Singing in Dark Times: Stanley Howard, Marvin Reeves, Mark Clements, Michelle Howard, Alice Kim, & Bill Ayers

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Bill Ayers

At this special event in the Singing in Dark Times series, Bill Ayers will be in conversation with Stanley Howard via call-in from prison, Marvin Reeves, Mark Clements, Michelle Howard, and Alice Kim on Tortured by Blue: The Chicago Police Torture Story

At the Co-op

RSVP HERE (Please note that your RSVP is requested but not required.)

About the book: This is the story of how Chicago became home to a police corruption scandal involving the systematic torture of scores of African Americans by former Chicago Police Department Commander Jon Burge and white detectives under his supervision. It's a tragic story that reveals how a small group of white Chicago cops elicited tortured confessions from criminal suspects in their custody, which were used to send many of them to prison or death row. But it's also a story of struggle and perseverance as torture survivors and their families linked up with lawyers, activists and others to expose what happened and to win justice for the survivors. 

About the authors: Stanley Howard is a co-founder of the Death Row 10, a group of Black men on Illinois' death row who were tortured by Burge and his detectives. While on death row, they self-organized and worked with the Campaign to End the Death Penalty to organize a grassroots campaign seeking justice for the Death Row 10 and to abolish Illinois' death penalty. Although Howard was pardoned by Governor George Ryan in 2003, he remains incarcerated on another charge and remains a stalwart fighter for freedom and justice. 

Marvin Reeves was exonerated in 2009 after serving 21 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit. Reeves and his co-defendant Ronald Kitchen were wrongfully convicted of multiple murders and arson in 1990 based on a tortured confession from Kitchen and the testimony of a jailhouse snitch. Since winning his freedom, Reeves has continued to advocate for Burge survivors who remain incarcerated. 

Mark Clements is a Learning Fellow with the Chicago Torture Justice Center and a long-time organizer and activist against police violence. When he was 16 years old, Mark confessed to a crime he did not commit after being tortured by Chicago police detectives. He served 28 years behind bars before he was finally released. Mark was a leader in the Chicago reparations campaign for Burge torture survivors and organizes courtroom support for survivors who remain incarcerated. 

Michelle Howard, who is married to Stanley Howard, is long-time Chicago activist who organized with the Campaign to End the Death Penalty and the Enough is Enough campaign. For nearly two decades, she has been a critical voice and source of support for torture survivors and their family members. 

Alice Kim is a longtime activist who was an organizer with the Campaign to End the Death Penalty and worked closely with the Death Row 10. Kim co-edited The Long Term: Resisting Life Sentences, Working Toward Freedom (Haymarket 2018) and teaches at Stateville Prison, a maximum security prison for men. She is a co-founder of Chicago Torture Justice Memorials and Director of Human Rights Practice at University of Chicago.  

About the interlocutor: Bill Ayers is a social justice activist, teacher, Distinguished Professor of Education (retired) at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and author of two memoirs, Fugitive Days and Public Enemy.

Event Location: 
The Seminary Co-op Bookstore
5751 S Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637