BENJI HART / B. 1989 / Cambridge
Author / Educator / Artist



EDUCATION

M.A. Elementary Education / University of Illinois / Chicago, 2014
B.A. African American Studies / Wesleyan University / Middletown, 2011


CERTIFICATIONS

Illinois Professional Educator License in Elementary Education (K-8)
ESL/Bilingual Endorsement (Spanish)


AWARDS + HONORS

Artist-In-Residence / MacDowell / Peterborough, 2020 (Postponed)
Artist-In-Residence / Academy for Theater & Dance / Amsterdam University of the Arts, 2019
3Arts Fellow / Rauschenberg Residency / Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, 2018
Activist-In-Residence / Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership / Kalamazoo, 2018
Awardee / Solidarity to Celebrate / Chicago, 2016
Awardee in the Teaching Arts / 3Arts / Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, 2015


PERFORMANCES

WordPlay / Young Chicago Authors / Instagram Live, 2020
Elements of Vogue
 / Museo Universitario del Chopo / Mexico City, 2020
HALf6 / Amsterdam University of the Arts / Amsterdam, 2019
Dyke Mic
 / Ojo de Fortuna, Slaymaker & AMFM Gallery / Chicago, 2016-2019
What Happens After
 / BRIC House / New York, 2018
The #BreathingRoom Series / #LetUsBreathe Collective / Chicago, 2018
Do Not Resist? Closing Reception / Hairpin Arts Center / Chicago, 2018
Salonathon / Beauty Bar / Chicago, 2016-2018
Elements of Vogue / Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo / Madrid, 2017
Chicago Dyke March / Uptown, Humboldt Park & La Villita / Chicago, 2013-2017
Taskforce Prevention & Community Services / Austin / Chicago, 2017
Vives Q / National Museum of Mexican Art / Chicago, 2016
Church on the 9 / Chatham / Chicago, 2016
Chicago Home Theater Festival / Rogers Park / Chicago, 2016
Project Fierce Fundraiser / Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center / Chicago, 2015
Jane Addams Hull-House Museum / University of Illinois / Chicago, 2015
Color of Violence 4 / McCormick Place / Chicago, 2015
E-VOGUE-lution / Harold Washington Library / Chicago, 2015
Industry of the Ordinary / Chicago Cultural Center / Chicago, 2013


WORKSHOPS + FACILITATION

Political Education

Summer Leadership Retreat / Chicago Desi Youth Rising, 2015-2020
Youth Summer Institute / Pilsen Alliance, 2019-2020
Fighting Anti-Blackness
/ Cicero Community Collaborative, 2020
Youth Action / Southside Together Organizing for Power, 2018-2020
#DefundPolice Club
 / St. Steven’s Youth Programs, 2020
Summer Leadership Institute
/ Chicago Freedom School, 2020
A History of Policing
/ Freedom Lifted, 2020
Abolitionist Youth Organizing Institute
/ Project NIA, 2020
West Side Youth Abolitionist Training
/ American Friends Service Committee, 2020
A Just Chi
/ Asian Americans Advancing Justice, 2020
Virtual Week of Action
/ Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism, 2020
Reproductive Justice & Prison Abolition
/ Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, 2020
Revolutionary Oak Park Youth Action League
/ Percy Julian Middle School, 2020
Elements of Vogue
/ Museo Universitario del Chopo / Mexico City, 2020
Youth Leadership Retreat
/ Southside Together Organizing for Power & HANA Center, 2019
Journeys
/ Embarc Chicago, 2019
Health Disparities: Equity & Advocacy
/ Pritzker School of Medicine, 2019
Training the Future: Context, Difference & Awareness in Dance Education / Amsterdam University of the Arts, 2019
Student Voice & Activism Fellowship / Chicago Public Schools, 2018-2019
Mes de Orgullo / PASO West Suburban Action Project, 2018-2019
Asamblea Comunitaria / Organized Communities Against Deportations, 2019
Annual Youth Summit / Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, 2018-2019
Demilitarization School / War Resisters League, 2019
Intersectional Approaches to Social Work with LGBTQIA Individuals & Communities / Jane Addams College of Social Work, 2019
Youth Theater Ensemble / About Face Theater, 2018
Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership / Kalamazoo, 2018
Prisoners & Detainees: Race, Citizenship & Imprisonment / Kalamazoo College, 2018
Ominira Teen Program / Assata’s Daughters, 2017-2018
Ky Peterson Teach-In / UIC Women’s Leadership & Resource Center, 2017
Jane Addams Senior Caucus / Chicago, 2017
Heritage Gardens / University of Illinois at Chicago, 2017
Introduction to LGBTQI Studies / DePaul University, 2017
Queer Compass / UIC Gender & Sexuality Center, 2016-2017
For the People Artists Collective / Chicago, 2017
Peer Advocates / Broadway Youth Center, 2014-2016
Watching the Watchers / Roosevelt University, 2014

