Chicago Youth Violence: Taking a Stand
Technology has changed our world in various ways across the spectrum and across every continent. With the world in their pockets, a generation is coming alive through online voices, creativity, fundraising and monumental social change on a local and global scale. Chicago youth are standing up against violence in their city, and using technology to make this dream become reality.
Chicago is a city with one of the highest violent crime rates in the nation and young people are standing up for peace. “I Am for Peace,” a documentary that tells the story of three Chicago public high school students who organized one of the largest student-led peace marches in city history last June to protest escalating gun violence killing their peers. The documentary will make its public television debut on May 28 at 8 p.m. (CST) on Chicago’s WTTW.
“I Am for Peace,” a documentary about a student-led peace march, makes its television debut May 28 on Chicago’s WTTW.
Perspectives Charter Schools partners with PBS affiliate to spread peace and engage the public.
The program will repeat on WTTW’s digital Prime channel (channel 11.2 over the air, 370 on Comcast, and 37 on RCN) on Friday, May 29 at 2 p.m.
Chicago Youth Violence and Summer
And just in time, too. A week later, on June 5, students at Perspectives Charter Schools will march for peace again and will be joined by students in at least eight other cities, including Evanston. Spreading the message of peace and social responsibility is critically important now as they face another potentially deadly summer of senseless shootings and homicides.
WTTW is the first broadcast television network to add “I Am for Peace” to its lineup of documentaries tackling important social issues. “I Am for Peace” chronicles the way three Perspectives high school students, who share co-producer credits for the film, took lessons from the classroom to the streets to show how young people can be a voice for peace. Perspectives successfully raised more than $35,000 on Kickstarter to finance the film (New Chapter Entertainment, 2014).
Students at Perspectives learn how to become ethical leaders in their communities through their A Disciplined Life education model. Each week, students spend 180 minutes in A Disciplined Life class. They talk with their teachers and peers about the problems facing their communities and how to apply the 26 principles of A Disciplined Life to find solutions.
“WTTW is proud to broadcast this impactful film,” said Dan Soles, WTTW’s Senior Vice President and Chief Television Content Officer. “The efforts of the Perspectives students are inspiring and empowering. It’s our hope that showing this documentary will help raise awareness about their good work,” he added.
Last June, 2,000 middle- and high-school students from Perspectives’ five schools were joined by community activists, local elected officials, business leaders and more than 30 media outlets for the “I Am for Peace” march and rally to stand up against violence. Students expressed their hopes for the safe return of all their classmates in the fall. Sadly, one of them didn’t make it back – a 16-year-old girl was killed in a drive-by shooting just before the first day of school.
The “I Am for Peace” documentary features opening remarks by Chicago-born actress/singer Jennifer Hudson and an interview with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “I Am for Peace” harkens back to the student-led activism of the Civil Rights Movement and is a moving tribute to America’s under-estimated urban youth.
“The violence in our city is very real to our students,” said Diana Shulla-Cose, founder and president of Perspectives. “But they are compelled to lead us to solutions. This short film shows how Perspectives students have been empowered to use their voice and organize for peace in their communities. The film was meant to be a conversation starter, and we are so pleased to be partnering with WTTW to bring this important and inspirational film to a broader audience.”
It’s time to talk, and it’s time for a change. Our youth deserve peace.
Infographic from ABC News: http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/fullpage/chicago-gang-violence-numbers-17509042