ABOUT CTJMF

Chicago Torture Justice Memorials Foundation (CTJMF) is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit corporation whose mission is to facilitate the creation and construction of the memorial promised as part of the reparations legislation for Chicago Police Torture Survivors passed by Chicago’s City Council in 2015. CTJMF is both a fundraising and project management entity focused exclusively on seeing the Burge torture survivors memorial into existence. Formed by torture survivors and organizers from the #ReparationsWon movement, CTJMF operates with the goal of obtaining full funding for and constructing the memorial.

CTJM Foundation Staff, Board of Directors, and Advisory Board

Board Vice President: Anthony Holmes is a survivor of police torture. In 1973, Jon Burge and two detectives tortured Anthony into confessing to a 1972 murder. This resulted in a 30 year prison sentence for Anthony. Anthony’s testimony was critical in shedding a light on the Burge cases. Anthony is also a member of Chicago Torture Justice Memorials (CTJM) and was a leader in the campaign for reparations for Burge survivors. He is still active in this work with CTJM and serves as a member of the CTJMF board in support of the final piece of the 2015 legislation: the memorial.

Advisory Board Member: Carla Jean Mayer is a writer, educator, and artist who has worked for Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Park District. She’s been a member of Chicago Torture Justice Memorials since 2011 and is an original and current board member of the Chicago Torture Justice Center. She lives in South Shore and rural SW Michigan.

Advisory Board Member: Gregory Banks (he/him) is an activist and works at the Chicago Torture Justice Center as the Safety Coordinator. He experienced abuse and torture at the Chicago Area 2 police station in 1983 and spent many years in the Illinois Department of Correction due to being tortured, and coerced into a false confession. Gregory is a former substance abuse counselor and avid reader. He spends his time going out into the community and educating Chicago Public School students on the topic of police violence and reparations. He also serves on the Survivor and Family Advisory Council and R.I.S.E. (Realizing and Implementing Strategies to End Police Violence) at the Chicago Torture Justice Center.

Board Secretary: Iván Arenas (he/him) is an Associate Director at the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Trained as an anthropologist and architect, his research focuses on how social movements use creative art practices to establish solidarity. Dr. Arenas is a practicing artist and has curated three yearlong exhibits at UIC that have mobilized and extended his research on the intersection between protest practices, social transformation, and aesthetics. Beyond the University, he is active as a member of Chicago Torture Justice Memorials, Chicago United for Equity, the Pilsen Housing Cooperative, and the Chicago ACT Collective. Dr. Arenas has an undergraduate degree from Columbia College of Columbia University and a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley.

Executive Director: Jen Ash (she/her) is an organizer, educator, and historian specializing in African American women’s history and the history of social movements. She was a member of Chicago Torture Justice Memorials (CTJM) during and after the campaign for reparations for Burge survivors, and returned to working on the Burge justice memorial in 2021 as a paid organizer. Bringing her nonprofit work experience to the table, in 2023, Jen was hired as Executive Director, overseeing CTJM Foundation operations and the construction of the Burge torture justice memorial. She also serves as a Lecturer in the Women’s and Gender Studies program and Black Studies Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she also earned a Ph.D. in U.S. history and a graduate concentration in Women’s and Gender Studies in 2019.

Board President: Joey Mogul is a movement lawyer, organizer, initiator and co-founder of Chicago Torture Justice Memorials (CTJM) and a partner at People’s Law Office. Mogul works with and represents organizers in their campaigns for justice and liberation. Mogul has sought justice for Chicago Police torture survivors for over 25 years, successfully representing survivors in their criminal and civil rights litigation, and at the UN Committee Against Torture (CAT) in Geneva, Switzerland. Mogul drafted the original City Council ordinance providing reparations for the Chicago Police (Burge) torture survivors. Mogul co-led the multi-racial grassroots coalition of CTJM, Project NIA, We Charge Genocide and Amnesty International, USA, to successfully pass the historic reparations legislation in Chicago’s City Council making it the first municipality to provide systemic redress for racially motivated police violence. Mogul is also a co-author of Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the U.S. (Beacon Press 2011).

