Summer Training 2013

Apply now for the Chicago Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) Teaching Collective Summer Training on the PIC

The Chicago Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) Teaching Collective is seeking participants for an in-depth training and volunteer program during the summer of 2013. After attending a series of 8 workshops and participating in a volunteer internship, interested individuals are invited to apply to join the collective. The training aims to recruit and train new volunteers to support organizing against mass incarceration, either through our collective or through other organizations.

What is the Chicago PIC Teaching Collective?

The Chicago Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) Teaching Collective is an all-volunteer group that organizes interactive workshops, film screenings, and trainings which aim to inspire action.  We also produce educational materials and resources. We focus on practical steps to inspire, inform, and enable action, and on how to develop workable alternatives to the PIC.

Our primary goals are motivate people to take positive action against the mass incarceration system and to help build a base of individuals across the city who are committed to dismantling the PIC.

Why we’re offering a training

In 2010-2011 we created a four-hour basic training on the PIC that we offer around the city. Members of the collective also produce ‘zines and events to raise awareness about mass incarceration. We are all involved in organizing and/or social service work that relates to prisons and the criminal legal system.

We want you to join us, share your knowledge and life experience and gain concrete tools for organizing through the summer 2013 training. We’re recruiting possible new members for the collective through this training, but joining the collective is not required. Participants will, however, be asked to volunteer with an organization doing anti-PIC work. That means additional work including volunteer responsibilities will take place in between meetings. Volunteer placements will be individually determined based on your skills and interests and the needs of the projects we partner with, and you are welcome to apply with an idea already in mind.

Training topics will include PIC 101 and history, youth, immigration, LGBTQ issues, gender and class and the PIC, mental health and the non-profit industrial complex, and restorative and transformative justice.

When and where?

The eight workshops are June 15, June 22, June 29, July 13, July 20, July 27, August 3 and August 10. All workshops will take place at the Jane Addams Hull House Museum at 800 S. Halsted from 1pm-5pm.  The Hull House space is wheelchair accessible.

More on our work

The PIC Teaching Collective consists of about fifteen volunteers. We are sponsored by Project NIA, an organization working to end youth incarceration by developing community-based alternatives.

How do we define Popular Education?

The objective of popular education is for people to have more control over their own lives.  As such the educational method should not contradict this by treating participants as passive learners who require input of knowledge or information from a teacher or expert.  An approach to education that focuses on content may increase an individual’s knowledge but this does not thereby enable him or her to take action.  In our experience it is not a lack of knowledge or information that keeps people from taking action but rather a lack of confidence or ability in analyzing the information they already know.

Popular education values and respects people as their own experts, and challenges the notion that the educator or organizer’s role is as an expert who works “for” people.  It is based on the belief that people themselves have sufficient knowledge and that they can work out the solutions to their own problems.

What is the PIC?

Communities Against Rape and Abuse (CARA) defines it as “a massive multi-billion dollar industry that promotes the exponential expansion of prisons, jails, immigrant detention centers, and juvenile detention centers. The PIC is represented by corporations that profit from incarceration, politicians who target people of color so that they appear to be ‘tough on crime,’and the media that represents a slanted view of how crime looks in our communities. In order to survive, the PIC uses propaganda to convince the public how much we need prisons; uses public support to strengthen harmful law-and-order agendas such as the “War on Drugs” and the “War on Terrorism”; uses these agendas to justify imprisoning disenfranchised people of color, poor people, and people with disabilities; leverages the resulting increasing rate of incarceration for prison-related corporate investments (construction, maintenance, goods and services); pockets the profit; and uses profit to create more propaganda.”

Requirements to apply

  • A commitment to attend at least 6 of the 8 trainings and complete the readings
  • A commitment to follow the training with 9 months participation in work around the PIC
  • Openness to learning and collaboration
  • Apply by May 15, 2013


Please contact Mariame Kaba, with questions.