Find out how Chicago Learning Exchange and our partners are remaking learning in Chicago.

2021-2022 Brother Mike Award Nominees

“To educate as a practice of freedom” says the late bell hooks in her seminal book, Teaching to Transgress. This philosophy also informed the work of Chicago-based poet, activist, digital media educator and mentor “Brother Mike'' Hawkins, who sought to lead and teach with love. In a 2012 interview, Brother Mike said, “Mentorship, at its core, is about love.” The idea of infusing mentorship work with the edict of love is a radical testament to Brother Mike's legacy. Annually, the Chicago Learning Exchange, Northwestern University, Chicago Public Library and SocialWorks honor the nominees and grant recipients with the Brother Mike Award and celebrate those who dedicate their careers to teaching and mentoring Chicago youth. Please read more about the 2021-2022 Brother Mike Award Nominees below:

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Bringing #CSEdWeek to Chicago Public Libraries

Computer Science Education Week is an annual call to action to engage and inspire youth through learning opportunities, to advocate for equity in the landscape, and to champion those who work year-round preparing the next generation of computer scientists. Thanks to grants from CSforALL and CME Group, and Lego Education, CLX has been able to engage in this work through our CSforCHI program. In 2020, we worked with community partners to create the CSforCHI Strategic Plan—which you can read on our community site. With CSEdWeek this year as our first touchpoint, we partnered with two Chicago Public Library branches and began to take action on that plan.

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Energizing Chicago's Young Adults

Grab a few pennies and nickels from the jar and saltwater from the kitchen. You now have the necessary ingredients to create a battery in a pinch. Will it be enough to power light in an emergency? You might need to start saving up now. This summer CLX’s Illuminating Energy Pathways programs served 10 Chicago students through two summer Learn and Earn programs focused on building energy career exposure for Black and LatinX youth. The programs offered students two curriculum tracks to choose from. The first was Empowering Opportunities, a program focused on preparing students for overhead linework (SOC: 49-9051). Although for this career pathway, a direct path to Dawson Technical Institute exists, many students aren’t aware or have barriers to entry. With support from the Illinois Science & Energy Innovation Foundation (ISEIF), CLX’s program provides a bridge to increase exposure and break down barriers for Chicago youth and the institutions that serve them.

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Reflections on our Anti-Racist Community of Practice (CoP)

James Baldwin once stated, “The paradox of education is precisely this - that as one begins to become conscious one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated. ” The civil uprisings of 2020 ignited the consciousness of many. Last spring the Anti-Racist, Urban Initiatives, and CLX launched an Anti-Oppression Community of Practice (CoP). This CoP offered space, time, and tools to reflect on personal and organizational anti-racist and anti-oppression journeys for Chicago’s youth development community.

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Roots for a Strong Youth Summer

Roots are foundational to plants. Although often unseen to the naked eye, we know they are essential for growth, resilience, and overall health. At the Chicago Learning Exchange (CLX), one of CLX’s research based-beliefs is that learning is relational. High-quality learning and work emphasize the importance of positive relationships for youth development. See Search Institute’s research on the importance of developmental relationships in youth success linked here. Similar to plants, learners need strong roots and support from their peers and mentors to overcome challenges and to grow.

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Member Spotlight: C4ITA

Please introduce yourself and share a bit about your background: what made you want to get involved in the education…

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Seeing is Believing: Pathways to STEM Success

Taking up the mantra, “You can’t be what you can’t see,” Syda and Amaris organized a citywide STEM Fair alongside national partners, showing young Black and brown students that they belong in the STEM field.

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One Stone: Then and Now

I figured I could kill a whole flock of birds with one stone: by attending CLX meetings, I could network, learn, potentially get a grant AND force my dissertation chair to look at my research more! Oh, glorious, multitasking day!

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CALL: CLX 10 Year Anniversary Stories

To celebrate CLX's 10th Anniversary, we are seeking stories of CLX funded projects and individual member stories. Please complete the short forms below to share your CLX funded projects and individual member stories. We will take stories on a rolling basis until the end of October 2020.

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Closing the Digital Divide and Activating Engagement through #Xchange

Since CLX members are long-time digital learning leaders, we knew we needed to create space and activities to tap into their expertise. Therefore, we collaboratively created resources that help to answer questions in regards to closing the digital divide and increasing youth engagement in digital programming...

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June 18 Virtual Meetup Recap

Thank you for attending our June Meetup with special guest Sybil M. Madison, Ph.D., Deputy Mayor for Education and Human Services! The importance of connection is more evident than ever. Check out this article for a recap of our June Virtual Meetup.

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From the Vault: A Chat with Sam Dyson

To look back on the rich history of Hive Chicago, which evolved into the Chicago Learning Exchange, we called upon Sam Dyson, who has been a leader in reimagining learning over the past decade in Chicago and beyond.

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