The I Project Brings South Shore Community to the Forefront of a Youth-Led Movement to Combat Education Inequity and Gun Violence in Day of Action
By Sunny Eimer and Madisonia Thompson
October 21st, 2018
Canvassers went house to house to discuss and distribute the Community Needs Assessment which, when complete, will catalyze groundbreaking, community-oriented initiatives that prioritize the holistic understanding and investment into the lives of Black and Brown students: the future of the Education Emancipation initiative.
To invest time, energy, and resources into a neighborhood of predominantly low-income Black people is groundbreaking, and with the sponsorship of CPS, Lyft, and the Obama Foundation in collaboration with the revolutionary mindsets of the young The I Project team, a movement to combat gentrification, violence, and poverty through community outreach and collaboration, we believe, has the potential to redefine local activism and the future of young people of color.
The Day of Action was an opportunity for local youths to get involved in accessible activism in the form of the first inclusive and neighborhood-specific community needs assessment South Shore has received. The I Project team and our supporters were ready to talk about the correlation between guns, education, and quality of life and how investing in Black and Brown lives can become an avenue for revitalizing an entire community. The main objective was to inform the public of what we have been doing and that we are willing to do a lot more-- something this community has seen before, but has never seen mobilized to the extent it was on August 10th.
Chicago, IL – On August 10th at 9AM, the youth-led initiative The I Project’s Education Emancipation renewed its investment in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood via a canvassing event, using Bouchet Elementary, which the organization has been working with since 2016, as the center of this monumental day for the community. With check-in starting at 9am, canvassers, volunteers, elected officials, school administrators, and young artists from the community met at Bouchet, where they were given their preassigned turf and heard from our team, speakers, and performers.
“I like to think of this day as the first of a long correspondence of love letters between our organization and the South Shore community, expressing our devotion to this neighborhood, to say we care and will be taking the time to fully understand and respond to need that manifests here. We’ve brought all of these people together not just to say ‘we need to allocate resources here’ but to say ‘look at all that is already here, that deserves to thrive and to be safe.’”
-- Madisonia Thompson, The I Project Creative Director
ARE YOU A RESIDENT OF SOUTH SHORE?
CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT OUR COMMUNITY NEEDS ASSESSMENT AND SUPPORT OUR ONGOING WORK TO COMBAT INEQUITY IN RESOURCE ALLOCATION AND FUNDING IN CHICAGO.
“Day of Action is my opportunity to invest in the community I’ve been taught to run from. I do not fear south shore, but I do fear the city’s intentional neglect of a powerful, black neighborhood.”
— Kopano, volunteer, performer, and South Shore resident