Recently in Activism Category
by Sydney Paul, Class of '12
Spring 2012 is already shaping up to be a busy time in the city with events like the NATO Summit in May. We here at Chicago Studies plan to help students make the most of it. We have the pedal to the metal with collaborations with a variety of faculty, the Sustainability Office, ORCSA, OMSA, the Creative Writing Program, the Human Rights Program, the Logan Center, the Film Studies Center, and more.
Here is a wrap-up of exciting events Chicago Studies has planned for Spring 2012:
NATO: Where It Came From and Where It's Going
(April 19th) - 6:30pm Stuart Hall 101
Join us for a discussion with Professor John Mearsheimer, who is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science and the co-director of the Program on International Security Policy at the University of Chicago, as lectures on NATO's history and its relevance to the U.S. and the world going forward. Co-sponsored by the Human Rights Program.
According to Chicago Police reports, last year there were over 400 homicides in Chicago, approximately half of which were victims under 26 years old. One year earlier in 2009, the city made national news when the story of Derrion Albert's beating death made headlines. Two months prior to his death, CNN aired a special report on "Chicago's Deadly Streets", investigating the cause of violence in the city. The attention the city has received is not desired, but certainly needed. Stories of tragedy can be insights of empathic understanding and warrants for change; however we should recognize that not all actions and events can be explained. It's nearly impossible to imagine that statistically a person dies every day in Chicago from some form of violence. It's even harder to understand the reason why these events occur, but many are trying and are using this understanding to stop cycles of violence.
The Interrupters is a new documentary that bridges the gap between those who do work to address the problem of violence in Chicago and those who want to be informed. The Kartemquin Films produced work has received much praise for its ability to metaphorically pull audiences into what some call the "war zone" of West and South sides Chicago. Filmmakers follow CeaseFire, a Chicago-based violence prevention group which has one goal in mind: to save a life. CeaseFire employs "Interrupters" - themselves ex-offenders - who intervene, mediate and attempt to prevent violent acts from occurring, one incident at a time. Interrupters have lived the life of those they seek to influence, which makes it great strategy in effectively reaching out to their communities. It is through the words and actions of these Interrupters that audiences of the film leave with a better understanding of what CeaseFire calls the disease of violence.
by Sydney Paul, AB 12
The United States has always been a nation of revolutionaries. The desire for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is a very active concept, which Americans practically take as an extension of themselves. Every nationally historical event, from the Boston Tea Party to the recent Tea Party, can attest to this aspect of passionate solidarity and call for civic action, especially in times of despair. The ordeal brought on by the United States' current economic downfall has been this generation's trumpet to arms.
On September 17, 2011, a series of demonstrations began in New York City in protest of the social and economic disparities that plagued the nation, in addition to the condemnation of corporate greed. New Yorkers of all ages, working and unemployed joined together in efforts to actively, and peacefully, make their voices heard to those they hold accountable. Roughly a month later, the group, now known as Occupy Wall Street, has a large presence in Liberty Plaza Park which is getting stronger every day.
The New York movement has inspired many more cities across the country to rise to the occasion. For the past 21 days, Chicagoans have been protesting in front of the Federal Reserve Building in the financial district of the Loop. Thousands of demonstrators, who call themselves the "99%", have been marching and chanting every day so far, expressing their discontent and anger toward what they believe is unjust corporate control over the political system. With more and more people joining in every day, the group has been remarkably gaining strength very quickly.
Many tactics of the demonstrations are based off the Arab Spring movement, like the 2011 Egypt protests for example. So, Occupy Chicago is using a fairly new tactic of action--a lateral organization form, where everyone has an equal voice. In this strategy, social networks play an integral part in sharing information and rallying the masses. The presence of the younger generation in this strategy is very prominent and many students in other cities have jumped on the opportunity to participate. Student activists at The University of Chicago have also taken notice and have begun to show their support.
