Young Leaders for Justice Participant, Lynda Lopez, reflects on her experience:

When it comes to policing, very few people ask questions about its origins. We just accept it as part of the fabric of our culture. Police is so ingrained in our society that it’s difficult to even imagine a time before they existed. The Youth Leaders in Justice Program wants to challenge this notion and challenged us to consider the history behind it.

During one particular activity, we were each asked to think of events that contributed to the rise of the modern police state. We each started to add events to the timeline “War on Drugs, SB 1070, establishment of ICE, slave patrols, etc.” It was amazing to be able to track the emergence and the creation of policing. Understanding the history of policing allows us to better ask questions of “why’ they were even needed in the first place. The “why’ is a lot more complicated than “to protect.” I have come away from this session with a more adamant desire to inform myself of the important history that we don’t typically hear. History informs and challenges our perceptions of what should be normal. When it comes to policing, why have we come to a place in time when mass incarceration is seen as justifiable? Let’s relearn our history and start to unravel this question.  

AuthorChicago Freedom School

 The Struggle for Quality Education in Chicago Then and Now


Tuesday, October 22, 2013 6-8 p.m., Free, open to the public

The DuSable Museum of African American History - 740 East 56th Place

Join the Chicago Freedom School on October 22, 2013, the 50th anniversary of the 1963 Boycott of Chicago Public Schools, when an estimated 250,000 Chicagoans – mostly CPS students – protested segregation and inequality. The evening features a debut screening of in-progress documentary '63 Boycott from Kartemquin Films (The Interrupters), a panel discussion with education activists from then and now, and a spoken word performance by Malcolm London of Young Chicago Authors.

The panel includes 63 Boycott leader Rosie Simpson;

Fannie Rushing, one of the young organizers of the 1963 Boycott;

Elizabeth Todd-Breland, a historian at University of Illinois in Chicago;

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis;

and Jasson Perez of Black Youth Project.

Light refreshments will be served. Please register at

There will also be an interactive teach-in organized by Education for Liberation Network, Teachers for Social Justice, and Chicago Teachers Union Black Caucus with a screening of a short clip from the upcoming documentary ’63 Boycott and a chance to talk with boycott organizers and participants in a series of small group discussions on Sunday, October 20th, at Lawndale Community Church, 3827 W. Ogden Ave. Childcare and Spanish interpretation will be provided at the teach-in.

Boycotters are being located through the film's interactive website, where they can identify and tag themselves in over 500 stills pulled from the film, as well as upload their own images and stories. Kartemquin invites those that participated in the 1963 Chicago Public School boycott to contact us through the website, by sending an email to, or calling 773-413-9263.

The October 22nd event is co- sponsored by Kartemquin Films, Chicago Teachers Union, Education for Liberation Network, the DuSable Museum of African American History, the Center for the Study of Race, Politics & Culture at the University of Chicago, Crossroads Fund, Grassroots Collaborative, Young Chicago Authors, Chicago Grassroots Curriculum Taskforce, Human Rights Program at University of Chicago, Chicago Freedom School, Teachers for Social Justice, Teaching for Change, Zinn Education Project, Chicago Area Women's History Council, Black Youth Project, Save Our Schools





AuthorChicago Freedom School