Tag Archives: visionaries

What’s Really Going On In Boystown

There has been a great deal of anger, controversy, and discussion regarding recent events in Boystown. Waves of racism have flooded Facebook’s “Take Back Boystown,” often under the pretense of concern about safety, labeling youth of color as a danger to Boystown. Avi Rudnick, project attorney at the Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois (TJLP), has writtten an excellent and insightful article for Windy City Times that views these debates in a new light. He writes, “Instead of focusing on making only Boystown safe for residents, the focus should be on creating communities free from violence.” Continue reading


“Dream big about how fierce and beautiful we want the world to be.”

I’ve only been interning with TJLP* (the Transformative Justice Law Project, about which I’ve blogged previously) for a matter of months, but it has already been one of the most outstanding experiences of my life. There is something really magical about TJLP — a combination of the people, the clients, the values upon which TJLP was founded, and maybe some kind of special TJLP essence. Continue reading

The Most Amazing Person I’ve Ever Met

Owen Daniel-McCarter

Seriously. I know I’ve gone on in the past about various fictional characters and people (David Tennant, Blaine from Glee, Sam Tsui, and the like), but this time, I really mean it. Owen Daniel-McCarter is the most incredible person I’ve ever met (including Dean Spade, and those of you who spent any time near me around the last month or so of my senior year of undergrad know that’s saying a lot). He is just an absolute joy to be around, and he inspires me to be a better person.

Owen founded the Transformative Justice Law Project (TJLP), which provides “free, zealous, life-affirming, and gender-affirming holistic criminal legal services to low-income and street based transgender and gender non-conforming people targeted by the criminal legal system” in the state of Illinois. Continue reading

I Want To Be Remembered

What do you want to be remembered for?

Okay, that is a huge question. That seems to be basically the equivalent of “What do you want to do with your life?” or “What do you want your life to mean?”

Last year, there was a sign hanging in my hall (Rock 1st 1st for the win!) asking what we wanted to be famous for. I believe my answer was “single-handedly breaking down the gender binary.” I was kidding, of course (my friend once reminded me that I can’t actually do that all on my own), but there’s a bit of truth in that. Continue reading

What We Want, Not What We Can Win

I’m currently reading a book by The CR10 Publications Collective (CR10 referring to Critical Resistance‘s 10th anniversary of its first conference in 1998); it’s called Abolition Now!: Ten Years of Strategy and Struggle Against the Prison Industrial Complex, and it’s really fascinating reading. I haven’t added it to my book recommendation list yet because I haven’t actually finished it, but it’s been really great so far.

Rachel Herzing, the CR10 Project Director at Critical Resistance, is quoted as saying

Prison industrial complex abolition is dreaming wildly and having that be okay. It’s genuinely asking for want we want, rather than what we think we can win [emphasis added]. Why should I not want to be completely liberated and have my people around me and feel healthy and stable and be able to engage with people, to be able to hold people accountable? (11)

Continue reading