offenders to take responsibility for their actions and
also offers community support aimed at avoiding future
offences. NIA also works with other community groups to
help juvenile offenders expunge their records and to find
alternatives to youth incarceration.
“There are lots of groups like this that are re-emerging
and re-forming to build communities,” Khabeer says. “For
these communities, people see the inconsistencies—they
question whether they have a reason to work within the
system or if they’ll work outside of it.”
Sinclair-Chapman says she also expects to see more of
what she calls “hashtag activism.” Major issues are
constantly discussed—for better or worse—on social media.
It’s a way to get the ball rolling, especially in populations
whose members do not feel that important discussions
are happening in mainstream media. “You can have real
debates across these media,” Sinclair-Chapman says.
The key, however, is connecting the often younger,
energetic people on Twitter and Facebook with activists in
previous generations who have fought in the trenches in
“We typically talk about one or the other,” Sinclair-
Chapman says. “The key to future activism is going to be
intergenerational communication. You have to link active
people who have wisdom, experience, and time to people
who can use technology and be creative.”
And from there, Sinclair-Chapman says those
conversation starters and partnerships must move from the
Internet to whatever traditional or new forms of political
participation can effect change.
“Sometimes you post something on Twitter and it
matters, but it’s not enough,” Sinclair-Chapman says.
“These kinds of issues need champions, and champions
who won’t give up easily.”
Members of several Chicago community organizations march in downtown Chicago in August 2015 to demand police
accountability in the killings of unarmed Black and Latino men and women across the nation and advocate for a Civilian
Police Accountability Council in Chicago. Photo by Su’ad Abdul Khabeer.