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2022 Summer Institute for Educators

The Global Rise of Disinformation in Times of Conflict

June 20-23 Webinar Registration HERE

June 28 In-Person Workshop Registration HERE

What are the differences between misinformation and disinformation? How do they each operate in conflict environments?

In these uncertain times, often made more fraught through the proliferation of misinformation and the purposeful deployment of disinformation,  it is more important than ever to foster understanding of diverse perspectives both domestically and from across the globe. What are the differences between misinformation and disinformation? How do they each operate in conflict environments?  The University of Chicago Educator Outreach Program, in partnership with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, is excited to announce a four-part, educator professional development series The Global Rise of Disinformation in Times of Conflict.

In this series, teachers will engage with award-winning journalists and digital education resources to explore the relationship between disinformation, misinformation, and conflict environments across the globe.

We’ll analyze and discuss underreported news stories that explore a range of issues including:

  • The perils and possibilities of free speech
  • Surveillance and AI technologies
  • Governmental use of counterterrorism policies and human rights abuses
  • Cultural identity in the face of conflict
June 20-23: Journalist Webinars

The first part of this series features three virtual webinars:

Monday, June 20, 6:00 – 7:30pm CDT with Simon Ostrovsky
“Justifying War: How Russia Convinced Its People to Take Part in the Land Grab of the Century”

Tuesday, June 21, 6:00 – 7:30pm CDT with Sarah Aziza in conversation with Thomas Maguire (University of Chicago)
“The Violence of Disinformation in Palestine”

Thursday, June 23, 6:00 – 7:30pm CDT with Journalist Ben Mauk in conversation with Johanna Ransmeier (University of Chicago)
“Bearing Witness: Narrative Journalism and Human Rights in Xinjiang, China”

One duty of journalism is to hold powerful actors to account by bearing witness to their mistreatment of vulnerable populations. Firsthand eyewitness testimony is a special form of evidence that can be brought to bear on these efforts. Eyewitness accounts are inherently limited — accounts are subjective, memories are fallible — but are also uniquely powerful in their immediacy and the sense of lived experience they can impart. In this presentation, Ben Mauk will discuss the value of eyewitness accounts of human rights atrocities in Xinjiang, China, and the process of using those accounts to expose the hidden mass internment drive of minority Chinese citizens. He will discuss his own journalistic projects on Xinjiang for The New YorkerThe New York Times Magazine, the London Review of Books, and other publications, which have included magazine writing, oral history, interactive media, and an animated virtual reality documentary. He will also discuss the use of misinformation and propaganda to discredit independent journalism about Xinjiang and the importance of narrative journalism as one kind of evidence to counter state narratives.

Webinar Registration required on Zoom

June 28: In-Person Workshop

9:30 AM – 4:45 PM
International House, 1414 E 59th St, Chicago, IL 60637

All participants will receive a certificate of participation via email within the following week. CPDU credits for attendance are available upon request – please email  Krishna Kulkarni at kskulkarni@uchicago.edu for more information.

Featuring a combination of journalist-led presentations and interactive activities, the June 28 workshop will also introduce methods for integrating global news and journalism skills into diverse curricula to reinforce students’ critical thinking, creativity, and communication skills. Participants will leave with the tools to incorporate new content into their classes, as well as connections to journalists working on pressing global issues. Illinois-based educators are eligible to receive CPDU credits for attendance.

Registration required on Ticketleap

Persons with disabilities who may need assistance should contact International House in advance of the program at 773-753-2274 or i-house-programs@uchicago.edu. Please note that the main entrance to International House is currently for residents only. Attendees should use the door on South Dorchester Ave to enter the Assembly Hall.


The 2022 Summer Institute for Educators will convene at International House (1414 East 59th Street) on the University of Chicago campus. I-House is located between Blackstone and Dorchester Avenues on 59th Street.

Public transit: Metra (59th Street station) and CTA (#2 and #6) are good options to take to Hyde Park if you are coming from points north.

Parking: If you are driving, please plan to arrive early—by 8:00 am is preferable—as parking in the neighborhood can be dense on weekdays. Please see the Campus Parking Map for parking options in lots and garages.

