IllinoisHumanities

Circles & Ciphers

Mission

Circles & Ciphers is a hip-hop infused restorative justice organization led by and for young people impacted by violence. Through art-based peace circles, education, and direct action we collectively heal and work to bring about the abolition of the prison-industrial complex.

Values 

RESPECTING THE WISDOM OF YOUNG PEOPLE, ELDERS, AND ANCESTORS.

We honor those who came before us as we move forward. Learning from our ancestors helps us on our journey to creating a new sovereign community based on principals of restoration and transformation. We honor the voices of young people as being the best way forward. We ask our elders to build new models of safe communities with young people.

RESTORATIVE AND TRANSFORMATIVE JUSTICE

At the center of our work are restorative justice peace circles. Circles for healing. Circles for celebrating. Circles for understanding. We reject and challenge the systems of mass incarceration, white supremacy and all injustice. We do this through our circle work, by partnering with other like-minded organizations. We practice and model compassion. We practice and model respect. We practice and model leadership. We practice and model fearlessness. We begin with ourselves, our families, our neighborhood, our city.

EXPRESSION THROUGH THE ARTS

We recognize that music and poetry and story and movement help us work towards that freedom we imagine. Whenever we share space, we endeavor to use the arts.

IMAGINATION

We imagine a world where all people are free. Free from cages. Free from poverty and injustice. Free of fear. We use our collective imagination to actively push against systems that keep us bound – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Hub Staff/Organizers

AnnMarie Brown, Hub Director

In 2017 AnnMarie received her B.S. from Purdue University-West Lafayette majoring in Multidisciplinary Engineering with a focus in Apparel Design and Technology.

Emmanuel Andre

Hub Partner

Jonathan Peck

Consultant: Advisor, Trainer and Facilitator

Jonathan St. Clair

Project Leader

Akeem Soyan

Teaching Artist

Cassius Batts

Teaching Artist

Ethan Viets Van Lier

Teaching Artist

Michael Abedayo

Teaching Artist

Shiyaa Mitchell

Teaching Artist

Sherrif Polk

Teaching Artist

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