Free, and open to the public!
In this open discussion, Omid Shekari, Melekte Melaku, and Chrissy Stonebraker-Martinez will lead a conversation about their experience with the judicial systems in Iran and the US. This discussion will stem from Shekari’s current exhibition that reflects the extreme levels of violence practiced by the judicial system in Iran in response to the people’s strivings for economic equality and freedom. Audiences will think through abolitionist ideas to disrupt the injustice in the prison systems of both the US and Iran.
Following this event, on July 27, 2022, there will be a Listening Conversation led by the ACLU of Ohio to discuss questions centering civil rights and civil liberties issues.
About Omid Shekari
Omid Shekari is an Iranian artist currently living in Cleveland, Ohio. He received his BFA from Sooreh University in Tehran and MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. His work has been exhibited at The Drawing Center, Wilmer Jennings Gallery, Akron Art Museum, Marginal Utility Gallery, NADA Art Fair, Gallery Joe, PAFA Museum, Fleisher Art Memorial, Tyler School of Art, Woodmere Art Museum, Greenfield Community College, and Ohio State University. Shekari is currently a visiting assistant professor at Oberlin College.
About Melekte Melaku
Melekte Melaku is an organizing strategist for the ACLU of Ohio. She believes any pursuit of justice begins by cultivating deep connections to the people directly impacted, coupled to advocacy and potential for policy change. After graduating from Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, Melekte devoted a year serving with the educational non-profit CityYear. There she provided individual and group coursework interventions, socio-emotional coaching, and coordinated programming for a multidisciplinary arts after-school curriculum. She also has extensive experience canvassing and organizing on behalf of issues related to environmental justice, mass incarceration, voter rights, and access to quality education.
About Chrissy Stonebraker-Martinez
Chrissy was raised in the legacy industrial city of Youngstown, Ohio. Chrissy devotes passion for social justice to their union-laborer father and concern for Latin American solidarity to their mother, who found refuge in the US from Medellin, Colombia, during the height of the civil war in the 1980s. Chrissy received a BA in International and Financial Management from Hiram College and an MA/MEd in Higher Education Administration and Counseling from Kent State University. Chrissy is proud to be an abolitionist community organizer helping to build the following grassroots communities in Cleveland: Cuyahoga County Jail Coalition, Clevelanders Against Federal Policing, Cleveland Immigration Working Group, Utilities 4 All + Water Equity, End Poverty Now, the NEO Medic Collective, Sunrise, NEO Worker Center and Cleveland Pandemic Response.