Professional Development + Facilitation

Liberation Collective / Phillips Academy Andover, 2020
Engage Chicago / Northwestern University, 2018-2020
Free Black Mamas Bail Out Pre-Convening
/ National Bail Out, 2020
Strategic Planning / Chicago Community Bond Fund, 2020
Invisible 2 Invincible / Asian Americans Advancing Justice Chicago, 2019-2020
Indicting the Racist War on Drugs
/ Law For Black Lives & People’s Law Office / Atlanta, 2020
Inaugural Retreat
/ Dissenters / Alternatives, 2020
Convening on Disrupting Police Gang Labeling
/ Grace Place, 2019
Towards an Accountable Chicago / Chicago Freedom School, 2019
Core Retreat / Organized Communities Against Deportations, 2019
Annual Retreat / For the People Artists Collective, 2018
Azubike Facilitator Training Program / Assata’s Daughters, 2018
Rev Up / Chicago Freedom School, 2014-2015, 2018
Semiannual Retreat / Love & Protect, 2018
Chicago Teaching Artists Summit / Hyde Park Arts Center, 2015
Just Practice / HI Chicago Hostel, 2015

Poetry + Spoken Word

Health Disparities: Equity & Advocacy / Pritzker School of Medicine, 2019
Training the Future: Context, Difference & Awareness in Dance Education / Amsterdam University of the Arts, 2019
Fire Historical & Cultural Arts Collaborative / Kalamazoo, 2018
For the People Artists Collective / Grace Place, 2017
Heritage Gardens / University of Illinois at Chicago, 2017
Queer Compass / UIC Gender & Sexuality Center, 2016-2017
Peer Advocates / Broadway Youth Center, 2014-2016

Voguing + Movement

Training the Future: Context, Difference & Awareness in Dance Education / Amsterdam University of the Arts, 2019
FOCUS on the Arts / Highland Park High School, 2019
Chosen Family Day / Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, 2019
ARTivism Series / UIC Latino Cultural Center, 2018
What Happens After / BRIC House, 2018
Intercultural Center / Kalamazoo College, 2018
Cinematic Kickback w/ sex KiKi / Chicago, 2017
Black & Pink National Convening / Chicago, 2017
Vogue to Get Free / Broadway Youth Center, 2014-2017
Art AIDS America / Chicago Cultural Center, 2017
Assata’s Daughters / Arts Incubator, 2015
Generation L / Puerto Rican Cultural Center, 2013
Industry of the Ordinary / Chicago Cultural Center, 2013
Little Big Foot / Columbia College, 2013


PUBLISHED WRITING

Anthologies

Oxford University Press, 2021 / Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: Second Edition
Motto Books
, 2020 / Elements of Vogue: A Case Study in Radical Performance
Chicago Architecture Biennial
, 2019 / The Funambulist by its Readers: Political Geographies form Chicago and Elsewhere
AK Press, 2017 / Rebellious Mourning: The Collective Work of Grief
AK Press, 2015 / Taking Sides: Radical Solidarity & the Poverty of Liberalism

