This week, Evan Okun ’13 and his colleagues from Circles & Ciphers will come to Wesleyan for a series of events and workshops about restorative justice and issues faced by young men of color. They will visit the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship (Allbritton 022) on Friday, May 9, 11:30-12:30 p.m. We invite all interested students to stop by to hear about their work and connect with the C&C team. This will be a casual gathering; feel free to arrive late or leave early, and bring lunch if you’d like.
Circles & Ciphers is a youth-led restorative justice organization that uses HipHop to engage young men of color in critical discourse around issues ranging from manhood to mass incarceration. We empower prison-, court-, DCFS-, and gang- involved young men to transform legacies of violence, incarceration, patriarchal masculinity, and disengagement.
Four veteran youth-leaders will be at Wesleyan: Marlon English, Lookman Muhammed, Ethan Viets-Vanlear, and Ash Froston. All four design and implement peace-circles, incubate new restorative justice projects, and coordinate partnerships with various other organizations. They will be accompanied by the Program Coordinator for Circles & Ciphers, Evan Okun (’13). In his last three years at Wesleyan, Evan Okun taught his own class entitled “Culturally Critical Rap” at the music therapy department of a local juvenile detention center. He began his work with Circles & Ciphers after receiving a seed grant from the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship, and was later hired by the organization.