Alumni & Outreach
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RIOTcon 2018: Climates of Change--Save the Date! 

In April 2018, we will once again bring the top scholars, artisits, activists, and community leaders together to discuss the raging issues of today. If you would like to be informed about new speakers and workshops as the conference draws near, please register HERE

When: Friday, April 20 and Saturday, April 21, 2018
Where: Chicago Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL

RIOTcon 2016: Mapping a Movement

In April 2016, we focused on the history, organization and necessary tools for social justice movements. These two days featured a dynamic program and training schedule, including three keynote addresses, panel discussions and workshops led by the brightest minds of today.

When: Friday, April 15 and Saturday, April 16, 2016
Where: Chicago Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL

Learn more about this conference and its speakers here:

To view our playlist of panel live streams, click here: RIOTcon 2016 Playlist

Selma at 50: Still Marching

In April 2015, we celebrated the enduring legacy of the civil rights movement through "Selma at 50: Still Marching," our 2015 Spring Conference. Through presentations, conversation, and practical workshops led by local and national experts, including the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr. and Michelle Alexander (author of The New Jim Crow), we began to create new strategies that address some of the most urgent issues of our day.

When: Friday, April 24 and Saturday, April 25, 2015
Where: Chicago Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL

Learn more about this conference and its speakers here:

To view our playlist of panel live streams, click here: Selma at 50 Playlist

Scholars and Experts


Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr. (M. Div., 2000; D. Min. honorus causa 1969) is a civil rights activist, author, and minister with deep roots in the American civil rights struggle. Born in Greenville, SC in 1941, Jackson attended the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign on a football scholarship before transferring to North Carolina A&T University where he completed a bachelor's degree in sociology in 1964. Upon graduating, Jackson deepened his engagement with the civil rights struggle and joined Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Selma, AL the following year to work with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Jackson moved with his family to Chicago in 1966 and went on to found Operation PUSH in 1971. Throughout his varied career in politics and advocacy, Jackson has continued to push for equal rights for African Americans.

Michelle Alexander is a highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, advocate, and legal scholar. In recent years, she has taught at a number of universities,including Stanford Law School, where she was an associate professor of law and directed the Civil Rights Clinics. In 2005, she won a Soros Justice Fellowship, which supported the writing of The New Jim Crow (2010), and that same year she accepted a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University. Prior to entering academia, Alexander served as the director of the Racial Justice Project for the ACLU of Northern California, where she coordinated the Project's media advocacy, grassroots organizing, coalition building, and litigation. In addition to her nonprofit advocacy experience, Alexander has worked as a litigator at private law firms including Saperstein, Goldstein, Demchak & Baller, in Oakland, California, where she specialized in plaintiff-side class-action lawsuits alleging race and gender discrimination. Alexander is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Vanderbilt University. Following law school, she clerked for Justice Harry A. Blackmun on the U.S. Supreme Court and for Chief Judge Abner Mikva on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Additional experts in the public humanities are being confirmed for "Selma at 50: Still Marching." CTS is proud to work in partnership with the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture at the University of Chicago on this conference. Together, we will engage a wide variety of speakers and facilitators across the range of human experience.