Check It Out

TONIGHT (and beyond)!

We’re sending you this email because we…thought you would be interested in Project&’s new initiative, Working in America.

One part photography exhibition, one part radio series, and one part public forum, Working in America chronicles the everyday challenges, triumphs and realities of working (and not working).

Working in America opens to the public tonight, Wednesday, September 14 at 6pm at the Harold Washington Library in Chicago–and we hope you will join us.

The free event will begin with a panel discussion led by Alex Kotlowitz, the author of several books including There Are No Children Here. Confirmed panelists include:

Ai-Jen Poo, Executive Director, Domestic Workers Alliance & MacArthur Fellow

Lynsey Addario, Pulitzer Prize-winning MacArthur Fellow, Project& Fellow, & Working in America photographer

Lucia McBath, individual featured in the exhibit, Mother, Gun Policy Advocate & Activist

Roque Sanchez, individual featured in the exhibit, Custodial Worker & Student

Jeffrey McGee, individual featured in the exhibit ,Facilities Manager & formerly incarcerated Drug Dealer.

Gary Bryner, individual featured in the exhibit, Retired General Motors Worker & Union Member, and subject in Studs Terkel’s book, Working.

Guests will then be invited to view the exhibit, which features the photography of Lynsey Addario, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer and MacArthur Fellow. The exhibit was designed by Jeanne Gang, also a MacArthur Fellow and Architectural Review’s 2016 Architect of the Year, and curated by Jane M. Saks, the president and artistic director of Project&.

While viewing the exhibit, guests will be invited to share their own “Working Stories,” which will then be featured on our public archive at To see a preview of submissions, please visit us on Instagram at @WorkinginAmerica.

Working in America is ultimately inspired by, celebrates, and brings forward the tradition of Studs Terkel and his influential book, Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do (1974).

Therefore, we invite you to tune into NPR on September 25 for our radio series, produced in collaboration with Radio Diaries. The series, which will air on both Morning Edition and All Things Considered, will feature both the unpublished field recordings of Terkel collected for the book and new content collected for Working in America.

To receive the latest updates and exclusive content about Working in America, subscribe to our newsletter. Please be sure to check your email and confirm your opt-in.

We hope that you will join us tonight at the Harold Washington Library!


Jane M. Saks and the Project& team

Project& collaborates with artists to create new models of cultural participation with social impact. We amplify artistic voices that risk, engage, investigate and inspire, highlighting issues at the forefront of our time including: race, justice, access and equity, identity, gender, cultures of violence, human rights, and economic inequality. As we seed chance through artist collaboration, we spark chain reactions and consequences that set cultural participation in motion in ways we cannot anticipate or predict.


Website Wednesday

Website Wednesday is an occasional feature in which we highlight one (or a couple) of sites from the Billions floating around the Intertoobz that just might help you with your Herculean task of educating inquiring minds. Any and all suggestions for future editions are welcome.

Another list! This time the “50 Best Free Education Web Tools” of 2013. Some of them were around before 2013, but there are a bunch on there that I haven’t seen before and look useful. Check it out. If you’ve used any, let us know your opinion of it.

Awesome Literature Event: Amina Gautier Visits Monday

An invitation to you (and your classes) from Jacob Wilkenfeld (English):

A reading by award-winning fiction writer Amina Gautier, author of At-Risk (2011)  
Monday, October 7, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. in Room 1115
Dr. Amina Gautier is the winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction for her short story collection At-Risk.More than seventy-five of her stories have been published, appearing in Best African American Fiction, Glimmer Train, Iowa Review, Kenyon Review, North American Review, and Southern Review among other places. Her stories have won the Crazyhorse Fiction Prize, the Danahy Prize, the Jack Dyer Prize, the Schlafly Microfiction Award, and the William Richey Award as well as scholarships and fellowships from the American Antiquarian Society, Breadloaf Writer’s Conference, Sewanee Writer’s Conference, and Ucross Foundation, as well as artist grants from the Illinois Arts Council and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.
Event Sponsored by the HWC Student Government Association and the Creative Writing Club 

Website Wednesday

Though it’s been on a bit of a hiatus this semester (Website Wednesday, I mean), I’ve recently come across a few Web tools that I wanted to share:

~Storify: Have you seen this? It’s a super tool for storytelling, potentially useable for everything from student projects to building teaching narratives to the teaching of narrative and storytelling technique. It’s free (just an email signup), and allows you to search web products (video, blog posts, tweets and more) and build (by dragging and dropping and inserting text in between items) a story that you want to tell. It’s really great and really easy to use. Check it out if you haven’t seen it already.

~TimeToast: I’ve been looking for a good timeline tool for years, but most of the ones I’ve seen are either really clunky or littered with ads. This one is slick and not ad-tastically overwhelming. Not perfect, but really functional and cool looking and free (again, with an email sign up). I like it. This is a sweet concept mapping tool that makes it easy to build flowcharts, timelines, concept maps and more. The interface takes a little playing with to figure out, but once you master the hover then click move and play with it a little, it all makes sense. Again, FREE (just an email sign up) and a really nice support for content organization (by faculty or students) and visualization.

I have recommended all three of these as tools for my students to use in the course of their studying, suggesting to them that one way to both master and verify mastery of material is to tell a story about it. All three of these tools help students and teachers construct and organize their knowledge.


