Alyssa Vera Ramos

Arts Justice Organizer / Artistic Director
Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health

Alyssa Vera Ramos is a Chicago-based theatre artist and organizer focused on ensemble-created work and reproductive justice. She is Artistic Director of participatory theatre company For Youth Inquiry (FYI) at Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, where she collaborates with young people as the Arts Justice Organizer. Recent work with FYI includes directing/developing Expectation, an immersive play based on stories of 30 pregnant and parenting Chicago youth. Alyssa is a Founding Member of performance collective FEMelanin, whose newest play (for young audiences) explores activism against colonialism and discrimination. Currently, she co-creating a piece about the systematic sterilization of Puerto Rican women.

Presentations from Facing Race 2018

Racial Justice is Reproductive Justice: Participatory Theatre and Performing Collective Imagination

What is suffocating our collective imagination around racism and reproductive injustice in America today? FYI Performance Company believes that cultural problems demand cultural solutions. In this hands-on session, FYI will lead an exploration of the relationship between reproductive and racial justice through story and game-based strategies that help keep us in difficult conversations for longer. Participants will learn FYI’s “4P’s of Participation” pedagogical framework — Pleasure, Perspective, Practice, and Shared Power — and ask, what tonic might artists provide? In the words of adrienne maree brown, “What are the ideas that will liberate all of us?” Participants will also explore the narratives within FORECAST, FYI's original play exploring racial and reproductive justice, which centers one young black woman's experience of deciding whether to parent in a broken world. Woven throughout the session will be ample opportunities for participants to share their own expertise, challenges and strategies from their specific work and contexts. (Previous theatre experience is not necessary!) At the end of this session, participants will be able to utilize FYI’s tools and their newly seeded skills to help build participatory, performance-based environments for exploration of difficult subject matter. Come dream a thriving world into existence, with the aid of FYI's unique participatory theatre tools, in and for community.

Speakers: Alyssa Vera Ramos, Darien R. Wendell