Memorial Co-Designer: John Lee is a designer whose critical approach to architecture foregrounds the importance of art and politics and is committed to cultivating places of possibilities through spatial design. Lee’s work ultimately seeks what mnemonic possibilities can arise in notions of home, displacement, and space through the built and natural environment. He is the co-designer of the Chicago Torture Justice memorial with artist, educator, and scholar Patricia Nguyen and is currently based between Los Angeles and Chicago.

Bookkeeper: Lee Andel Dewey (they/them) provides sliding-scale-to-free accounting, bookkeeping, & consulting services under their business, LADhoc Accounting. They are an organizer & advocate for the Trans/GNC, queer, & HIV+ communities, all to which they belong, & also in collaborative support of folks at other intersections of marginalization. Their activism is rooted in anti-racism, anti-capitalism, & the abolition of police/prisons/related systems, & focused upon effecting positive radical change. Lee is the Lead Organizer/Facilitator for CommunityCave Chicago, a Board Member for Crossroads Fund, & a Community Advisory Board Member for AIDS Foundation Chicago. They are a fangurl of the arts & occasional artist, a denizen of the dance floor, an all-season city cyclist, & dreaming of their next escape into the desert.

Board Treasurer: Lisa Yun Lee (she/her) is a cultural activist and the Executive Director of the National Public Housing Museum, the nation’s first cultural institution committed to preserving and interpreting the history of public housing and propelling housing as a human right. She is also an Associate Professor in Art History and Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, teaching faculty with the Prison Neighborhood Art Project, in Stateville Prison, and member of the grassroots organization, CTJM.

Advisory Board Member: Mark Clements (he/him) is a Chicago police torture survivor. At age 16 in 1981 he was taken to area 3 violent crime unit where he was tortured to confess to a crime. Mark was one of Illinois first juvenile’s sentence to natural life without parole in the state of Illinois. He remained incarcerated for 28 years before his conviction was overturned in 2009. In 2009 he was hired as administrator and organizer with the Campaign to End the Death Penalty in which he held other positions working from Chicago and Austin, Texas. He also helped to organize and establish the existence of the Illinois Fair Sentence of Youth through Northwestern University of School of Law, while sitting on the board of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression. Mark works at the Chicago Torture Justice Center as a Community Organizer.

Advisory Board Member: Mary Patten is a visual artist, video-maker, writer, educator, and long-time community / political activist. Patten has exhibited and screened work for thirty years in alternative spaces, museums, and film/video festivals across North America and Europe. Published writing includes visual essays for Art AIDS America Chicago, The Passionate Camera, and WhiteWalls, and the book Revolution as an Eternal Dream: the Exemplary Failure of the Madame Binh Graphics Collective. Patten collaborates with Chicago Torture Justice Memorials and Feel Tank Chicago, and for thirty years has been a professor in the Film, Video, New Media, and Animation Department of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

 

Advisory Board Member: Michelle Y. Clopton In May, 1996 Michelle Y. Clopton was tortured by members of the Chicago Police department to confess to a crime. She served 27 years inside the Illinois Department of Corrections. She has been free since August, 2023. Each and every day she wrestles with maintaining from the torture she had to experience as a African-American woman. Ms. Clopton is an inspiring, uplifting activist and organizer who focuses on helping to win the support of the Chicago Southside community residents. Since her release she has helped to win the support for the memorial in the Washington Park community. Our communities must be well educated as to why the memorial must be housed on the Southside of Chicago, she states. It is criminal as to how certain members of the Chicago Police Department were allowed to openly torture men and women inside of police stations and to escape all accountability. She has attended the court hearing of Devon Daniels, supporting the fact that the only true investigative commission, the Illinois Torture Inquiry Relief Commission, must remain intact to serve the interest of people that have been denied of justice for decades and sitting behind Illinois prison Walls.