Larissa Pittenger, a Uchicago student and activist, believes that this movement is bringing out the best in the people of Chicago. "There's a lot of creativity and positivity that I think shows that this movement has a great potential for lasting change", said Larissa. The 4th year in the college first entered the movement by marching with protesters downtown on day 5 of the Chicago occupation.
Pittenger and other student activists have now organized an informational meeting for those who want to learn more about the movement. The "Teach-In About the Global OccupyChicago Movement", will take place on Friday, October 14th, from 3pm to 4:30pm in Harper 130. Students can expect to learn about the history of the greater Occupy movement, get an overview of what is Occupy Chicago, and discuss the academic aspect of the events with faculty members. Notably, students will also gain some insight from representatives from Occupy Chicago, who will be attendance.
Over the past decade, our present generation of college students has proven to be a very civically motivated force. In times of frustration and lost hope, they've educated themselves on current issues, but most importantly stepped up to the plate and have taken action. Those who joined the Occupy movement are a great example of the enthusiasm that youth have for change and progress. What an inspiring thought!
"I feel lucky to a part of [the] process" said Larissa. "If it's something you care about, why not be involved?"
As we watch the images of devastation coming out of Japan, our hearts go
out to all of those touched by last night's earthquake and tsunami
there. Our thoughts are with the people of Japan and all those who
have family, friends, or colleagues in Japan. For updates and information from the University, visit http://news.uchicago.edu/page/japan-earthquake-response.
In terms of local and national organizations, the WBEZ website is keeping a list.
- Locally, the Japanese American Service Committee is collecting donations for the American Red Cross's Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Relief Fund. They are only accepting donations via mail, as far as I can tell.
- The Japanese America Society of Chicago has a fund set up. They will be working with the Japanese Consulate in Chicago to get the funds to Japan. They are taking donations online.
- There are at least two local faith-based groups that have set up relief funds: the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago and the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago.
Compiled by Lynda Lopez, News and Public Affairs Intern
After 21 years of Mayor Daley, the city of Chicago is getting ready to elect a new leader. The election, which is set for February 22nd, has become one of the most contested in the city's recent history. There are currently 6 candidates running for office, including former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel and former chairman of the City Colleges of Chicago Gery Chico.
There has been no lack of coverage on the election, as every major media outlet is putting the candidates under public scrutiny. With an endless amount of coverage on the mayoral candidates, it can be quite difficult to filter through the media cloud to find the actual important content.It is important to make the right decision on election day, as the future of the city is going to be shaped by our new mayor. In order to facilitate your voting in February, here is a handy resource guide containing everything from how to register to vote to the best websites for candidate information.
Eligibility to vote:
-- be a U.S. citizen;
-- be at least 18 years of age by election day;
-- live in your precinct at least 30 days before the election;
-- not be in prison/jail serving time for a conviction; and,
-- not claim the right to vote elsewhere
How to register to vote:
-- by submitting this mail-in form. This form can be used: to register for the first time; to file a change of address; or, to file a change of name.
-- in person at 69 W. Washington St., Sixth Floor.
-- at any Secretary of State's office where driver's licenses and state IDs are issued.
-- through an active deputy registrar affiliated with a local organization, such as a political party, ward organization or other state-certified body.
Last day to register to vote is on January 25, 2011!
If you miss the deadline, you can still register until February 15th if you...
Pass by the Chicago Board of Elections in person at 69 W. Washington 6th Floor
To find your polling place, go to Chicagoelections.com/voterinfo
You can vote early starting January 31st until February 17th. Go to chicagoelections.com to find out which locations have "Early Voting."
On Election Day:
Election Day is Tuesday, February 22nd. Polling places are open from 6am-7pm.
If a candidate does not receive the majority of votes (50%+1 vote), there might be a "Run-Off Election" on Tuesday, April 5th.
