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20th annual IRTF Social Justice Teach-In

Saturday, February 8, 2020
11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Case Western Reserve University
Tinkham Veale Center 11038 Bellflower Rd Cleveland, OH 44106

What: "Peacemaking through Art & Storytelling" is the theme of the 20th annual Social Justice Teach-In, co-organized by IRTF, CWRU Social Justice Institute, and the CWRU Center for Civic Engagement and Learning.  The Social Justice Teach-In on February 8, 2020, will showcase dozens of workshops on domestic and global justice issues.

Registration: Registration, which includes brunch, is free for high school and college students and $10 for others pre-registered ($15 at the door).  Registration is required to save your spot for brunch. Registration is requested ASAP (brunch might not be available for walk-ins). Register at To avoid credit card fees, mail your check payable to IRTF to IRTF, 3606 Bridge Ave, Cleveland OH 44113.

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When: Saturday, February 8, 2020 from 10:30a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Check-in at 10:30am. Brunch at 10:30am. Welcome remarks at 11am.

Where: Case Western Reserve University, Tinkham Veale Student Center, 11038 Bellflower Rd. Cleveland, OH 44106. Parking is free along the street, and there is paid parking in the Severance Hall parking garage

Who:  We expect more than 600 people (of all ages) to engage in a variety of workshops covering issues such as environmentalism, food justice, peacemaking, racial justice, refugees, state-sponsored violence, creative nonviolence, and worker justice. Most of the attendees will be high school and college students, who can attend for free. For the past two years, we’ve had students and teachers from 35 area schools!

Keynote address:  Olmeca is a Bilingual Hip-Hop artist, producer, activist and scholar who has been featured on Complex Magazine, Billboard, NPR, Huffington Post, Noisey, and Democracy Now.  His work has been featured on various documentaries on PBS, BBC World, as well as, featured films. He has written music for tv shows including “Sons of Anarchy,” and new series, “The Mayans” on FX and toured Latin American, U.S. and Europe. 

Currently, Olmeca is celebrating the release of his new album, “DEFINE". The album can be found on multiple playlists on Spotify and iTunes where some of the singles are reaching 100k plays.  He is faculty at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in the Interdisciplinary Gender and Ethnic Studies Department teaching Latin American History, Latinx in the U.S. and Hip-Hop courses. For the next year, Olmeca will be a Kennedy Center Artist Fellow and is finishing a poetry book to accompany the album

Noisey says, "Olmeca is a 21 century shaman and one of the reasons bilingual music is a thing today..." 

Olmeca grew up in the barrios of L.A. and Mexico, a reality that brewed his blending of music genres and cultural sensitivity.  His bilingual music has earned him respect and praises in both English and Spanish news outlets and genres (Hip-Hop and Latin Alternative). Olmeca has collaborated with Taboo (Black Eyed Peas), Latin Alternative band, Ozomatli, Hip-Hop legend, Ras Kass, and Dave Kushner (Velvet Revolver).  Olmeca has toured Canada, Latin America and Europe and has helped spawn a new trend of bilingual Hip-hop. While everyday people respect his lyrical content, music connoisseurs value the production, and educators utilize Olmeca’s music in their classrooms.

This, along with his social commentary and community efforts makes Olmeca a stand-alone artist in how he can intersect various identities and demographics. It is also for this reason that he is not only a gifted performing artist, but a university lecturer doing guest lectures, residencies and keynote speeches in universities throughout the U.S.  His capacity to bring various campus programs, offices and academic departments together is not only unique, but also necessary.   His work has been noted by social justice dignitaries speaking alongside Dolores Huerta, Naomi Klein and many others.

Workshops: Attendees can choose from among 35-40 workshops by local and national people well-versed in justice issues. Some workshops will be organized or presented by CWRU students. The list of workshops will be available in late January at


10:30a.m. walk-in registration begins in the Tinkham Veale Atrium. We will also hold pre-registration check-in and brunch
11:00a.m. to 11:25 a.m. welcome remarks and intro to keynote speaker (Tinkham Ballroom)
11:25a.m. to 12:10p.m. keynote (Tinkham Ballroom)
12:10p.m. to 12:15p.m.  closing remarks and logistics (Tinkham Ballroom)
12:30p.m. to 1:25p.m.  workshop session 1
1:40p.m. to 2:35p.m. workshop session 2
2:50p.m. to 3:30p.m. Jolt for Justice (Tinkham Ballroom)


Contact or call 216.961.0003