Books for changing the world

Organizing for Educational Justice, Chicago Style: Ballots, Books, & Beyond

In recent years, Chicago-area parents, teachers, and youth have built successful grassroots campaigns to win reforms, challenge the priorities of city officials, and capture local elected offices. Educational justice and Black Liberation cannot be made in the classroom alone, at the ballot box alone, or even in the streets alone. Join this conversation with Chicago-area activists to learn more about how their recent work has unfolded, what they’ve learned, and what’s next.



Kaleb Autman is a Chicago-based creative director and producer, educator, writer, scholar, community organizer, and political strategist. His work focuses on (youth) incarceration, police violence, conscience media making, and social inequities. At the age of 18, this nationally published and internationally traveled social justice scholar has contributed to over 25 political campaigns, ranging from unseating a corrupt states attorney to delivering personal goods and community to people in developing countries. His work is built upon the necessity of relationships and accountability. He has been published by many outlets like Apple, BET, ABC, Truthout, and many more to come in the future.

Stacy Davis Gates is the Vice President of the Chicago Teachers Union. In 2019, she helped to lead a 15-day strike and to negotiate an historic contract that provides for smaller class sizes, ensures a nurse and social worker in every Chicago public school, secures sanctuary protections for immigrant families, and supports students and families experiencing homelessness.

David O. Stovall is Professor in the Department of Black Studies and in the Department of Criminology, Law & Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His scholarship uses Critical Race Theory to interrogate the relationship between race, place and school. In addition to his duties and responsibilities as a university professor, he works with students, teachers, parents and community stakeholders to abolish the school/prison nexus.

Hosted by Bettina Love and Brian Jones


Produced by Haymarket Books, co-sponsored by the Abolitionist Teaching Network & the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture