Closing Schools Is Just Another Form of Killing – BYP100 Stands with Dyett Hunger Strikers

 CHICAGO—(ENEWSPF)—August 30, 2015. Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) stands in support of the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett, a group of outraged community members, teachers and parents who have been on hunger strike for education justice since August 17th. The hunger strike is in response to Chicago Public Schools’ failure to adopt their plan to create Dyett Global Leadership Green Technology High School. Strikers have said they will keep demonstrating until this plan – and this plan only – is adopted by the Board of Education. Dyett, which is currently shuttered, is the only remaining open-enrollment high school in Bronzeville, which is both majority and historically Black. The board’s failure not only immediately endangers the lives of the twelve hunger strikers, but points to the city’s consistent disregard for Black life in general, and the wellness of Black children in particular.  

On August 20th, BYP100, the Dyett hunger strikers, and other organizers and concerned citizens rallied at Chicago Police Headquarters. We packed the Chicago Police Board hearing and outer pavilion to demand that Officer Dante Servin be fired for the murder of Rekia Boyd in 2012. As the hearing went on inside, Dyett protesters took the mic to speak about their cause, noting that anti-Black police violence, school closings, underfunding in majority Black communities, and a complete lack of accountability for the perpetrators of these destructive acts are interrelated issues. It is necessary that we work from every angle to dismantle the systematic harms that have been inflicted upon us.  

“The violence being done to Black communities and families by closing our schools is just another form of killing, just another marker of Black life being devalued by this City.”, says Janae Bonsu, BYP100 Chicago Chapter Co-Chair. 

While addressing the crowd outside CPD Headquarters on the 20th, Jitu Brown spoke on behalf of the Dyett hunger strikers: “We look at our children and see love; they look and see inmates.” With that, Brown speaks to how the struggle for Dyett goes beyond just the school’s walls. The Dyett campaign represents the lack of opportunities, jobs, police accountability and overall lack of rights in Black communities. That’s what makes this moment extremely urgent amidst police killings and the #BlackLivesMatter movement. We have to prove that our lives actually matter and can do so by showing that education in black communities is actually valued and protected. It is with love for our children and commitment to their well-being in spite of the continued assault on their—and thus our—futures that BYP100 stands in solidarity with the Dyett hunger strikers.

For more information regarding the #FightForDyett campaign click here.

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Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) is an activist member-based organization of Black 18-35 year olds, dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black people. We do this through building a network focused on transformative leadership development, direct action organizing, advocacy and education using a Black queer feminist lens. We are an organization affiliated with the Black Youth Project

Source: Chicago Chapter BYP100