Mayoral Candidate websites
William Walls: http://wallsformayor.com/
Rahm Emmanuel: http://www.chicagoforrahm.com
Carol Moseley Braun: http://carolforchicago.com/
Miguel Del Valle: http://www.delvalleformayor.com/
Gery Chico: http://www.gerychicoformayor.com/
Patricia Van Pelt Watkins: http://www.patriciaforchicago.com/
Election News Sites
Volunteer for the election
Rahm Emmanuel: http://www.chicagoforrahm.com/action/volunteer
Gery Chico: http://www.gerychicoformayor.com/get_involved.aspx
Carol Moseley Braun: https://services.myngp.com/ngponlineservices/volunteer.aspx?X=4sEYvJt99957195ouYMbmQ%3d%3d
Patricia Van Pelt Watkins: http://patriciaforchicago.blackdogcreativegroup.com/about/
Miguel Del Valle: http://www.delvalleformayor.com/2010/11/join-volunteer-team.html
William Walls: http://wallsformayor.com/volunteer-signin/
UCSC accepts story submissions from contributing writers that take a timely national issue and examine it in the local perspective. To join the pool, or learn more, visit http://tiny.cc/ucsc-civic-journalist.
King's legacy in Chicago is complicated. Forty-five years ago this month, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. moved into an apartment at 1550 S. Hamlin in Chicago's North Lawndale neighborhood on the west side. He worked with local leaders for open housing. Chicago challenged him in new ways. Of his time in Chicago, he said: "I have never seen, even in Mississippi and Alabama, mobs as hostile and as hateful..."
Thursday, Nov. 4
The 2010-11 Schweitzer Fellows Presents: Health Disparities and Solutions: Tackling the Complex Health Issues of Marginalized Communities
Time: 6:30 - 8:30pm
Location: UIC College of Medicine Research Building - Moss Auditorium (1st Floor)
According to the event organizers, the featured speakers are:
"-Dr. Gregory Scott, Sociology Professor, Director of the Social Science Research Center at DePaul University and documentary filmmaker; Dr. Scott's work focuses on harm reduction, clean needle exchanges, crime and delinquency, community studies, and street gangs.
-Linda Wesp, Family Nurse Practitioner and Director of Adolescent Health at the Howard Brown Health Center, one of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) healthcare organizations. Wesp specializes in providing care to lesbian, gay and bisexual teens, transgendered teens, and individuals with HIV.
"Speakers will share stories of their work, including identified health disparities in specific marginalized populations; programs/approaches to combat disparities; the evaluation of their progress; their successes and failures; and how others might apply to their work in the effort to improve health issues in Chicago and beyond."
**Light Refreshments Will Be Served
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
RSVP encouraged: email email@example.com or call 312.372.4292 ext. 24
Saturday, November 6th
Illinois Student Environmental Coalition Fall Conference
Key note speaker: State Senator Heather Steans
To register visit www.GreenStudents.org
Deadline to register is November 3rd.
Location: 33. East Congress, Columbia College
Monday, November 8th
Summer Links Internship Program Info Session
Location: Harper Memorial Library Room 130
Summer Links, a program of the University Community Service Center, offers intensive 10-week internships to 30 returning College and graduate students committed to public service, community building, and social change. Interns receive a $4 000 stipend and the option of subsidized on-campus housing, and participate in weekly day-long and evening trainings about Chicago and social justice issues. Returning college, graduate, and professional school students are welcome to apply.
Can't make it? We will also present information sessions on the following dates:
Thursday, December 2nd 6:00-7:00 pm, in the 5710 OMSA Community Lounge, 5710 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Questions? Please contact the Student Intern Ian Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org or Program Director Trudi Langendorf at email@example.com or 773.834.2699.
When:Tuesday 26th, 7PM, Harper 130
Details from the organizers: Join Green Campus Initiative, Students for a Democratic Society, Students for a Just and Sustainable Future, and the Southside Solidarity Network for presentations and discussion of the University's investment in mountaintop removal coal mining and Chicago's heavily polluting coal power plants. Free Diner from Rajun Cajun!
