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May 18


Hosted by Bernardine Dohrn + Bill Ayers
Produced by Kamila Rashied
Artists Mikel Patrick Avery, James Britt, David Anthony Geary + Rhonda Wheatley.

Join us in the Kenwood community for an evening of sweet taboos. There will be storytelling, tarot reading and other forms of divination with healer and artist Rhonda Wheatley, live art and meditations on the circle motif with artist David Anthony Geary, exploring urban legends and mythology with artist James Britt and music by Mikel Patrick Avery. 

Bernardine Dohrn, activist, academic, international child rights and women’s advocate, is retired Clinical Associate Professor at Northwestern University School of Law, and founding director of the Children and Family Justice Center for 24 years. Dohrn is an author/co-editor of three books: Race Course: Against White Supremacy; A Century of Juvenile Justice; and Resisting Zero Tolerance:  A Handbook for Parents, Teachers and Students. Dohrn was a Lecturer at the University of Chicago (where she graduated from the College and Law School) and is visiting professor, Leiden University faculty of law, the Netherlands.

William Ayers, formerly Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), and founder of both the Small Schools Workshop and the Center for Youth and Society, is a graduate of the University of Michigan, the Bank Street College of Education, Bennington College, and Teachers College, Columbia University. Ayers has written extensively about social justice, democracy and education, the cultural contexts of schooling, and teaching as an essentially intellectual, ethical, and political enterprise. He is a former vice-president of the curriculum division of the American Educational Research Association.His articles have appeared in many journals including the Harvard Educational Review, the Journal of Teacher Education, Teachers College Record, Rethinking Schools, the Nation, Educational Leadership, the New York Times, and the Cambridge Journal of Education. His books include Teaching Toward Freedom, The Good Preschool Teacher, A Kind and Just Parent, Teaching the Personal and the Political, Fugitive Days, Public Enemy, and with Ryan Alexander-Tanner, To Teach: The Journey, in Comics, with Rick Ayers, Teaching the Taboo: Courage and Commitment in the Classroom, and with Bernardine Dohrn, Race Course: Against White Supremacy.


Kamilah Rashied is performance artist, writer, educator, producer and arts administrator. She is a double alumnus of DePaul University where she received her BFA in Performance at the Theater School and her MFA in Arts Leadership. She has worked from every angle of cultural production working in capacities as an artist, educator and producer across several disciplines. She has contributed to the development of new and ongoing projects at many venerable arts and culture organizations in Chicago, some include: the Art Institute of Chicago, the School at the Art Institute, Columbia College Chicago, Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Library, Chicago Public Schools, Illinois Humanities, Rebuild Foundation, Open TV, Woman Made Gallery, Young Chicago Authors, Revival Arts Collective, The Silver Room, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Victory Gardens Theater, Writers Theatre, and the Court Theatre. 

Interdisciplinary artist Mikel Patrick Avery has been active within the Chicago area for the past 12 years. Established as a jazz drummer, he is commonly recognized for his orchestral and melodic style of drumming that often involves the use of unconventional "non-musical" objects. As well as being a performing musician, Mikel is a dedicated composer, photographer, producer and educator. In recent years, Mikel has become an integral voice in varying ensembles including; Rob Mazurek's Moon Cycles, Joshua Abrams' Natural Information Society, The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, and Theaster Gates' Black Monks of Mississippi as well as leading several of his own projects including; 1/2 Size Piano Trio, Rats+Star, and Mikel Patrick Avery PLAY. Mikel has had the privilege to perform at some of the world’s greatest outlets including at Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park, the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), Documenta 13 (in Kassel Germany), Kepler Studio (Berlin), Guelph Jazz Festival, White Cube (London), MCA Chicago and a performance for President Barack Obama.

Visual artist James Britt uses various forms of media to create satirical allegories about popular culture. Through these visual expressions, Britt seeks to cultivate a space where personal and collective conversations occur about the social phenomena represented in his work. He is currently a part of a group exhibition at the Hyde Park Art Center entitled, "The Presidential Library Project: Black Presidential Imaginary."  Britt is pursuing a MFA in the Art Theory and Practice Department at Northwestern University.  

David Anthony Geary is an artist working in a variety of mediums. His visual training took place in New Orleans, LA at Xavier University. He remained in this uniquely attractive city to absorb as much of its great culture and heritage as he could. Inspired by beauty. Culture and life experiences fill his work along with the discovery of newness. Constantly pushing, searching and discovering the new while at the same time holding on to the old. It's not just an aspect of David's art but an aspect of his character that finds its way into the art. Communicating his perspective of the world around him through a visual language, he became fluent in many dialects of visual art. Building a career as an artist, an educator, as well as a family in New Orleans, has greatly influenced his work both visually and conceptually. His work incorporates painting, printmaking, collage, assemblage, sculpture or photography. The nuance of the human experience, both the introspective and observed are an integral part of his process.


Rhonda Wheatley is a multidisciplinary artist whose sculptures, paintings, written works, and interactive performance projects are grounded in the speculative and metaphysical and explore healing, consciousness expansion, and transformation. She’s had solo exhibitions at Hyde Park Art Center, David Weinberg Gallery and FLATFILEgalleries and group shows at spaces such as Gallery 400, Glass Curtain Gallery, and the Koehnline Museum of Art, as well as Walter Maciel Gallery in Los Angeles, G.R. N’Namdi Gallery in Detroit and the Black Fine Art Show in New York City. Wheatley also teaches art and writing, leads wellness and personal development workshops, practices several energy healing modalities, and gives tarot card readings. Wheatley earned a BA in English Literature with a minor in African American Studies from Loyola University, Chicago and an MA in Writing from DePaul University.