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2022 Liberation Lab: A Social Justice Teach-in on Abolition and Environmental Justice partnered with IRTF & CWRU

Saturday, March 19, 2022
11:00am-3:00pm EDT

The 22nd Annual Social Justice Teach-In is a great opportunity for high school and college students--as well as  people of all ages-- to learn about critical human rights issues.  The theme for the 2022 Teach-In is Liberation Lab: A Social Justice Teach-In on Abolition and Environmental Justice. Attendees will be invited to attend different sequential panels that focus on grief, empathy, apathy, and, of course, liberation–and much more. Between the main sessions of panel presenters, participants will go into small breakout rooms so that they can share and reflect on what they’ve just heard. We are training volunteers to facilitate these break-out sessions. 

At this year’s Teach-In, co-organized by the InterReligious Task Force on Central America and the Social Justice Institute at Case Western Reserve University, we will focus on topics like grief, empathy, apathy, popular education, mutual aid, direct action, and, of course, liberation. Together, we will learn about critical human rights issues, and explore questions like:


Where do wars happen and why? 

What does war do to the earth? 

What do imperial militaries do to the earth? 

What impact do nuclear weapons have? 

What is liberation? 

What is hidden and maintained? 

Why is it the case and what can be done about the fact that more than half of our federal tax $ go to militarism and more than half of our local tax $ (58%) goes  towards policing and incarceration?


Visit to register!



Mary Drummer 

Mary is an organizer, activist, and digital strategist who has spent the last decade leading electoral and issue advocacy campaigns for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Color Of Change, and MoveOn. She creates her campaigns through a reproductive justice lens that centers the most marginalized and advocates for policies that lead to healthy, thriving lives for all. Through her work she has led campaigns that have elected pro-choice champions to statewide and federal office, stopped the expansion of surveillance technology in Black communities, and gone after enablers of white supremacist groups. She is a former board member and grassroots organizer for the Texas Equal Access Fund and is the current Network Director for All* Above All, a national abortion justice organization.

Paul Edward Montgomery Ramirez 

Paul Edward is a public archaeologist and decolonial heritage specialist. He works as a lecturer, an author, and a consultant on museums, tourism, media, and traditional land management. His work focuses on re-storying the past, and bringing solutions of the past to help find options for our presents towards more sustainable and equitable futures. Paul Edward is from the Chorotega people in what is currently Nicaragua.

Kareem Henton

Husband, Father, Son and Cleveland Native. Principled Advocate, Activist and Friend. "I felt a voice like mine was missing in Cleveland and I lend my voice and efforts where its wanted and needed. Giving back to the community I have taken so much from in the past."

Kalia Michelle

"I am a Cleveland based digital creative currently collaborating with the environmental justice & racial equity organization, Black Environmental Leaders. Among my many hats I have worked & volunteered as a community organizer for workers justice, unemployment/pandemic relief, students, the Cuyahoga Jail coalition and currently serve on the Cleveland Hts Racial Justice Task Force. "

Jennifer Lumpkin

Jennifer Lumpkin is a Catalytic Strategist and Community Organizer with past and present campaigns and groups including the Cuyahoga County Jail Coalition, Black Environmental Leaders, Concerned Citizens Organized Against Lead, Black Lives Matter Cleveland, and Participatory Budgeting Cleveland. Her organizing and partnership practice, My Grow Connect, is rooted in supporting the development of sustainable communities through creative relationship building, cultural organizing and mindful resource connections. Her aim is to democratize the Land by bringing solidarity and healing practices to environmental injustice. Her Methodology is Imaginative Design and Concept Creation, with integrative practices including forest bathing and agricultural-based program development.

Aramis Malachi-Ture Sundiata 

Aramis Sundiata is the founder and Executive Director of PJP. With almost a decade’s experience of building organizations, grassroots organizing, and leading large-scale campaigns, Aramis brings a deep understanding of global social movements and has unique outlook how to build power in Ohio.

Veralucia Mendoza

Veralucia Mendoza (she/her and they/them) is a culture workers and community organizer with 14+ years of experience in advocacy grassroots projects in various areas including disability justice, immigrant and racial justice, and LGBTQIA+ protections. Vera's advocacy work has been highlighted on NPR, Democracy Now!, CNN, Splinter (formerly Fusion), The Toledo Blade, and The Toledo City Paper. She was recipient of the 2020 Community Advocacy Award at the presented by ABLE, Inc., LAWO, and the Toledo Bar Association. Vera is a frequent presenter and lecturer at universities, conferences, and panels, including the Allied Media Conference in 2020.

Shereen Naser

Dr. Shereen Naser is Palestinian American. She grew up in Austin, Texas, and came to Cleveland by way of New Orleans. Shereen is an avid science fiction and fantasy reader, and uses these mediums to explore what it could look like to create a liberated world where the harm of imperialism, colonialism and capitalism is not inevitable. Dr. Naser study's the school system as a microcosm of society and a place for community building.

Maggie Rice 

Maggie Rice, Education Coordinator for NEOCH, has a background in grassroots organizing, specifically around the issues of anti-racism, anti-poverty, and food justice. She facilitates education programming for social service providers and community advocates, focusing on the root causes of poverty and homelessness. She also organizes with Cleveland’s east side chapter of Food Not Bombs, a solidarity-not-charity organization that has shared over400,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables since being founded in 2015. Maggie is most at home doing movement growing spadework, building poor and working class power in a multi-racial movement for collective liberation.

Akshai Singh

Akshai is a barista and soccer coach. Born in Iowa City, Shay, as friends may call them, moved to Shaker heights in 1997, and graduated from Solon. The outbreak of the War on Terror and the Invasion of Iraq shaped their high school experience of race and gender as it related to militarism and the security state. While a struggling engineering student, student and political organizing at Case Western and on the Obama Campaign led to nonprofit work in DC after graduation. Since moving back to Cleveland, Akshai has organized for transit, environmental and worker justice in Cleveland, co-founding Clevelanders for Public Transit.

Celeste Treece

Celeste Treece is from Cleveland, Ohio. She is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati B.A. Political Science and Co-Owner of CommEN Strategies. As a political strategist she has wiorked on various state, county and local campaigns. As a board member of Better Bus Coalition, a grassroots organization fighting for better transit in the Cincinnati region, she has successfully advocated for policy change pushing local governments to sufficiently fund transit. This advocacy led to the passage of Issue 7 in which she led the field operations of the campaign. Most recently consulting with Clean Energy Columbus connecting with minority voters to successfully pass Issue 1! Most recently partnering with Black Environmental Leaders to uplifting the stories of BIPOC communities across the state of environmental justice.


Facilitated by

Kai Kyles and Chrissy Stonebraker-Martinez



CWRU Social Justice Institute

InterReligious Task Force on Central America and Colombia

To see our growing list of Co-Sponsors, view the Eventbrite page

We invite your listing as a co-sponsor of the 2022 Liberation Lab, IRTF’s 22nd annual Social Justice Teach-In, in partnership with the Social Justice Institute at Case Western Reserve University, to be held online on Saturday, March 19, 2022.

Every year, and even online, this event has a wide following by students and teachers. We are able to offer them free registration (and modest stipends to our presenters) because of the generosity of our many co-sponsors.