“Our Kids Can’t Wait”

That was the overarching theme of a recent education-focused, community town hall in Chicago, led by activist Tanesha Peeples and Chicago Unheard. The gathering saw parents and advocates brave a snowstorm to talk about real solutions for meeting the needs of each and every student in Chicago.

The night was a powerful reminder of the value of community organizing and collective work on behalf of children. A panel made up of students, parents, educators and advocates gave impassioned messages to the community members in attendance to know their own power in advocating for children and to be willing to work toward a better future for children in Chicago.

From the event page:

Our city still suffers from some of the worst opportunity gaps in the nation for our Black and Brown students. Now is the time for us to rise above the politics and create a plan for our city to #CloseTheGap.

Here are some highlights from a incredible night of education stakeholders coming together to learn, organize and plan steps for action to advocate for children.

Amari Roberts, a student-panelist talked about the importance of a more diverse teaching population.

David Stovall, PhD, a professor of African American Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago made clear that education is deeply connected to other issues, and we have to be willing to address them all.

This Chicago parent highlighted the importance of schools focusing on parent outreach.

Another parent shared that at the end of the day, families need more quality options.

A concerned community member talked about starting with the basics, and focusing on teacher preparation.

This parent called on more families and community members to get involved.

It was inspiring to see such a wide variety of perspectives shared throughout a night of true community engagement, all with the explicit goal of improving outcomes for Chicago students. Watch the full town hall below:

Josh Stewart considers himself a global citizen first and foremost and is passionate about cultural exchange. He has a B.s. in Political Science and Hispanic Studies from St. John's University in Minnesota and experience as both an ESL and social studies teacher in Korea and the Philippines. He currently works a digital content Manager for Citizen Education and Education Post and enjoys both traditional and creative methods crafting messages around the desperate need to improve our education system and provide quality options to the most marginalized students and families.


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