Too many times Chicago is advertised for its violence and fear is forced upon the nation in regards to the city. And while that fear should be acknowledged, so should the counter measures occurring around the city.
On Friday, June 3rd Perspectives Charter Schools held a Peace March from 24th and State to 36th and Wabash. Over 2,000 Perspectives Charter School students showed up, in addition to staff, organizers, media outlets and community members.
This was the third annual Perspectives Peace March, which was in part, organized by the students. It was created to give students a voice and to help them stand up against the violence that plagues their community.
I had the honor of attending the march along with two of my classmates, our class staff professional and her son. Marching through the streets, we could feel the excitement brewing as the young adults recognized the power they had to change their community.
As we walked, cheered and chanted through the blocked off streets, cars honked in support and those passing by cheered for us. It was clear that the violence is recognized within the community, though members don’t always know what paths of action to take.
Though it looks like students of Perspectives are paving the way.
While walking, a 7th grader asked our staff professional, Joyana Dvorak, if she thought that this march would actually make a difference. The pain and longing for change was clear within her voice.
“Yes, I think so,” Dvorak replied. She went onto explain how any time that we stand up and make our voices heard, we are making a difference and making a change.
This seemed to brighten up the young girl, as she continued to walk, held her lime green homemade sign in the air and chanted loud and proud.
It is clear that hope is what this city needs, and hope is what Perspectives is giving them.
CALL TO ACTION
Perspectives Charter Schools hold a Peace March every year and welcome all marchers. Show up next year and say #IamForPeace. But, until then, make a point to stand up for others and work towards a more peaceful Chicago.