Grant Writer/Development Coordination: Monica Paulson (she/her) serves as CTJMF’s part-time grant writer and supports with development projects for the memorial. Monica has worked in resource development and grassroots fundraising for community based non-profits and organizing campaigns. She is grateful to have joined CTJM in 2020, supporting fundraising efforts for the memorial.

Memorial Co-Designer: Patricia Nguyen, PhD is an artist, educator, and scholar born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She earned her doctorate in Performance Studies at Northwestern University. Her artistic work and research examines the intersections between the military and prison industrial complex, forced migration, oral histories, inherited trauma, torture, and nation building. Through embodied research, performance, installation, and community happenings she explores ecologies of migration, incarceration, asylum, borders, and war to reveal histories of violence and create abolitionist futures. She has exhibited and performed at the Nha San Collective in Vietnam, Mission Cultural Center in San Francisco, Jane Addams Hull House, Links Hall, Prague Quadrennial, Museum of Memory and Human Rights in Chile, Milwaukee Art Museum, and Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. She is the co-founder and executive director of Axis Lab, an arts and architecture community-centered organization focused on ethical development. Dr. Nguyen is the co-designer of the Chicago Torture Justice Memorial.

Volunteer: Ryan Griffis (he/him) volunteers with CTJMF, providing website and tech support. Ryan is an artist, educator, and faculty member at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He works across media and institutions on stories about the intersections of social and environmental justice on Peoria, Kickapoo, and Potawatomi Lands in the US Midwest. Alongside this work, Ryan coordinates Art In These Times, hosted by In These Times Magazine on Chicago’s west side, that features exhibitions and programming that further social justice in the city and at large.

Advisory Board Member: Sarah Ross is an educator and artist whose work uses narrative and the body to address spatial concerns as they relate to access, class, anxiety and activism. In 2011 she co-founded the Prison + Neighborhood Arts/Education Project (PNAP), a cultural project that brings together artists, writers and scholars in and outside Stateville prison to create public projects concerning segregation, criminalization and incarceration. She has also worked with local artists, activists, lawyers, torture survivors, and scholars on Chicago Torture Justice Memorials since 2011. Her work has exhibited in Los Angeles, New York, Montreal, Copenhagen, Rio De Janeiro, among other places; Sarah is a Soros Justice Media Fellow and the recipient of grants from the Propeller Fund, Graham Foundation, and the Illinois Art Council. She is an Associate Professor of Art Education and Sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Advisory Board Member: Stanley Howard was born in Chicago in 1962. He was arrested in November 1984 and tortured into signing a false coerced confession to crimes he did not commit. Stanley was sentenced to death in 1987 and was the key organizer of the Death Row 10 – other Jon Burge torture survivors on death row, He was exonerated from death row in 2003 but remained in prison on other bogus convictions. Stanley received a G.E.D. and taught himself criminal law. This led to the “Law Class”he started/organized on death row, where he taught criminal law and paralegalism to a host of  other condemned men. He received a Paralegal/Legal Assistant Certificate, three different Construction Certificates, and authored the book TORTURED BY BLUE: The Chicago Police Torture Story while in prison. Stanley also spent most of his time on death row and in prison teaching and helping other incarcerated men with their legal struggles, which led to some being released early or exonerated. He was eventually released from prison in 2023 after 39 years, and immediately resumed his work as a social justice advocate.

Administrative Assistant: Victoria Agunod (she/they) is an educator and facilitator based in Chicago. Victoria earned their BA and MA in Women’s and Gender Studies, with their thesis focused on student direct action and community organizing within the neoliberal university. They teach in the Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies Program, the Disability Studies Certificate Program, and the Women’s and Gender Studies Department at DePaul University. Their teaching and research focuses include disability studies pedagogy, student organizing on campus, the impacts and legacies of social movements across history, and urban agriculture. ​​

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