Essays

Autostraddle, 2020 / Principles of Pride: Police and Prisons Do Not Belong in Our Future
Out of Print, 2020 /
In A Pandemic, Prison Abolition Is More Necessary—And More Possible—Than Ever
Truthout
, 2020 / ICE Is Torturing LGBTQ Immigrants by Putting Them in Solitary
Poetry Foundation
, 2019 / On Trans Day of Resilience, Envisioning the End of the Systems that Killed Layleen Polanco
Them
, 2019 / This Bookstore Is Still on the Cutting Edge of Feminism, 40 Years Later
ArtsEverywhere
, 2019 / Vogue Is Not For You: Deciding Who We Give Our Art To
Chicago Reader
, 2019 / How #NoCopAcademy Shook the Machine
The Advocate
, 2019 / Chicago’s First Black Lesbian Mayor Isn’t A Victory For All Queers
Teen Vogue
, 2019 / What to Expect When Visiting A Plantation Where Your Ancestors Were Enslaved
In These Times
, 2018 / Seeking Justice for Laquan McDonald—Without Relying on Prisons
Black Youth Project, 2018 / Calls to #AbolishICE are counterproductive unless they are also a call to #AbolishPolice
In These Times, 2018 / There’s Nothing New About Not Calling the Cops
JooJoo Azad, 2018 / You Cannot Challenge Gun Violence Without Challenging the Military
Praxis Center, 2018 / Understanding Neoliberalism is Key to Building a Global Struggle for Economic Justice
In These Times, 2018 / Centrist Dems May Not Call Black and Brown Communities Shitholes–But They Treat Them That Way
RaceBaitr, 2017 / White Nationalists Understand US History Better Than Liberals Do
Black Youth Project, 2017 / How the State Uses “Police Morale” to Divert from the Violence Inherent to Policing
Black Youth Project, 2017 / The Anti-Blackness of Believing There’s No Support for Queerness in the Hood
Huffington Post Black Voices, 2017 / Giving Black Children ‘The Talk’ Won’t Save Them From Police Brutality
Truthout, 2017 / Holding Our Rage Is Your Political Labor
Truthout, 2016 / Our Dreams for Bresha Meadows Begin With Freedom
Truthout, 2016 / Notes From the Margins: How We Will Survive These Times
Truthout, 2016 / White Nationalism Lives and White People Need to Fight It
Medium, 2016 / An Open Letter from a Black Man to His White Family in a Moment of Violence
Truthout, 2016 / No Abolition Without Demilitarization: Black and Muslim Solidairty for Ending Police Worldwide
Truthout, 2016 / Far From Over: Four Lessons Non-Natives Can Learn from #NoDAPL
Truthout, 2016 / The Political Significance of Being Inconvenienced
Huffington Post Black Voices, 2016 / Our Obsession With Black Celebrity Is Undermining Our Movement
Truthout, 2015 / Four Unexpected Things We Learned in Lockup: Reflections on the IACP Shutdown
Salon Magazine, 2015 / Fox News Will Not Quiet Me
Salon Magazine, 2015 / Baltimore’s Violent Protesters Are Right: Smashing Police Cars Is Legitimate Strategy
Socialist Worker, 2013 / Fast Track to Higher Classroom Sizes

Poetry

Forward Together, 2019 / Layleen’s Bill (With Revisions)
Forward Together, 2017 / The Limits of Language


INTERVIEWS + FEATURES

6 Modern Abolitionists On What Emancipation Means For Juneteenth 2020 / Elite Daily, 2020
10 Black Women and Queer Activists Working to Change Chicago / Block Club Chicago, 2020
Questions to Ask While Waiting / The United States of Anxiety, 2020
LGBTQ+ Liberation vs. Representation ft. Benji Hart / Bourbon ‘n BrownTown, 2019
Now We Know We Can Reclaim the World We Want: A Conversation with Pony Zion and Benji Hart / ArtsEverywhere, 2019
Mayor-Elect Lori Lightfoot’s Track Record / Out-FM, 2019
Don’t Get Too Excited About Chicago’s New Black Lesbian Mayor / Out, 2019
Don’t get your hopes up about Chicago’s firs black lesbian mayor / The Guardian, 2019
#EndMoneyBail / Coalition to End Money Bond, 2019
Ep 166 – Benji Hart / Airgo Radio, 2018
How to Vogue the Right Way / What Should We Do?, 2018
Artists From Around The World Discover On Captiva / WGCU, 2018
Resources Prevent Violence. Policing Doesn’t. / Truthout, 2018
These Trans Posters Are Lit and They Know It / Them, 2017
Do Not Resist?: An FTP Mixtape / For the People Artists Collective, 2018
‘Voguing’: Coreografías Disidentes / RTVE, 2017
Benji Hart / The Black Joy Project, 2017
Transgender History / The Lit Review Podcast, 2017
Uplift Not Just Our Faces, But Our Art and Voices, Too / Monica Trinidad, 2017


