Social Justice Talks 2017

Social Justice Talks 2017

The SSA African American Alumni Committee of the Alumni Association is excited to host its first annual Social Justice Talks in honor of Black History Month. The broad theme of the Social Justice Talks was created to give voice to the unique and scholarly perspectives of some of Chicago's most prominent leaders, educators, and researchers presenting their ideas and solutions around areas such as violence, race, education, and politics. Events are $5 for each talk, per person or free to students. All attendees are invited to join us for light refreshments, cocktails, and networking beginning at 6:00 p.m. Register now!

This year's Social Justice Talks are as follows:

Wednesday, February 1
6:00-7:30 p.m.
SSA Lobby, 969 E. 60th St. Chicago, IL 60637
Racism and Politics: Stories and Perspectives on Race, Society and Education presented by: Troy LaRaviere, President, Chicago Principals and Administrators Association

A kid at the ‘85 Bears Super Bowl Victory Parade; a teenager looking for a skating rink; A college student trying to park in his girlfriend’s driveway; a driver mis-judging the length of a yellow light, a biker struck by a car, a father carrying boxes to a UPS store. I have been all of those people, and I have been those people in the presence of Chicago Policemen.

But something else was present in each of those circumstances; a seemingly omnipresent force that made me appear far less law-abiding than a Bears Fan reveling in a Super Bowl victory, far less innocent than a teenager looking for a skating rink, and far more malevolent than a driver running a red-light. The result was a series of hostile and sometimes violent interactions; interactions that would have never happened had that force not existed

That force has been centuries in the making and it goes by many names: prejudice and bias are but two of them.

Wednesday, February 15
6:00-7:30 p.m.
SSA Lobby, 969 E. 60th St. Chicago, IL 60637
The Black Woman's Perspective presented by: Eve Ewing, EdD, AB '08, SSA Postdoctoral Scholar, and Alicia McLaughlin, PhD, LCSW, AM '00, Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, IL 

Note: Persons with disabilities or anyone requiring special accommodations, please contact Carmella Snook at or call 773.702.9700.

Register now!

Presenter Bios:

eve ewingEve L. Ewing, EdD, (AB '08) is a Provost’s Career Enhancement Postdoctoral Fellow for 2016-18 at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration (SSA), beginning a faculty appointment as an Assistant Professor at SSA in the 2018-19 academic year.

As a qualitative sociologist of education, Ewing’s work focuses on racism and inequality, and the impact of these social structures on American public schools and the lived experiences of young people. She joins SSA from the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), where she received a doctorate in 2016. While at HGSE she served as Editor and Co-Chair of the Harvard Educational Review. Her dissertation, "Shuttered Schools in the Black Metropolis: Race, History, and Discourse on Chicago’s South Side," explored the context of the 2013 public school closures in Chicago, and the relationship between such closures and the structural history of race and racism in Chicago's Bronzeville community. Currently, she is developing this study into a book-length manuscript. She holds an AB in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago, an MAT in elementary education from Dominican University, and an EdM in Education Policy and Management from Harvard University.

Her past research has explored environmental racism and the experiences of youth involved in community organizing, and the work of Native American charter schools to sustain Native student identities while operating in a testing- and accountability-focused context. She is also a poet and essayist whose work has appeared in many venues, including Poetry Magazine, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Nation, and The New Republic.

troy laraviereTroy LaRaviere is the President of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association (CPAA). He is a Chicago Public Schools (CPS) graduate, a former CPS principal, and parent of a CPS student. For five years, he led one of the highest performing neighborhood schools in Chicago (Blaine Elementary), and he relentlessly defends public education.

As an assistant principal at a Johnson Elementary School, where 99 percent of the students were African American and from low-income households, he helped raise the percentage of students meeting standards from 43 percent to over 60 percent. All while establishing a climate and culture that was safe and supportive.

As principal of Blaine Elementary, he led his school for three consecutive years to meet at least three of the Mayor’s four merit award criteria. Blaine Elementary was one of only four schools to meet these criteria. During his administration, there was a ten percent increase in a two-year period of students who met reading standards. Additionally, the percentage of African American students meeting academic standards rose from 43 percent to nearly 80 percent.
During his administration, he was an outspoken advocate against disparities and destructive school policies affecting Chicago Public Schools and was publicly critical of City Hall silencing principals and administrators. His Op-Eds, public statements, and interviews have been covered by media outlets such as Washington Post, Chicago Magazine, Chicago Sun-Times, and WGN-Television. Furthermore, LaRaviere has participated as a panelist and moderator for the City Club of Chicago, Newberry Library and Rainbow Push amongst other appearances.

LaRaviere was suspended without pay from Chicago Public Schools in 2016 during his campaign for the Presidency of the CPAA. On May 19, 2016 he won with nearly 70 percent of the vote. His focus at CPAA has been to transform it into a member-driven organization that influences education policy in our city and state. He continues to advocate for the rights of public schools and maintains an education blog that receives between 6,000 and 203,043 views per post.

alicia mclaughlinAlicia McLaughlin, Ph.D., LCSW (AM '00) is an Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, IL, where she teaches in both the BSW and MSW Programs.

As a former Director of Field Education, she teaches the field seminar courses as well as a variety of social work courses such as Advanced Research, Substance Abuse and Treatment, Forensic Social Work, Diversity, and Cross Cultural Practice.

Professor McLaughlin worked as a mental health counselor in Chicago and a part time medical social worker at John Stroger Hospital of Cook County before obtaining her doctorate in social work at Florida State University. Her professional and research interests involve understanding how to provide academic and social support to vulnerable students as they pursue educational goals and how to support faculty new to academia.