There is also parking on the Midway Plaisance and throughout the Hyde Park neighborhood; please pay attention to signage for any restrictions. Ellis Garage (Campus North Parking) is another option for visitor parking. Daily parking costs $28.

Persons with disabilities who may need assistance should contact the Office of Programs & External Relations in advance at 773-753-2274.


Simon Ostrovsky

Pulitzer Center Grantee

Simon Ostrovsky is an award-winning broadcast journalist best known for his coverage of the 2014 Crimea crisis and the war in eastern Ukraine for VICE News, for which he was awarded the prestigious DuPont Award from Columbia University and was nominated for two Emmys. He also won a 2013 Emmy as a producer of VICE on HBO. Simon is currently a PBS NewsHour Special Correspondent and a producer for New York Times Video. Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February his coverage has focused on war crimes perpetrated by Russian forces in the Kyiv environs and the humanitarian crisis that has resulted in millions of Ukrainians being forced from their homes. His work is frequently supported by the Pulitzer Center.

Sarah Aziza

Pulitzer Center Grantee

Sarah Aziza splits her time between New York City and the Middle East. She has lived and worked in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the West Bank, and South Africa, among others. As a journalist, she focuses on human rights, refugees, women, and the Middle East, seeking to elevate the human complexity behind global issues. Her work has been featured in Harper’s Magazine, The Washington Post, TheNewYorker.com, The Atlantic, The Intercept, The Nation, Slate, and The Middle East Eye, as well as National Public Radio. She is currently working on a book based on her reporting of women’s stories in the Middle East.

Ben Mauk

Pulitzer Center Grantee

Ben Mauk lives in Berlin. He writes for The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Harper’s, and the London Review of Books, among other publications. He co-founded and directs the Berlin Writers’ Workshop and is a contributing editor at The Ballot. In 2021, in collaboration with the filmmaker Sam Wolson, he developed and wrote an immersive V.R. documentary for The New Yorker on life inside a Chinese reeducation camp. For his coverage of the persecution of minorities in Xinjiang, he has won two Online Journalism Awards, a Deadline Club Award, the Reporting Award from NYU, jury prizes from SXSW and NewImages, a citation from the Overseas Press Club, and the inaugural Jamal Khashoggi Award for Courageous Journalism. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has been a Fulbright Scholar, Poynter Fellow, MacDowell Fellow, NYU visiting scholar, and frequent Pulitzer Center grantee.

Jaya Mukherjee

Education Coordinator, Pulitzer Center

Jaya Mukherjee is a Chicago-based coordinator for the education team at the Pulitzer Center. In her previous job, she managed creative writing programs for Chicago Public School students, focusing on short-form memoir and novel-length fiction. She has worked in education for ten years, beginning her career as a special education teacher in Compton, California. Jaya holds a BFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University, a M.Phil from Trinity College Dublin in Film Theory, and a MA in Special Education from Loyola Marymount University.


Seema Yasmin

Pulitzer Center Grantee

Dr. Seema Yasmin is an Emmy Award-winning multimedia reporter, medical doctor, poet, and director of the Stanford Health Communication Initiative. She trained in medicine at the University of Cambridge and in journalism at the University of Toronto. She is host of Cause + Control on WIRED.com, a medical analyst for CNN, and a former staff writer at The Dallas Morning News, where she was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in breaking news in 2017 for coverage of a mass shooting. Yasmin is the author of The Impatient Dr. Lange: One Man’s Fight to End the Global HIV Epidemic and Muslim Women Are Everything: Stereotype-Shattering Stories of Courage, Inspiration and Adventure. Her forthcoming book, If God is a Virus: The Ebola Poems (Haymarket, 2021), combines Pulitzer Center-supported reporting from West Africa with poetry to tell the stories of Ebola survivors and responders.

Catherine Irving

Pulitzer Center Teaching Fellow

Catherine Irving grew up in West Virginia but moved to Chicago in 1996 for her first teaching job. She has been at Northside College Preparatory High School since 2001, which is a selective-enrollment Chicago Public School. She has collaborated with the Pulitzer Center’s education department for many years and enjoys hosting journalists and using the Pulitzer’s curricular resources.


