Try Youth As Youth - Exhibition Programming

Impact Night

February 12, 6-9 pm

A ticketed event featuring a panel discussion with Ben Wolf, Director of the Institutional Reform Project at the ACLU of Illinois, photographer Richard Ross, and Xavier McElrath-Bey, who was incarcerated as a youth and currently works as a Youth Justice Advocate with the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth. 100% of ticket sales will benefit the ACLU of Illinois Children’s Rights Initiative, part of the Institutional Reform Project, which seeks to create fair conditions and due process for young people incarcerated in Illinois. Beverages sponsored by Solemn Oath Brewery. 


Opening Reception

February 13, 5-8 pm

An informal reception to celebrate the opening of the group exhibition, Try Youth As Youth. This event is free and open to the public.  

Next Generation Society Fundraiser

March 6, 6-9 pm

A ticketed event hosted by the Next Generation Society of the ACLU of Illinois. The Next Generation Society is a membership group for people under 40 who are committed to supporting the work of the ACLU. The program for the event includes a discussion of the ACLU of Illinois’ juvenile justice work, featuring Khadine Bennett, ACLU Legislative Counsel, and Lindsay Miller, ACLU Staff Attorney. 100% of ticket sales will benefit the ACLU of Illinois’ work to protect and extend our fundamental freedoms.

Screening: Natural Life

March 12, 6-8 pm

A theater style screening of Tirtza Even’s experimental documentary, Natural Life. The piece challenges inequities in the juvenile justice system by depicting, through documentation and reenactment, the stories of five individuals who were incarcerated for life without parole (“natural life”) for crimes they committed as youth. The screening will be followed by a discussion with the artist, ACLU Legislative Counsel Khadine Bennett, and a phone conversation with one of the inmates featured in Even’s video.

Using Impact Litigation to Dismantle the New Jim Crow

March 20, 12-1:30 pm

This lunchtime panel will feature ACLU lawyers discussing their use of impact litigation to force systemic changes to broken and entrenched state institutions. Continuing legal education credit will be provided. 


Understanding the Illinois Juvenile Justice System: The Basics

March 28, 1:30-4:30 pm

Hosted by Project NIA, this introductory workshop will provide basic information about the points of contact for youth within the juvenile justice system as well as information about rights that young people have in the system. The workshop is appropriate for community members, parents, educators, young people and organizers who have minimal knowledge about the juvenile justice system. Pre-registration is required.



April 4, 6-8 pm

Collaborative video work made by SAIC students and incarcerated juveniles. The work was produced during a School of the Art Institute of Chicago semester long workshop run by Tirtza Even during Fall 2014.


Curator Walk-Through

May 9, 1-3pm

A guided tour of the exhibition with curator Meg Noe.