policy in the Western Hemisphere. She is working with a committee of University of Chicago faculty on the development of human rights courses based in the humanities and social sciences. She also coordinates the HR Program's Activist Fellows Roundtable, an annual workshop for activists and academics from the U.S., Mexico, El Salvador, and Guatemala, who meet with University of Chicago faculty to discuss the intersections between human rights, migration, and economic development.
    • Marguerite Horberg is the former Executive Director of the non-profit performing arts center HotHouse, the Center for International Performance and Exhibition. She has been an indelible influence on culture in Chicago, exposing the city to a wide range of cultural expression, encouraging respect of our ethnic diversity, and promoting a greater understanding of differing traditions and perspectives. In 1999, Horberg was named a "Chicagoan of the Year" by the Chicago Tribune. She is working on launching the Partisan Arts International, a new organization dedicated to building platforms for international progressive culture and innovative arts.
    • Lynette Jackson is an African historian and feminist activist. She received her doctorate from Columbia University in 1997 and has taught at Barnard College and University of Illinois at Chicago, where she is currently Associate Professor of Gender and Women's Studies and Associate Head and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the African American Studies Department. Jackson is the author of Surfacing Up: Psychiatry and Social Order in Colonial Zimbabwe (Cornell University Press, 2005) and has written extensively on topics of gender, sexuality and health in African history. Her current work explores the gender politics of displacement, focusing on child refugees from Sudan. She is involved on many boards and advisory committees, including the Human Rights Watch Chicago Committee, the Radical History Review Editorial Board, the City of Chicago Immigration and Refugee Advisory Committee. She is co-founder of Where is The Outrage (WTO), a Chicago-based, transnational feminist group that focuses on sexual and gender-based violence.
    • Cheryl Johnson-Odim is Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Dominican University in River Forest. Previously, she was Professor of History and Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Columbia College Chicago, Chairperson of the History Department at Loyola University Chicago, Assistant Director of the Program of African Studies at Northwestern University, and also taught at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Johnson-Odim has a doctorate in history from Northwestern University and was a Fulbright Fellow in Nigeria. She previously served on the Board of Directors of the American Council of Learned Societies, the African Studies Association and the Advisory Board of the Center for Women and Gender Studies at Rutgers University. She is a former chair of the Joan Kelly Prize Committee of the American Historical Association and served on that association's annual program committee. A founding member of the Vivian G. Harsh Society of the Carter G. Woodson Library, she was a leader in the anti-apartheid movement, among other community activities, and is the author of two books and numerous journal articles, as well as a published poet.
    •  David Marques is the Technology & Media Coordinator of the Southwest Youth Collaborative. With a focus on education for liberation, civic engagement, organizational capacities, and bridging the digital divide, he has experience with various schools, non-profits, and social movement groups as a technologist, programs coordinator, and educator. He is on the board of Project Focus, the Advisory Group of AREA Chicago and serves with a number of other organizations including Fire This Time Fund, Teachers for Social Justice, Action Without Borders, Literacy Works, and the Chicago Global Donors Network. David is also a freelance photographer and audiographer.
    • Tracye Matthews is a historian, curator, and documentary filmmaker. She is currently the Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture at the University of Chicago, where she served as a Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in 2004-2005. She was the media curator for the Teen Chicago Project (2004) at the Chicago Historical Society (CHS?now Chicago History Museum). In 2003, she curated Harold Washington: The Man and The Movement, a major exhibition at CHS commemorating the twentieth anniversary of the election of Chicago's first Black mayor. In 2006, Matthews served on the steering committee for the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum's groundbreaking exhibition, The African Presence in Mexico: From Yanga to the Present. Presently, Matthews is in pre-production on a semi-autobiographical documentary exploring adoption in African American communities. She was previously an assistant professor in the Africana Studies Department at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Her work has been published in numerous anthologies and journals including Race and Class, Sisters in Struggle: African American Women in the Civil Rights-Black Power Movement, The Black Panther Party Reconsidered, and Black Women in the United States: An Historical Encyclopedia. She is currently writing a book on the gender and sexual politics of the Black Panther Party.
