Facilitators: Christophe Ringer & Toy Robinson
Guest Artist: Aaron Hughes

About the Discussion:

This workshop engages participants in ongoing reimagining of human rights in the work of social justice.  Human rights violations are often presented as something that goes on ‘over there.’ However, issues such as wealth-based pretrial incarceration, reproductive justice, police brutality and clean water represent clear human rights issues.  Moreover, this workshop will address the quest to build a culture of human rights in our local communities.

About the Art-Making Activity:

________ is a Human Right

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was crafted by member states and approved by the United Nations in 1948. In thirty separate articles, the document articulates universal rights that are, in most places, ideals and not norms. While the articles were written by nation states, Human Rights mean the most when demanded by the people most targeted and impacted by structural racism and state violence. Often these people articulate their own vision of Human Rights beyond what was outlined by member states by demanding: Freedom, Water, Movement, Justice, Education, or ______ is a Human Right.

In a workshop informed by the exhibited edition of block prints created by incarcerated artists at Stateville Prison, activist artist Aaron Hughes pulls from a tradition of Human Rights protests to create picket signs with participants that make the diverse vision of Human Rights visible. Guests will be invited to reflect on the incarcerated artists’ demands and articulate their own demands on a ” ______ is a Human Right” screen printed picket sign. Once the signs have been made, guests will be invited to participate in a procession around the Sullivan Galleries Building, bringing these demands into the public space. These signs and the procession become ways to make visible and discuss the ideals and limits of Human Rights from the vantage point of incarceration—where human rights are a daily struggle.


If you require translation services or have other accessibility requests, please contact Tyreece Williams at


More about the workshops:
Professor Christophe Ringer leads this series of five workshops designed to spark conversation, creativity, and movement toward a Chicago that is just for all.

Each workshop will include a short reading or viewing of an artwork in the Envisioning Justice exhibition, a facilitated small group discussion, and an artist-led prompt and artmaking activity.

Learn more about all 5 workshops:

Reimagining Place – August 21st

Reimagining Safety – August 24th

Reimagining Freedom – August 28th

Reimagining Social Responsibility – September 14th

Reimagining Human Rights – September 28th

This workshop is presented in partnership with Illinois Humanities’ The Odyssey Project.