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

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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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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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Maria Hibbs Reflects on CLX Growth and Predicts a New Decade of Possibilities

When Chicago Learning Exchange (CLX) Board Chair Daniel Ash announced last week that my colleague Sana Jafri will become CLX’s new Executive Director, reality finally sank in. In less than three weeks, I will be retiring. After 45 years in journalism, corporate public affairs, philanthropy and non-profit leadership, it’s time to pass the torch to a new generation of leadership, and I do so with tremendous optimism.

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CLX Powers Summer Digital Learning Opportunities for Chicago Youth

The Chicago Learning Exchange (CLX)—a nonprofit that supports remaking learning for the digital age—today announced 11 new grants totaling nearly $100,000 that support summer digital learning opportunities for predominantly African, LatinX, Asian, Arab, and Native American (ALAANA) middle-school and high-school aged-youth in Chicago.

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Energizing Opportunities

With support from the Illinois Science and Energy Innovation Foundation, the Chicago Learning Exchange is leading Energizing Opportunities, an innovative project to illuminate learning pathways to careers in the electrical utilities industry for high school-age youth.

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