    • Salim Muwakkil is a senior editor of In These Times, where he has worked since 1983. He is currently a Crime and Communities Media Fellow of the Open Society Institute, examining the impact of ex-inmates and gang leaders in leadership positions in the black community. He is the host of the "Salim Muwakkil Show" on WVON, a Chicago-based radio station that provides an interactive forum for the African-American community to discuss current, social, economic, and political issues. Muwakkil is working on a documentary titled Chicago Gangs: An American Story and writing the text for a book of photographs documenting the tenure of Harold Washington, Chicago's first black mayor. He has also written for the Washington Post, Chicago Reader, The Progressive, Newsday, Cineaste, Chicago Magazine , the Baltimore Sun, Z Magazine, the Toronto Star , Emerge Magazine, The Black Scholar, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and Utne Reader. He has won a variety of journalism awards including the "Top Ten Media Heroes of 1994," from the Institute of Alternative Journalism, the "Black Rose Achievement Award for 1997," from the League of Black Women, the 2001 Studs Terkel Award for Journalistic Excellence from the Chicago-based Community Media Workshop and the 2004 Lillian Award for Excellence in Journalism, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. He also serves as a board member for the Progressive Media Project. He is a faculty member of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest's Urban Studies Program and a former adjunct professor at Columbia College, Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
    • Julie Parson Nesbitt is author of the poetry collection Finders (West End Press). She received the Gwendolyn Brooks "Significant Illinois Poet" Award and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. Her poetry has been published in journals and anthologies nationwide, including "Poetry Speaks Calendar," Identity Lessons (Penguin) and Stories From Where We Live (Milkweed Editions). She is co-editor of anthologies including Power Lines: A Decade of Poetry from Chicago's Guild Complex and Naming the Daytime of the Moon: Stories and Poems by Chicago Women. She works as a grant writer for the College of Architecture and the Arts at the University of Illinois-Chicago. She has previously served as development director for Young Chicago Authors, a non-profit organization that encourages creative writing among teens, and executive director of the Guild Complex, a cross-cultural literary arts center.
    • Yvonne Nieves earned her BA in Anthropology and minored in Sociology at Northeastern Illinois University, where she was most recognized for her years of dedication editing Que Ondee Sola, a decades-old Puerto Rican student-run publication. After her years of working with youth and as an activist in the Puerto Rican community, she co-founded and now heads Las Divas Promotions, a group of Latinas that partner with minority-owned businesses (like E>N>E: Chicago Rocks! and  Tribo Afro Bahiano de Capoeira Angola Tradicional - Chicago) as well as local rock bands. She took some time in 2008-2009 writing for and editing Rock Scarz Magazine. Nieves worked previously at The Field Museum's Center for Cultural Understanding and Change as well as the Community Renewal Society. She currently sits on the Readers' Bureau for The Chicago Reporter and on the Community Advisory Board for the Chicago Justice Project, performs with the Vida Bella Ensemble, and is a community leader at Pilsen Neighbors' Community Council.
    • David Perry is the Director of the Great Cities Institute and Professor of Urban Planning and Policy at University of Illinois at Chicago. Perry's work has appeared in the New York Times, The Nation, and Metropolis Magazine. He is currently series co-editor of the Urban Affairs Annual Reviews book series. Currently, he is serving as a member of the Mayor's Zoning Reform Commission in Chicago.
