In 2014, CIC welcomed interns from The Robert R. McCormick Foundation, which generously established an endowment at DePaul University’s Steans Center, and from The University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration.
In 2015, CIC announced a new intern partnership with the University of Chicago Institute of Politics.
CIC Executive Director Pamela Cytrynbaum accepted an invitation to join the advisory board of the Center for Prosecutor Integrity, a new Maryland-based nonprofit leading the charge against prosecutorial misconduct.
CIC became a member of Donors Forum, the premier resource for networking and education, information and knowledge and leadership and advocacy on behalf of philanthropy and nonprofits in Illinois. As a membership association of grant makers, nonprofits, and advisors, Donors Forum serves its constituents by promoting an effective and informed philanthropic and nonprofit sector.
CIC announced a new partnership with Roman Catholic priest and a social activist Father Michael Pfleger and the Saint Sabina Parish. Our goal is for parishioners who have information about
wrongful convictions to share what they know with us.
In February 2016, CIC kicked off a new partnership with the award-winning Invisible Institute and City Bureau, allowing us to share and exchange expertise, resources, research and mentoring.
The Quality of Mercy Project is a collaborative effort of the Piven Theatre Workshop with five key community partners: The Chicago Innocence Center, Evanston Art Center, Literature for All of Us, James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy, and Evanston Township High School. CIC is proud to be participating in this unprecedented, three-month public programming initiative based on the work of Sister Helen Prejean — internationally renowned anti-death penalty activist and author of the book-turned- Academy-Award-winning movie: Dead Man Walking: The Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty That Sparked a National Debate.
In conjunction with Piven’s production of Tim Robbins’ play, Dead Man Walking, (running April 14-May 15, 2016), The Quality of Mercy Project, offers an expansive community-wide initiative inviting discussion. CIC Executive Director Pamela Cytrynbaum is grateful to have had the chance to serve on the organizing committee and to lead several discussions and to work with Sister Helen Prejean – a longtime friend and advisor – on her visit.
The Invisible Institute, a journalism production company on the South Side of Chicago founded by longtime investigative journalist and human rights activist, Jamie Kalven, was recently awarded $400,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the nation’s leading funder of journalism and media innovation. Kalven and his team won the award to continue developing their unprecedented Citizens Police Data Project - the largest interactive database of police misconduct. Designed to serve as a national model of transparency and accountability, the Citizens Police Data Project is a product of a decade-long collaboration with the University of Chicago Law School’s Mandel Legal Aid Clinic. On Nov. 10, 2015, the Invisible Institute released the database of more than 56,000 misconduct complaint records for more than 8,500 Chicago police of cers. Of 56,384 allegations, 95.93 percent were found “Unsustained.” CIC will provide assistance in investigating pattern and practice, police misconduct and wrongful conviction cases.
As part of our partnership, Invisible Institute staff member, Alison Flowers, will help supervise and mentor CIC’s interns, provide research and reporting opportunities and assist in selecting new cases to investigate. Flowers is an award-winning investigative journalist who focuses on social justice and criminal justice. She is the author of the critically acclaimed book “Exoneree Diaries: The Fight for innocence, independence and identity” (Haymarket Books, 2016), and she contributed to the anthology “Who Do You Serve? Who Do You Protect?: Police Violence and Resistance in the United States.” In 2013, she produced a multimedia series about exonerees for Chicago Public Media and NPR affiliate WBEZ. Flowers is also a fellow with the Social Justice News Nexus, an investigative journalism project supported by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.
CIC will provide training and mentoring to participants in City Bureau. Run by the Invisible Institute’s Darryl Holliday, City Bureau trains young community journalists to improve coverage of disenfranchised and underreported neighborhoods. By taking a comprehensive approach to the contemporary challenges of urban reporting, City Bureau aims to create a bridge between the ideals of civic journalism and the economic and political realities in which it exists.