April 26, 2019
Race & Place: Young Adults and the Future of Chicago – Co-Hosted with The University of Chicago Office of Civic Engagement – Cathy Cohen, Jahmal Cole & Michelle Morales- moderated by Natalie Moore
Cathy J. Cohen is the David and Mary Winton Green Professor at the University of Chicago. She is the author of two books, The Boundaries of Blackness: AIDS and the Breakdown of Black Politics and Democracy Remixed: Black Youth and the Future of American Politics . Cohen is also co-editor of the anthology Women Transforming Politics: An Alternative Reader (NYU Press) with Kathleen Jones and Joan Tronto. Her articles have been published in numerous journals and edited volumes including the American Political Science Review, NOMOS, GLQ, Social Text, and the DuBois Review. Cohen is the founder and director of the Black Youth Project and the GenForward Survey.
A champion of social justice, Jahmal Cole’s mission is to build a more interconnected Chicago on the pillars of service and education. As the founder and CEO of the city’s fastest growing social impact organization, My Block, My Hood, My City, Jahmal is the creator of an exposure-based education program for teens and a network of volunteer initiatives that serve Chicago communities year-round. Traveling, youth mentorship and community organizing are the subjects of Jahmal’s highly acclaimed books and speeches, He has spoken to audiences ranging from high school students to the Mayor of Chicago. Jahmal is most recently the recipient of the 2019 Champion of Freedom Award from Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the 2018 Chicago Defender Men of Excellence Honoree, and the 2018 Chicago City Council Resolution Award. In 2018, he was also named one of the “20 Most Inspiring Chicagoans” by Streetwise Magazine and a Chicagoan of the Year by Chicago Magazine.
Michelle Morales is the Chief Executive Officer of Mikva Challenge Illinois. Prior to Mikva Challenge, she worked predominately in the field of alternative education, as a teacher at an alternative high school in Chicago’s Humboldt Park community and then as a Program Manager and Associate Director at the Alternative Schools Network (ASN). At Mikva Challenge Illinois, Michelle leads a staff of 27 that provides professional development and training to over 250 Chicago Public School teachers in the area of action civics and student-centered teaching, as well as facilitating 8 youth councils throughout that inform major city institutions. She received a BA from DePaul University, a Master’s in Special Education from UIC and a Master’s in Educational Leadership from Northeastern Illinois University. Michelle is also a fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago.
Having worked with youth in a variety of capacities, Michelle is passionate about the wealth of expertise and wisdom that youth possess. Understanding that they continue to be a group that is largely marginalized and disenfranchised, she has committed her career to reminding others of the power of youth voice and involvement and ensuring that spaces are created throughout Chicago that empower youth.
Natalie Moore is WBEZ’s South Side Reporter where she covers segregation and inequality.
Her enterprise reporting has tackled race, housing, economic development, food injustice and violence. Natalie’s work has been broadcast on the BBC, Marketplace and NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition. Natalie is the author of The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation, winner of the 2016 Chicago Review of Books award for nonfiction and a Buzzfeed best nonfiction book of 2016. She is also co-author of The Almighty Black P Stone Nation: The Rise, Fall and Resurgence of an American Gang and Deconstructing Tyrone: A New Look at Black Masculinity in the Hip-Hop Generation.