Re-Imagining the World
The Chicago Wisdom Project was founded in 2009 as a response to the industrial and corporate models of education that have become increasingly prevalent in the American educational landscape. Education is not merely about the concepts and curriculum; it is also about process and pedagogy. The context for learning is a metaphor for the world. Today, our learning spaces are based on the metaphors of capitalist competition; of mechanism and industrialism; and of the prison. As a consequence, we are not providing a way for our youth to re-imagine our world.
Our work impacts both individual and community: We believe that our students can become creators of culture, not merely consumers, and inspire them to challenge the assumptions of modern, industrial culture through the arts.
Through our work and the trainings we hold for educators and young leaders, we hope to spark a debate about the true meaning of education beyond the test-centered and utilitarian focus of the current political discourse.
Since we were founded, we have worked with youth on the south side of Chicago and beyond: We have run after school programs; led rites of passage retreats and summer camps; organized community events and run a community garden and urban farm. Our youth have written books, made films, created works of visual arts and performed theater, song and dance.
Our recent focus has shifted away from running youth programs to dealing directly with the crises of Modernity through trainings, curriculum development, and writing, including the publication of Re-imagining Magazine:
The stories of the Modern world no longer sustain us, bringing us to brink of catastrophe — ecologically, economically, spiritually. Our troubles cannot be solved merely through technology, or even politics; rather, we need to re-imagine what it means to be human. We seek new stories, new poetics, new ideas — and we put our ideas and stories into action. This work requires the wisdom of those at the margins, and by those with the courage to imagine a new world.
Along with The Baltimore Wisdom Project, the Chicago Wisdom Project is part of the 501(c)3 nonprofit “Wisdom Projects, Inc.” To learn more about Wisdom Projects, Inc. click here.
“Our shared mission is to is to reimagine education and reimagine the world by enhancing the lives of youth and adults with holistic education, intercultural understanding, and anti-oppressive, liberationist thought leadership.”
“I AM”, a video made by our Youthbuild group