Empowering Justice Impacted Communities With Joshua Jackson and Coco Davis

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Aug 11, 2023


Grand Marais Golf Club
5802 Lake Dr
IL 62205


Open to the public

An Envisioning Justice Activation Event
Hosted by the I Am East St. Louis, Magazine Foundation and Antwoinette Ayers
Free food and drinks provided during the event

This event is great for people of all ages, families, and young people.

Please join us as we uplift stories of returning citizens who have transitioned back to life after prison. Filmmaker Joshua Jackson will join us for a screening of a short video from his From Prisoner to Professional series and a conversation with justice-impacted community worker on Chicago’s West Side Nicole “Coco” Davis. This program will also include a musical performance by Rosalind-Denise Rogers.

*Note: This venue serves alcohol. While there is an open DJ set following this program for adults 21 and over, it is not part of the “Empowering Justice Impacted Communities” event.

Musician Rosalind EJ Activation EStL cr Janiya Fair

Rosalind-Denise Rogers entertains the guests before the start of the program. (Photo by Janiya Fair)

IMG 0048 Audience credit Janiya Fair

The guests mingle before the start of the program. (Photo by Janiya Fair)

More About…

Joshua Jackson
Joshua Jackson

Joshua Jackson is an independent documentary producer and cinematographer. He started his career working at PBS and ABC affiliates. He debuted his short film From Prisoner to Professor in 2017, which later was featured at the Black Harvest Film Festival, the Pan African Film Festival, and won Best Short Documentary at the American Filmatic Awards. He was the cinematographer for Chosen Foe Life, a short film about an inner-city youth conflicted by neighborhood pressures and school influences, which aired on WTTW.

Joshua was a part of the 2018 Kartemquin Diverse Voices in Documentary cohort where he proposed his documentary series From Prisoner to Professional.

Joshua’s passion is filming and he still films documentaries for other independent producers.

Nicole 'Coco' Davis
Nicole Co Co Davis

Nicole Davis is a proud Chicagoan raised on the West side of Chicago, mother of two beautiful young ladies, and grandmother of two grandchildren. She is a proud owner of Xquisite Premir located on the West side of Chicago in the Austin community. Davis is the CEO/ Executive director of Talk2mefoundation for kids whose parents are incarcerated.

Nicole is the founder of The Sisters of Support house in Gary, Indiana for formerly incarcerated women and women who were victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, and more. As someone who was directly impacted by the justice system serving 13 ½ years in federal prison, she knows firsthand how unfair the treatment is for women. She is a sought-after national speaker who advocates for dignity, decriminalization, decarceration, and the end of harm to women and girls. This is how the Sisters of Support was brought to fruition. Nicole is a passionate community organizer, dedicated to helping secure equality (basic human rights) and second chances for justice-impacted people. She’s supportive of initiatives and legislative policies that advance and transform smart criminal justice reform.

A fiction author, Nicole has used the power of writing to propel her above the dilemmas created by her experiences with incarceration and transitioning to back life. Her style of writing challenges her readers to join her in exploring how the self-made rich and powerful live and think in a fast-paced world. She uses her amazing and vast imagination and a bit of her knowledge of the street to concoct her fictional characters and alluring stories to allow her readers’ minds to drift off into the world in which they are reading.

Some might say, Nicole is the modern-day Renaissance woman. She’s in the midst of wrapping up her memoir 262/168 Life Goes On.

Rosalind-Denise Rogers
Rosalind Denise Rogers scaled

Rosalind-Denise Rogers is a Kansas City, Kansas native, mother of 3, and an award-winning Educator, and musician. She is also the Founder and Executive director of The Inner Ear Foundation, a non-profit community music program. Her program provides music and art programming for youth 3-18. 

To date, Ms. Rogers has increased the program’s operating budget by over 400 thousand dollars to aid in her efforts to make music education more accessible to youth in her community. Her vision is inner city-accessible music programs around the globe. She currently advocates for music education through diversity, equity, and inclusion workshops, offering professional development for staff, and has presented workshops on the national level.

Rosalind-Denise continues to trail-blaze through the music education community with numerous awards and recognitions for her work while making a name for herself as a consultant, advocate, and musician. Rosalind-Denise was recognized as a 2023 St. Louis Visionary for her work with the Inner Ear Foundation and by the Illinois State Board of Education for “Meritorious Service.” 

Ms. Rogers was named Art Educator of the Year for 2022 by the Arts and Education Council and is the 2021 recipient of the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award. Her work has been published in several publications including the Belleville Democratic, St. Louis Public Radio, and the Sept/Oct edition of STRINGS MAGAZINE.

I Am East St. Louis, Magazine Foundation
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I Am East St. Louis, Magazine Foundation (IAmEStL) invokes a sense of pride in current and former residents; changes the minds of those who believe negative contemporary legends about East St. Louis; and attract new residents, businesses, investors, and developers to the city.

IAmEStL’s mission is to present a positive media image of East St. Louis and the broad spectrum of East St. Louisans, well-known and unsung, who make us proud to say, “I Am East St. Louis.”

Learn more and subscribe to IAmEstL today!

This event is presented in partnership with the I Am East St. Louis, Magazine Foundation and Antwoinette Ayers, and is part of the 2023 Envisioning Justice Activation Series.


Illinois Humanities is collaborating with community organizations in six Illinois towns to host free public arts and educational programs for all ages. These six events featuring the artists, educators, and organizers behind Envisioning Justice RE:ACTION create opportunities to for us to reimagine timely conversations about justice, safety, community, and belonging.

Learn more about the 2023 Envisioning Justice Activation Series and our Envisioning Justice program at ILHumanities.org/EnvisioningJustice.

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