Conversations about Justice

Conversations about Justice with the Aspen Institute in Chicago - Event Photography by Michael Courier

The Aspen Institute hosted events at the Chicago History Museum, facilitating conversations about justice — and injustices — throughout American history. The events brought together students from the Chicago community to have an open conversation about our history as a nation, and the battles that have been fought for individual freedoms.

There are a lot of reasons as to why I love my job, but one of my favorites is the ability to learn while I work. Toward the end of last year, I documented a couple of events for The Aspen Institute — and I learned a lot.

The Aspen Institute facilitated two-day events with students from Chicago, to have conversations about our history and to build solidarity. The events were a nice history refresher for me, but I particularly loved learning from the students, and learning from their stories and experiences.

While I work, I try to keep a number perspectives in my head — the literal interpretation, but also the figurative. As a photographer, I’m often in rooms with people I do not know, with backgrounds and experiences vastly different than my own. As I navigate new spaces and sensitive conversations, I’m able to expand my frame of reference — to make better images, but to, hopefully, be a better person.

Conversations about Justice with the Aspen Institute in Chicago - Event Photography by Michael Courier

Part of the Facing Freedom exhibit at the Chicago History Museum.

Conversations about Justice with the Aspen Institute in Chicago - Event Photography by Michael CourierConversations about Justice with the Aspen Institute in Chicago - Event Photography by Michael CourierConversations about Justice with the Aspen Institute in Chicago - Event Photography by Michael CourierConversations about Justice with the Aspen Institute in Chicago - Event Photography by Michael Courier

On February 19th, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order that forcibly relocated Japanese Americans into internment camps on the West Coast of the United States. The evacuation poster (left) is from San Francisco in April of 1942.

I’m not eloquent enough, nor smart enough, to say anything new about the horrific internment of Japanese Americans during World War 2. If you’re unfamiliar with this aspect of American history, the Facing Freedoms exhibit at the Chicago History Museum is a wonderful resource for you. But I would like to call attention to the More Perfect podcast that has a story about Fred Korematsu, a Japanese American who sued the U.S. Government over the executive order that President Roosevelt issued.

Conversations about Justice with the Aspen Institute in Chicago - Event Photography by Michael Courier

Dolores Huerta was one of the organizers behind the Delano Grape Strike — a labor strike for fair wages. Dolores was recently featured in a documentary, and her Ted Talk was just released.

Conversations about Justice with the Aspen Institute in Chicago - Event Photography by Michael Courier

A statue of Ida B. Wells at the Chicago History Museum. She was an investigative journalist and a leader in the Civil Rights Movement.

Conversations about Justice with the Aspen Institute in Chicago - Event Photography by Michael CourierConversations about Justice with the Aspen Institute in Chicago - Event Photography by Michael CourierConversations about Justice with the Aspen Institute in Chicago - Event Photography by Michael CourierConversations about Justice with the Aspen Institute in Chicago - Event Photography by Michael CourierConversations about Justice with the Aspen Institute in Chicago - Event Photography by Michael CourierConversations about Justice with the Aspen Institute in Chicago - Event Photography by Michael CourierConversations about Justice with the Aspen Institute in Chicago - Event Photography by Michael Courier

Walk 4 Hearing 2018

Walk 4 Hearing 2018 with the Hearing Loss Association of America - Event Photography by Michael Courier

The Walk 4 Hearing in Chicago had a lot of happy participants!

Here are a few of my favorite moments from the Walk 4 Hearing awareness walk that took place in the fall of 2018. The event was organized by the Hearing Loss Association of America, and it took place at the Diversey Harbor in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago.

Walk 4 Hearing 2018 with the Hearing Loss Association of America - Event Photography by Michael Courier

Face painting at the Walk 4 Hearing.

Walk 4 Hearing 2018 with the Hearing Loss Association of America - Event Photography by Michael CourierWalk 4 Hearing 2018 with the Hearing Loss Association of America - Event Photography by Michael CourierWalk 4 Hearing 2018 with the Hearing Loss Association of America - Event Photography by Michael CourierWalk 4 Hearing 2018 with the Hearing Loss Association of America - Event Photography by Michael CourierWalk 4 Hearing 2018 with the Hearing Loss Association of America - Event Photography by Michael CourierWalk 4 Hearing 2018 with the Hearing Loss Association of America - Event Photography by Michael CourierWalk 4 Hearing 2018 with the Hearing Loss Association of America - Event Photography by Michael CourierWalk 4 Hearing 2018 with the Hearing Loss Association of America - Event Photography by Michael CourierWalk 4 Hearing 2018 with the Hearing Loss Association of America - Event Photography by Michael CourierWalk 4 Hearing 2018 with the Hearing Loss Association of America - Event Photography by Michael Courier

Illinois Retina Associates Annual Conference

The Illinois Retina Associates Annual Conference - Corporate Event Photography by Michael Courier

Vitreo-retinal surgeon Kirk Packo speaks during the Illinois Retina Associates annual conference at the Chicago OakBrook Marriott Hotel.

The Illinois Retina Associates held their annual conference Retina Update 2018. The one-day conference was held at the Chicago OakBrook Marriott Hotel in December, and I photographed all of the presenters, the audience as they absorbed the content, the networking, and the registration process.

The Illinois Retina Associates Annual Conference - Corporate Event Photography by Michael Courier

Physicians from the Illinois Retina Associates presenting during the annual conference.

The Illinois Retina Associates Annual Conference - Corporate Event Photography by Michael Courier

Physician Joseph Civantos presenting during the Illinois Retina Associates annual conference.

The Illinois Retina Associates Annual Conference - Corporate Event Photography by Michael Courier

Attendees registering for the conference.

The Illinois Retina Associates Annual Conference - Corporate Event Photography by Michael Courier

The engaged audience during the annual conference.

The Illinois Retina Associates Annual Conference - Corporate Event Photography by Michael Courier

Networking during the conference.

The Illinois Retina Associates Annual Conference - Corporate Event Photography by Michael Courier

The physicians of the Illinois Retina Associates in a group photo after the conference.