As the school year draws to an end and with violence
traditionally getting worse during summer, more than 1,000 students took to the
streets last week. They chanted: “Hands up. Guns down. Stand up
The Peace March was organized by two Perspectives Charter
Schools students, Razia Hutchinson and Janeya Cunningham.
Hutchinson, a junior at the Rodney D. Joslin campus, was
reacting to the response by her peers to the shooting deaths of 17-year-old
Tyrone Lawson in January 2013 and 14-year-old Endia Martin this April.
“What do you expect?” was her classmates’ response. She became
concerned that they were so used to violence that they stood by passively,
leading to more unnecessary student deaths.
In response, she and Cunningham planned the march. Fellow
Perspectives students filmed the march and hope to add it to a documentary
they’re filming about how to combat violence in their neighborhoods with peace
practices. The students have started a Kickstarter campaign to fund the project,
but are still about $13,000 short as the deadline approaches.
The march began at Perspectives’ Rodney D. Joslin campus and
ended with a “Peace Jam” at Perspectives/IIT Math & Science
Academy campus at 3663 S Wabash Ave. Tony Schofield from WGCI radio emceed the
event, which included short speeches by the Rev. James Meeks and Ald. Pat
Dowell and a performance by rapper FM Supreme.
Photos by Jonathan Gibby