PRESENTATIONS + PANELS

Featured Guest / Bring In Da Light: A Celebration of Lori Lightfoot
w/ Stacey Davis Gates, Byron Sigcho López, Nisa Pérez, Kristiana Rae Colón, Maya Dukmasova, Amika Tendaji, Luara Ramírez & Amara Enyia
The Hoodoisie Podcast / Facebook Live, 2020

Panelist / Political Geographies of Chicago
w/ Patricia Nguyen, Jesse Mumm, Maira Khwaja & Anjulie Rao
Chicago Architecture Biennial / Chicago Cultural Center, 2019

Panelist / Making Lineages Visible: Women & Femmes Organizing in Chicago
w/ Kelly Hayes & Byul Yoon
Chicago Architecture Biennial / Jane Addams Hull-House, 2019

Panelist / The Aesthetics of Violence & Resistance, from Fashion to Architecture
w/ Hoda Katebi & Leena Odeh
Chicago Architecture Biennial / Arts Incubator, 2019

Panel Moderator / Chicago inJustice: Anti-Racist Action & Mass Incarceration
w/ Black & Pink Chicago & the Chicago Community Bond Fund
Norris University Center / Northwestern University, 2019

Featured Guest / Co-Conspirators Forum
w/ the #NoCopAcademy Campaign
The Hoodoisie Podcast / National Museum of Mexican Art, 2019

Panelist / Transformative Imaginations: Decarceration & Liberatory Futures
w/ Irene Romulo & Sister JoAnn Persch
Imagining America Conference / Studebaker Theater, 2018

Featured Guest / Assata: An Autobiography
w/ Hoda Katebi
#BecauseWe’veRead Book Club / Chicago, 2018

Featured Artist / Art on the Edge: Explorations in Contemporary Art
w/ Tao Hui, Robin Messing, Caledonia Curry, Rosanna Bruno & Mary Mattingly
Florida SouthWestern State College / Captiva, 2018

Panelist / Black Girl Mania: The Release Party
w/ Fulani Thrasher & Mimi Rosales
Reunion / Chicago, 2018

Featured Guest / Radical Moves: Dance & Revolution
w/ Rashida Miller, Boogie McClarin & Darling Squire
The Hoodoisie Podcast / Hairpin Arts Center, 2017

Featured Presenter / On The Table
w/ the Black Trans & Gender-Nonconforming Collective
African American Cultural Center / University of Illinois at Chicago, 2017

Panel Moderator / Know Your Rights: Beyond the Legal Framework
w/ Husam Marajda, Ronnie Boyd, Michelle García & Ruth López-McArthy
Department of Disability / University of Illinois at Chicago, 2017

Panel Moderator / Sanctuary: Dinner & Dialogue
w/ LaSaia Wade, Red Schulte & Jocelyn Munguia Chavez
Gender & Sexuality Center / University of Illinois at Chicago, 2017

Featured Presenter / Creating Justice Symposium
w/ adrienne maree brown
Oakton Community College / Des Planes, 2016

Panelist / Taking Sides Book Release
w/ Cindy Milstein & Michael Staudenmaier
PUJA Art Gallery / University of Illinois at Chicago, 2016

Panelist / From Stonewall to Stop & Frisk
w/ Joey Mogul, Mariame Kaba, Kelly Hayes & Rachel Williams
Creating Change / Palmer House, 2016

Panelist / #BlackLivesMatter & Beyond
w/ Kristiana Rae Colón & Patrisse Cullors
Pedagogy & Theater of the Oppressed Conference / Columbia College, 2015

Panelist / Moving Dialogues: Diversity – Then/Now
w/ NIC Kay, Onye Ozuzu, Robert Battle & Wilfredo Rivera
Old Town School of Folk Music / Chicago, 2013