The Invisible Institute is an innovative, non-profit journalism production company based on the South Side of Chicago. We work to enhance the capacity of citizens to hold public institutions accountable. Among the tactics we employ are investigative reporting, multimedia storytelling, human rights documentation, the curation of public information, and the orchestration of difficult public conversations. Our work coheres around a central principle: we as citizens have co-responsibility with the government for maintaining respect for human rights and, when abuses occur, for demanding redress.
Founded by award-winning writer and journalist, Jamie Kalven, the team at the Invisible Institute has produced groundbreaking, internationally recognized work, including the investigative reporting that first brought to light the circumstances surrounding the killing of Laquan McDonald, recounted in the Emmy-winning documentary 16 Shots, as well as stories uncovering a web of corruption inside the Chicago Police Department that have thus far led to the exonerations of some 80 individuals.
The Invisible Institute created the Citizens Police Data Project, Chicago’s first open source, free and publicly accessible database of digitized police disciplinary records and is curating the Chicago Police Torture Archive. For almost ten years, we have led an ongoing, immersive program working directly with Chicago area high school youth. We also produced the groundbreaking, investigative podcast Somebody which recently won top honors from the Third Coast International Audio Festival and received the International Documentary Association 2020 award for Best Audio Documentary.
We bring an entrepreneurial and collaborative approach to our work. Our network of collaborators and partners includes First Look Media, Forensic Architecture, The Intercept, USA Today, The Marshall Project, and the Mandel Legal Clinic of the University of Chicago Law School, among many others. Located at the Experimental Station in Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood, the Invisible Institute is part of a dynamic ecosystem of community-based organizations operating in the space, including the South Side Weekly, the Blackstone Bicycle Works, Build Coffee, and 61st Street Farmers Market.
The Invisible Institute is an innovative, non-profit journalism production company based on the South Side of Chicago. We work to enhance the capacity of citizens to hold public institutions accountable. Among the tactics we employ are…