Tonight on Campus–The Interrupters

Just in case you missed it in the last post: Humanities adjunct extraordinaire Nick Fraccaro has managed to wrangle a screening of The Interrupters–the latest film from Chicago’s cinematic magic makers, Kartemquin Films (the group that did Hoop Dreams), who have teamed with Chicago super author and injustice documentarian, Alex Kotlowitz (There Are No Children Here) to tell the story of CeaseFire.

This movie is a likely candidate for an Oscar nomination, and not yet out in theaters, yet it will be screened for HWC at 7pm TONIGHT as part of Humanifest-OH! (the Humanities department’s annual celebration of the arts) with a guest speaker. Go if you can; tell your students if at all possible.

Put Your Thinkers On: Chicago Humanities Festival

That’s right, it’s Chicago Humanities Festival Time!

(Mostly) free events for students and educators alike (see here for details) that feature leading thinkers, doers, and artists (thinking doers), all organized around this year’s theme Tech-KnowledgÊ (pronounced “technology”).

You may have seen something about Evanston day a couple of weeks ago, featuring a talk by Sci-Fi author William Gibson, or last weekend’s Hyde Park day. Fear not, there’s plenty (as in 60 events) yet to come scattered around the city (including a reading by Umberto Eco, a talk by Common, and more!) spread over the next two weeks.

Check out the schedule here (by date) or click on the topics (Philosophy, Literature, etc.). Share the news with your students. Give them extra credit for going and writing it up. Go see something yourself. It’s a great, great, opportunity afforded by our living in a great, great (in many ways) city.

Drinks and Dithyrambs

Put it on your calendar:

Wednesday, September 7th, 5:30-8:30pm @ the Poetry Foundation (61 West Superior)

“Celebrate the library’s expanded fall hours by exploring its 30,000 volume non-circulating collection. Record a public domain poem for our web archive or have your fortune told in poetry. Local poets read from their favorite works in the library’s collection. Complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres served.”

Admission: FREE

The Ephrem-Vincent Show

A reminder from Blackboard guru Ephrem Rabin about an Educational Technology session he’s co-hosting with our Computer Lab Wizard Vince Wiggins on Friday, April 1st:

Educational Technology Q and A session that Vincent Wiggins and I are hosting  from 12:00 – 2:00 in room 407. Faculty can drop in to room 407 or log in to Elluminate to participate. Details are available at Ephrem’s Blackboard Blog at

Open to anyone and everyone.

Event Reminder: Jesse White Visits HW

From our email:

Please Join us for a conversation with
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White
at Harold Washington College
on March 31 at 9:30 am
In Room 1115

Bring your class!!!  Bring your friends!

A few interesting Secretary Jesse White Facts:
  • He played professional baseball with the Chicago Cubs organization before becoming a teacher with CPS.
  • He was an all-city baseball and basketball player at Chicago’s Waller High School (now Lincoln Park High School)
  • In 1959, White founded the internationally known Jesse White Tumbling Team to serve as a positive alternative for children residing in and around the Chicago area. Since its inception, more than 11,500 young men and women have performed with the team.

Free History Event For Students

News of this very cool event arrived via an email from Jackie Kirley (retired History):

To friends in academic settings:  note students attend Free.

On Thursday, April 7th the Working Women’s History Project will host an event  commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, the fire that changed America.

On March 25, 1911, a fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City took the lives of 146 workers unable to escape the fire.  Many jumped from the 9th floor; others died piled up in front of a locked door.  Almost all were immigrants.

Public outrage and grief at this horrific tragedy led to new work and safety regulations and general acceptance of collective bargaining.  Workers had struck clothing factories two years earlier to protest terrible working conditions and low pay, but to no avail at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. This tragedy brought reform.

Tickets are $25 ( $30 at the door).  They can be purchased online at or by mail using the accompanying flyer.

Students attend FREE but must register by email to: and bring a current ID with them.

The event includes

  • a light buffet with wine
  • an original play on the Triangle Fire told from the perspectives of an attorney, one deceased young woman, one survivor – woman, a family member of victim, and the factory owner.
  • a historian who authored a book on the Triangle Fire, an OSHA compliance officer, the Midwestern VP of the American Society of Safety Engineers, and the Executive Director of Jobs with Justice who will examine changes in work safety regulations, manufacturing in a global economy, and the organizing of workers.

It is noteworthy that today America is revisiting the debate about worker rights. Come and join the discussion in the Question & Answer period following the panel.


Jackie Kirley       Information at or 773.667.4690

Story Week @ Columbia College

It’s that time of year again:

From Sunday, March 13 through Friday, March 18, the Columbia College Chicago Fiction Writing Department presents its 15th Annual Story Week Festival of Writers: Class Acts.This year’s theme will spark discussion among Story Week participants about how issues of class manifest themselves in creative works and the rapidly changing world of publishing. It also reflects the high quality of writing from this year’s featured guests.

As it has for the last 15 years, Story Week 2011 will offer six days jam-packed with readings, conversations with authors, panels, performances, and book signings at venues throughout Chicago—all free and open to the public. It is co-sponsored in part by the Chicago Public Library and Metro.

Tell your students. Free is good. Literature is good. Free Literature is awesome.