Soy Autor

Soy Autor es un espacio co-creado para la exploración y el descubrimiento, que utiliza la lectura, la escritura y el diálogo enfocado y participativo como vehículos para la transformación. Los participantes "leen como escritores" mientras redactan, revisan, ilustran y publican sus memorias. A través del proceso, los individuos aprenden a tomar y aceptar retroalimentación crítica, a mejorar sus habilidades de lectura y escritura, y a reflexionar sobre el pasado para imaginar un futuro diferente.

Soy Autor exige asumir responsabilidades mientras que al mismo tiempo acoge la empatía, compromete a los participantes a que trabajen en equipo y de forma independiente mientras construyen comportamientos pro-sociales que son la base para lograr el éxito en la educación, en el lugar de trabajo y en las relaciones. El proceso transforma a los participantes; sus obras finales publicadas se utilizan para capacitar a maestros, policías y para desarrollar empatía, políticas y soluciones basadas en experiencias reales de violencia y trauma.

Read Memoirs

Lion Speaks

The ConTextos Authors Circle was developed in collaboration with young people experiencing, navigating, surviving complex traumas in El Salvador. In 2017, this innovative program expanded into Chicago to create tangible, high quality opportunities that nourish the minds. expand the voices and share the personal truths of individuals who have long been underserved and underestimated. Through the process of drafting, revising, and publishing memoirs, participants strengthen self-reflection, critical thinking, camaraderie and positive self-projection to author new life narratives.

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Precious Blood

In 2004, the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation (PBMR) was established as a 501(c)3. Since its inception, PBMR has served young people and families most impacted by violence, incarceration, and structural inequity. PBMR focuses its work in Chicago’s Back of the Yards and Englewood neighborhoods and also works with youth who are justice-involved, re-entering the community after incarceration, or actively incarcerated.”

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Circle of Roses

ConTextos and Chicago CRED are proud to present Circle of Roses, lifting up the stories and insights of women who are too often ignored amidst narratives around Chicago’s on-going violence. These women are more than their worst experiences. In Nature, roses appear delicate; however, they are resilient with a beauty that breaks through. The same can be said about the magnificent bouquet of Black women who comprise the Circle of Roses. Their lives are complex and complicated as they survive, flourish, and raise the future all at the very same time.

“There is no greater agony than leaving an untold story inside you.” -Maya Angelou

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Into A Black Beyond




In 2020, ConTextos launched Into a Black Beyond (IABB) Authors Circle Fellowship, a unique writing experience that emerged from raw and untapped emotion—rage fueled by frustration, righteously held indignation, apathy and indifference as the result of too many promises that have long gone unmet. IABB grew out of the languishing and thriving that coexists across the Americas, throughout these United States, and especially here in our Sweet Home Chicago, once a mecca for Black progress, now also a symbol of Black pain. And also it also grew out of hope, a force that has historically moved Black people forward. These emotions and much more so deeply held are contained within Black stories and Black history.

IABB invites an array of Black Chicagoans—homegrown and transplants—from diverse professions, educational backgrounds, identities, familial structures and communities, and across generations to engage in meaningful dialogue and writing meant to capture a range of Black ideas, Black experiences, and Black voices in Chicago.

IABB provides a dedicated space to acknowledge, respect, and evolve beyond traumatic memories and experiences, to build a bridge beyond Black Chicago’s dystopias and paradoxes, and into the next dimensions of our future.

Applications for IABB 3.0 cohort are OPEN

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Complicando la Narración: Una Serie de Podcast

ConTextos is excited to announce the launch of Complicating the Narrative, a podcast series produced by Authors who have published through different ConTextos Authors Circles across Chicago. Complicating the Narrative was conceived with the intention of bringing voices that are often overlooked or suppressed to the foreground. Through this podcast, we seek to add context beyond the misconceptions commonly associated with people living in communities impacted by violence.

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Celebración de la Publicación

La publicación es lo que permite a un escritor convertirse en autor. Los borradores finales de los textos y las ilustraciones se publican en forma de hermosos libros (disponibles tanto de manera física como digital) los cuales pueden ser leídos por personas que se encuentran ya sea cerca o lejos, influyendo de esta forma en los corazones de las personas e informando acerca de las diferentes perspectivas.

Los autores presentan su trabajo final a una audiencia de amigos y familiares durante celebraciones de publicación, así como a líderes y a personas responsables de formulación de políticas en los sectores comunitarios, empresariales, de aplicación de la ley y gubernamentales. Estos eventos impulsan un diálogo continuo que informan acerca de soluciones basadas en experiencias reales de violencia y trauma, buscan complicar las narrativas, romper los estigmas e identificar de qué manera sanar a las comunidades.

Upcoming events

Emerge, Elevate & Empower

Emerge, Elevate and Empower (E3) is a new youth outreach initiative that leverages the power of storytelling in group workshops for youth ages 16-24. E3 Circles are led by mental health first aid trained facilitators skilled in trauma informed and restorative practices. They serve as caring mentors who support Authors’ creative and emotional work in Circle and form deep, meaningful relationships with Authors that continue long after the conclusion of Circles.

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