Bowen High School Students Stage Walkout and Stand Up to Hate

Advocacy, Community Off 129
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High school students in Southeast Chicago respond to climate of hate after elections

(Chicago, IL)—On Tuesday, students from Bowen High School, located on the Southeast side of Chicago, will walkout from class in response to the elections results and to show their opposition to the rise of hate and racism across the nation in the resulting weeks. Jalysa Mercado, a sophomore student at Bowen High School, said, “we as young people are not going to stand for the hateful comments and remarks that have been directed at us. Walking out of school is one way for us as students to express our concerns and make sure our voices are being heard.”

The students will join the massive demonstrations opposing the election results. Mary Claire Schmit, an organizer with Centro de Trabajadores Unidos, expressed, “after the elections, many feelings set in–anger, frustration, hurt, disappointment–but after a few days those feelings quickly turned into the need to take action and make sure that bring the community here in South Chicago was organized and united in standing against the hate that has been directed towards immigrants, African Americans, Muslims, people with disabilities, and many other groups.” This is climate that is causing fear in targeted communities—including young people. After the election, Lurie Children’s Hospital reports there has been a 200% increase in calls to crisis and suicide prevention hotlines in Illinois.[1]

Hector Gonzalez, a counselor at Bowen High School, asks “how do you explain to your students that a person who has made the focus of his campaign targeting their communities will be our next president?  Now more than ever it’s important that we be intentional about creating spaces for our students to come together to process their thoughts and feelings and take collective healing action.” The students plan to walkout at 1:30pm and then march towards Bessemer Park where they will hold rally to voice their concerns.

Centro de Trabajadores Unidos—Immigrant Workers Project (CTU-IWP) is the first immigrant—run worker center in southeast Chicago that advocates for immigrant and workers’ rights in southeast Chicago and Chicago south suburbs.

WHAT: Bowen High School students walk out to oppose the election results and the rise of hate and racism the nation has seen in the resulting weeks. Following the walk out, students will march through the streets of South Chicago and end with a rally in Bessemer Park for a student-run rally.

WHEN: 1:30 PMTuesday, November 22, 2016

WHERE: Bowen High School, 2710 E 89th St, Chicago, IL 60617

Gilliard & Sons

About the author / 

Toure Muhammad

Author Toure Muhammad is the head bean, publisher and chief strategist of Bean Soup Times. The Morehouse graduate has written front page cover stories for The Final Call and N’digo. He has been featured in the Chicago Reader, Upscale magazine, rolling out newspaper, and N’Digo magapaper. He’s been featured on Tavis Smiley’s radio show on NPR, on Chicago’s WBEZ (Chicago public radio), and many other radio shows.

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