Heather Renee Ingram

Pulitzer Center Teaching Fellow

Heather Renee Ingram is a creative and committed English Language Arts educator. As such, this lifelong learner is charged with supporting students as they blossom into analytical and articulate readers and writers. Well aware of the adverse circumstances many young people face on their quest for quality education, she is honored to have helped hundreds of students find academic success where far too many educators have found failure; indeed, what some consider ‘at-risk’, she optimistically regards as possibility. As well, students from academically rich backgrounds flourish in Mrs. Ingram’s classroom, providing balance in an inclusive space, while stretching themselves across internal and systemic barriers. Moreover, because her students are at such a pivotal point in their young lives, she recognizes that her role is especially important. In an effort to groom conscientious, global citizens, Mrs. Ingram utilizes textual and non-textual resources that represent a broad cross-section of identity markers (i.e. cultural, socio-economic, gender, sexuality, political, etc.), regardless of the particular course. Born to a corporate, literature-loving mother and musical, street-savvy father, Heather grew up on Chicago’s south side. By her teenage years, however, she had relocated to suburbia. Unfortunately, this is where she witnessed ‘white flight’ firsthand; though they were the first black family on their block, within two years, there were only black families on the block. In this space, matters of marginalization, educational inequity, and racialized injustice became clear. Propelled by her grandfather’s unsung participation in the March on Washington and her mother’s efforts as a Black Power era community worker, Heather Renee Ingram began a life of scholarly activism. This spirit-shifting work, where the academic meets the personal, continues to inform both her pedagogy and sense of self.

Adelaida Jiyun Kim

Pulitzer Center Teaching Fellow

Adelaida is a 4th grade English Learners teacher at Walt Disney Magnet in Uptown, Chicago. She graduated from DePaul University with a BS in Elementary Education with Endorsement in Social Studies and a minor in ESL and Bilingual Education. She piloted the College Readiness and Success Program in her school district and initiated a state-wide policy recommending tuition waivers for  EL/Bilingual teacher candidates. Adelaida is a Golden Apple Scholar and Teach Plus Policy Fellow and is committed to teaching in schools of need in Illinois.  She is passionate about multilingual education and global citizenship. Outside of the classroom, Adelaida enjoys yoga, golfing, and spending time with her cat Clementine.


NOTE: Times listed are all in Central Time.


6:00 – 7:30 PM   Webinar with Simon Ostrovsky, “Justifying War: How Russia Convinced Its People to Take Part in the Land Grab of the Century”


6:00 – 7:30 PM   Webinar with Sarah Aziza, “The Violence of Disinformation in Palestine”


6:00 – 7:30 PM   Webinar with Ben Mauk, “Bearing Witness: Narrative Journalism & Human Rights in Xinjiang, China”


9:30 – 10:00 AM Registration and Breakfast
10:00 – 10:15 AM Opening Remarks
10:15 – 10:45 AM Introduction and Welcome Activities
10:45 – 11:45 PM Panel with Center journalists
– Simon Ostrovsky
– Ben Mauk
– Sarah Aziza
11:45 – 12:00 PM Teacher pull out discussion
12:00 – 1:00 PM Lunch
1:00 – 2:00 PM Pulitzer Center Staff-led Workshop
2:00 – 3:00 PM KEYNOTE: Seema Yasmin, “Disinformation and Media Literacy”
3:00 – 3:15 PM Coffee break
3:15 – 4:15 PM Panel and workshop led by Pulitzer Center Teacher Fellows
Adelaida Jiyun Kim
Catherine Irving
Heather Renee Ingram
4:15 – 4:30 PM Next steps with the Pulitzer Center
4:30 – 4:45 PM Closing & Evaluations


The 2022 Summer Institute for Educators: The Global Rise of Disinformation in Times of Conflict is co-sponsored by the University of Chicago Center for East Asian Studies, the University of Chicago Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies, and the University of Chicago Center for Middle Eastern Studies, and presented in partnership with the Pulitzer Center. It is made possible through generous support from Title VI National Resource Center Grants from the U.S. Department of Education and the Global Voices Program at International House.