Organizers say University of Chicago doesn’t care about Black lives. Week of actions aims to educate alumni and calls on them to demand that U of Chicago open an adult Level 1 trauma center.
CHICAGO –(ENEWSPF)—June 2, 2015. This week, a coalition made up of South Side youth, mothers, clergy, doctors, nurses and university students, joined by U of C alumni, will stage a series of actions to shine a light on the University of Chicago’s refusal to open a Level 1 Adult Trauma Center. The latest week of actions is timed to coincide with the University’s Alumni Weekend Celebrations, a time of heightened tensions at U of C, because it is during this time that it makes the majority of its money from alumni donations.
“The University of Chicago has shown that they do not care about black lives,” says Veronica Morris-Moore, a Woodlawn resident and youth organizer with the trauma center campaign. “We want to make sure alumni know where their donation dollars are going, and we want to say we can’t live with [U of C President] Robert Zimmer’s definition of ‘business as usual’ any more. University of Chicago needs to open a trauma center now.”
Organizers are demanding that:
U of C open a level one adult trauma center now
U of C raise the ageof the Level 1 pediatric trauma center care to 21
U of C President Zimmer set a meeting with the Trauma Care Coalition by the end of the week
U of C include community input in the current trauma center feasibility study
U of C agree to a comprehensive community benefits agreement on the Obama Library
The actions will encompass the duration of the U of C’s alumni weekend celebrations and will be joined by alumni supporters of the ongoing push for a trauma center. “As a student at the U of C I saw first hand the best and the worst of what the institution can do — how many resources they have, but also how they put up barriers around themselves and keep out the rest of the South Side,” explained U of C alum Alex Goldenberg, B.A. ’06.
The community’s demand for trauma care was sparked by the death of Woodlawn youth leader Damian Turner, and is led by the Woodlawn-based Fearless Leading by the Youth, along with the Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization, Students for Health Equity at the U of C, National Nurses United and many faith groups including the United Church of Christ.
The South Side is currently a trauma desert for adults, meaning that victims of shootings and other serious injuries must be taken over ten miles away, to the Near North Side or south west suburbs. The call for trauma care is also supported by a new study by the Illinois Department of Public Health which states that longer travel times to a trauma center increases the likelihood of dying, the study also states that the U of C is best positioned to expand access to trauma care, and that the U of C could further raise the age limit of their pediatric trauma center.