    • Gordon Quinn is Executive Director and founding member of Kartemquin Films. Quinn, who has been making documentaries for 40 years, is a 2007 recipient of the MacArthur award for Creative and Effective Institutions. His recent producing credits include such award winning and highly acclaimed films as Hoop Dreams; Vietnam, Long Time Coming; GOLUB 5 Girls; Refrigerator Mothers, and Stevie, for which he won the Cinematography Award at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. Most recently, he executive produced Mapping Stem Cell Research: Terra Incognita, andThe New Americans. Quinn also directed the Palestinian segment of this award-winning, intimate, seven-hour series that chronicles the journey taken by new immigrants to this country. He is currently directing a film on delayed posttraumatic stress syndrome, Prisoner of Her Past, producing a film that deals with the human consequences genetic medicine, and executive producing two films, one about community based conservation in Africa and another based on a wrongful execution in Texas. Quinn has been a long-time supporter of public media and community-based independent media groups, and served on the boards of several organizations including The National Coalition of Public Broadcast Producers, The Citizens Committee on the Media, The Chicago Public Access Corporation, The Illinois Humanities Council, and The Illinois Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
    • Matthew Rodriguez is the Lead Teacher and Assistant Director at the Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School. In his work with the Puerto Rican Cultural Center, he plans major events throughout the year that promote Puerto Rican culture and history and links community residents to the huge amount of resources that exist in the Puerto Rican community. The PRCC's programs include the Andr?s Figueroa Cordero Library and Community Information and Technology Center, Caf? Teatro Batey Urbano, Consuelo Lee Corretjer Day Care, La Casita de Don Pedro, and Vida/SIDA AIDS Education & Prevention Program. Rodriguez graduated from UIC with a B.A. in Sociology and M.A. in Education. He also does work around political prisoners with the National Borinqua Human Rights Network.
    • Ann Russo is currently the Director of the Women's and Gender Studies Program and an Associate Professor at DePaul University. She is the author of Taking Back Our Lives: A Call to Action in the Feminist Movement (2001) and co-editor of Talking Back and Acting Out: Women Negotiating the Media Across Cultures (2002) and Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism (1991). She has participated in local and national efforts to address interpersonal and state violence in women's lives, including work in Chicago with the Women and Girls Collective Action Network, Young Women's Empowerment Project, Queer White Allies Against Racism, YWCA's Chicago-Area Rape Crisis Line (on Advisory Council), Rape Victim Advocates, the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women's Network, and Beyondmedia's women and prison project.
    • James Thindwa is a long time social justice activist with 25 years experience. He is currently the Executive Director of Chicago Jobs with Justice, a coalition of labor, community, religious, civic, student, and policy organizations whose mission is to safeguard the right of workers to organize and to help build stable and sustainable communities. Chicago JWJ is a co-convener of Illinois Coalition for Peace and Justice, a leading voice in the opposition to Iraq War, a statewide coalition working to end the U.S. occupation. Recently, Thindwa and others coordinated a Chicago Forum on Zimbabwe, a public meeting on the human rights situation there. Previously, he was a lead organizer with Metro Seniors in Action, a city-wide coalition of organizations that advocate for seniors' interests, including health care, mass transit, prescription drugs, safety and more. He was also a consumer rights activist with Ohio Citizen Action and Citizen's Action Coalition of Indiana. Thindwa was a leader in the student anti-apartheid movement in 1970's and 80's and is originally from the country of Zimbabwe, in Southern Africa.
    • Angel Ysaguirre is currently the Director of Global Community Investing at The Boeing Company, in the Global Corporate Citizenship Department. He was Director of Programs at the Illinois Humanities Council, where he founded the Odyssey Project, a two-year, college-level humanities course for people who are living in poverty and started a humanities research program for inner city youth. He continues to teach courses on Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, and other southern writers at the Newberry Library.
    • Carol Becker, Emeritus, is Dean of the Columbia University School of Arts. Previously, she held the post of the Dean of Faculty and a professor of writing and liberal arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her books include Surpassing the Spectacle: Global Transformations and The Changing Politics of Art, The Invisible Drama: Women and the Anxiety of Change, The Subversive Imagination: Artists, Society, and Social Responsibility, and Zones of Contention: Essays on Art, Institutions, Gender, and Anxiety. As a writer and critic, she focuses on artists in society, cultural studies, and feminist issues.