You Are Here: Screening and Discussion
When: Thursday, October 28th
What: From UCSC: Join Graduate Student Affairs and the University Community Service Center for this film screening and discussion, moderated by Wallace Goode. "You Are Here, Too" was produced by students, and explores the University's civic engagement on the South Side of Chicago - both today and in the past. Free lunch!
Contact: Rosa Yadira Ortiz at firstname.lastname@example.org
Time and Location: 12-1pm in Ida Noyes Hall, East Lounge
CSRPC/Black Star Project: "Beyond the Bricks"; documentary screening & town hall meetings
When: Saturday from 11am - 12:30pm
Location: International House - International House, Assembly Hall 1414 East 59th Street
What: According to the CSRPC: "The Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture at the University of Chicago and The Black Star Project are the Chicago hosts for the national community engagement campaign for the documentary film, "Beyond the Bricks", which focuses on one of America's critical problems in education: the consistently low performance of black males in school. This event includes a screening of the film (30 minutes) and a town hall discussion with panelists Dr. Cathy J. Cohen, Professor of Political Science at U of C; Salim Muwakkil, Senior Editor, In These Times; Bryan Echols, Executive Director, MAGIC, Inc.; Jonathan Lykes, Third year student at U of C and blogger for The Black Youth Project; Cheo Tyehima Taylor, National Media Director, 2025 Campaign for Black Men and Boys; and Trevor Wilkins, Princeton Undergrad and Collegiate Scholars Alumni.
Contact: Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture (CSRPC),773-702-8063"
By Claire Brindley, a student in the College
Chicago is home to a lot of great landmarks--the John Hancock building, Wrigley Field, the Bean (or Cloud Gate, if you prefer). But the Windy City also has a couple of skyscrapers that are a little less family-friendly, the Fisk and Crawford coal-fired power plants.
These edifices may not be a part of the famous skyline, but they are a serious threat to the health of Chicago's residents. Built in the 1920s, they face lenient emissions standards, are the reason that Chicago now has one of the nation's highest asthma rates. In addition to chronic illness, air pollutants from Fisk and Crawford are responsible for 500 emergency room visits and 40 premature deaths each year.
Now is the time to clean up emissions from the old coal plants--not only for environmental reasons, but also for the health of Chicago residents. On Saturday, October 10, people from around the world will gather to support clean power in their communities and political action for sustainability as part of 350.org's Global Work Party.
This will be the most widespread day of political action in history, with 6227 events in 185 countries. Green Campus Initiative Students for a Just and Secure Future will be leading U of Cers downtown to join their fellow Chicagoans in demanding a cleaner, coal-free future. We'll be meeting in front of the Reg (1101 E 57th St) on Sunday, October 10, to bike or take the CTA to the rally. If you need to borrow a bike, check out the UChicago bikeshare program.
Please come out to make the call for a clean city even louder! Get to work, Chicago!
The passage of the suffrage bill was possible because of the hard work of activists led the Chicago Political Equality League, especially Grace Wilbur Trout (at right). From the Wikipedia entry: "One of her [Trout's] assistants, Elizabeth Booth, cut up a Blue Book government directory and made file cards for each of the members of the General Assembly. Armed with the names, four lobbyists went to Springfield to persuade one legislator at a time to support suffrage for women. In 1913, first-term Speaker of the House, Democrat Champ Clark, told Trout that he would submit the bill for a final vote, if there was support for the bill in Illinois. Trout enlisted her network, and while in Chicago over the weekend, Clark received a phone call every 15 minutes, day and night. On returning to Springfield he found a deluge of telegrams and letters from around the state all in favor of suffrage."
The suffrage movement had long roots in Illinois and continued until the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920. More information on the 1910-1913 campaign for suffrage in Illinois.
This week marks the 90th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution.