RSVP for "Restoring Justice," third event in The School Project series

The School Project, a collaboratively-made transmedia documentary series about public education, hosts its third public event on Thursday, March 5th at 5:30pm at the North Lawndale College Prep Collins Campus Auditorium in Chicago.

RSVP now to attend for free and see the world premiere of episode Restoring Justice, followed by a discussion moderated by Xavier Ramey of the University of Chicago Social Innovation & Philanthropy. Panelists include Miriame Kaba of Project NIA, Karen Van Ausdal of Chicago Public Schools Social and Emotional Learning, Quabeeny Daniels of Mikva Challenge, and Pam Purdie, independent restorative justice practitioner and trainer.

Produced by young documentary filmmakers from Free Spirit Media, Restoring Justice explores the impacts of discipline policies on students, school communities, and society. Historically, excessively punitive policies have served to push allegedly disruptive students out of class and school, and have fueled the school to prison pipeline (a term that illustrates the severity of the issues). This piece examines the movement toward more youth-centered, restorative justice practices, which began as a grassroots effort and has subsequently been adopted by district leadership. The segment will launch simultaneously on the interactive website

The School Project series examines the interrelated issues that are affecting Chicago Public Schools right now and helps to define terms and dispel misinformation about the context of public education. This is the first series to gather so many voices of the major public figures of education in Chicago: Terry Mazany, Karen Lewis, Mike Koldyke, Andrea Zopp, Linda Lutton, Elaine Allensworth, Linda Lenz, David Vitale, Jitu Brown, and Diane Ravitch, along with many parents, teachers and students whose voices are seldom heard. Future segments will look at the expansion of charter schools, the controversy surrounding standardized testing, and the history of reforms and educational models, while the first two were about education reform in Chicago in the 1980s and the Chicago School Closings of 2013 . The series examines the roots of these issues and how each policy impacts the wider school community in Chicago and its implications on a national level. The first two segments premiered to sold-out crowd in October of 2014 and January of 2015. This is the third in a series of six live, free public events, premiering new installments of The School Project over the 2014-2015 school year.

The School Project co-production partners include Free Spirit Media, Kartemquin Films, Kindling Group, Media Process Group, Siskel/Jacobs Productions, and producers Rachel Dickson and Melissa Sterne. Outreach partners include WTTW/Channel 11, the Chicago Sun-Times, Catalyst Chicago, the Chicago History Museum,, CANTV, StoryCorps, and Community Media Workshop.

The interactive website,, allows visitors to watch the documentary and see how it maps to the Chicago Public Schools system. Users can explore news media and content related to individual schools, data trends and demographics, and share their stories and opinions about public school education.
Chicago’s PBS station WTTW will also broadcast each segment during their flagship “Chicago Tonight” News Program, and the Sun-Times, and Catalyst Chicago will contribute additional web-based content.

The School Project has also partnered with StoryCorps, the national oral history organization, to record and share the personal stories of people from all backgrounds and beliefs about public education. Interested people of all ages can make a reservation online ( to record their story at a recording studio located at the Chicago Cultural Center (mention The School Project in the NOTES section). These stories will be shared online at, and archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

The School Project Timeline
October 28, 2014: Chicago Schools - The Worst in the Nation?
Chicago History Museum

January 22, 2015: Chicago's School Closings
University of Chicago Logan Center

March 5, 2015: The Impact of School Discipline Policies
North Lawndale College Prep Collins Campus

March 31, 2015: A Testing Season
Chicago Cultural Center

April 25, 2015: Charter Schools: For Better or Worse
Chicago Cultural Center

May 2015: Effective Education in Neighborhood Schools
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