I have a love/hate relationship with the city of Chicago.
I love the city for its beauty, vibrancy, diversity and opportunity. I hate the city for how its underserved communities sometimes gets the short end of the stick—especially when it comes to education.
I grew up in Englewood and there were no good school options in my community. Luckily, my parents made the decision and were able to send me to better-performing schools in other neighborhoods. But most of the kids I grew up with weren’t as fortunate and fell through the cracks of a broken and underperforming system. And it’s still like that.
Parent, student, teacher and community voices have been silenced and excluded for too long. And we shouldn’t be surprised. The system is built to disempower us.
But I also know that, as a collective, we haven’t demanded better. We’ve grown complacent with the status quo. We’ve let others set our standards, define quality and tell us what we need.
I know that if we all stood up and advocated for better education, we would get it. If we shared resources and information, more families would reap the benefits of opportunities that are already out here.
That’s what Chicago Unheard is for.
It’s a place for parents, students, community members and educators to talk about what’s good, what’s bad and everything in between. It’s a resource hub for people who have no idea where to begin. And most importantly, it’s a safe space for others who feel just like and have experienced the same things as you.
I do this work for those of us who have been marginalized, disempowered and disadvantaged by an inequitable and discriminatory system. When more voices from communities like mine are telling their stories and are being heard, we will strengthen the case for investing in the sort of high-quality schools we need and deserve.
I wholeheartedly believe that education is the foundation for success. It’s where you discover your talents, your dreams and ambitions, your purpose and passion—and most importantly, your potential.
We have to fight for that foundation and that starts with sharing your voice. Check us out—join the conversation.
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