Media Advisory, Chicago Public Schools Students March for Peace, a Safe Summer

June 5, 2015
Attn: Assignment editors; crime, urban affairs and education reporters; and sports desks.

Chicago Public Schools Students March for Peace, a Safe Summer
#iamforpeace #besafe
More than 2,000 expected to participate in peaceful protest against escalating violence endangering the lives of schoolchildren

WHAT: Before summer break starts, students at Perspectives Charter Schools will lead a peace march culminating in a peace rally and jam with music, performances and words of encouragement to students from their peers and other supporters imploring them to be safe this summer.

Students and corporate and community leaders will march together to disrupt the violence endangering the lives of schoolchildren. Perspectives students will also be joined by students from Evanston, IL; Brentwood and Murfreesboro, TN; and Suwanee, GA. Violence against youth is a global phenomenon and peace marches inspired by Perspectives’ peace movement are scheduled to take place in Haiti, South Africa and Belgium, as well as in four additional U.S. cities, including Ferguson, MO; Madison, WI; Minneapolis, MN; and Miami, FL.

Students from Perspectives Charter Schools will lead the Chicago march. At Perspectives, students learn to be socially aware and academically prepared through the A Disciplined Life social emotional learning education model, which uses 26 principles to help students develop positive self-perception, healthy relationships, and tools for productivity.

Visual: Students will wear matching T-shirts, lead call and response chants using bull horns, carry banners and other signs with messages of hope, peace and non-violence.

WHO: More than 2,000 marchers, including middle- and high-school students, teachers, staff and administrators from Perspectives Charter Schools’ five schools; local corporate executives and elected officials; and community leaders.
Special guests and grand marshals include:
  • David P. Storch, Chairman and CEO of AAR CORP. The T-shirts the students and about 30 AAR employees will be wearing are donated by AAR and made by Rags of Honor, an apparel company that expressly hires military veterans.
  • Tom Wilson, CEO, Allstate, who recently awarded two leaders of Perspectives’ peace movement with $10,000 scholarships each
  • Mark Aguirre, DePaul University grad formerly with the NBA champion Detroit Pistons (the Bad Boys era) and an executive for AAR 
  • Tony Anderson, Retired Vice Chairman and Midwest Managing Partner, Ernst & Young and Perspectives Charter Schools board chair
  • Rev. James Meeks, pastor, Salem Baptist Church
  • Rev. Charles Jenkins, pastor, Fellowship Chicago Church
  • and Cheryle Jackson, VP, Government Affairs and Corporate Development for AAR; Perspectives Charter Schools board member
  • Student architects of the peace movement Razia Hutchins, Janeya Cunningham and Maurice Young
Peace jam and rally:
  • Matt McGill, WVON 1690 AM morning radio show host, will emcee the peace rally and jam following the march
  • FM Supreme, socially conscious Chicago rapper, will perform at the peace jam
June 5, 2015. Marchers will line up at 9:30 a.m. There will be opportunities to interview participants before the march officially starts at 10 a.m.
11 – 11:30 a.m. -- The peace jam on the grounds of Perspectives’ IIT/Math and Science Academy, 3663 S. Wabash Ave.

WHERE: The march will extend between two South Side locations of Perspectives Charter Schools, commencing at 24th and State, and culminating with a peace jam at 36th and Wabash.

BACKGROUND: Summer should be a time of anticipation for schoolchildren. But in Chicago, it’s also a time of fear. And the violence only seems to rise with the temperatures. Perspectives Charter Schools students are taking a stand against violence and being a voice for peace. This is the third peace march in as many years, and it is anticipated to be the largest in terms of participation and awareness.
Last year’s peace march was one of the largest peace marches led by middle- and high school students in Chicago’s history. The march will come a week after the public television debut (Chicago’s WTTW) of the documentary “I Am for Peace,” (New Chapter Entertainment) which chronicles the three architects of Perspectives’ peace movement and shows footage from last year’s peace march and rally. The film also features comments from Academy award-winning actress Jennifer Hudson and U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan, former CPS chief.

About Perspectives Charter Schools
Founded in 1997 by two public school teachers, Perspectives Charter Schools is a network of open enrollment public schools across the South Side of Chicago, serving nearly 2,200 students. Perspectives educates students for college and prepares them for life. At Perspectives, the A Disciplined Life education model combines academic rigor with a focus on character development. Despite coming from some of the most disadvantaged neighborhoods in Chicago, Perspectives students graduate from high school, enroll in college, and persist towards graduation at rates above the national average for all students, regardless of background. Learn more at pcsedu.org.

Media contact: David Terry at dterry@pcsedu.org | 312-604-2142 or Shayla Butler at sbutler@pcsedu.org | 708-516-7828.