On Being Black and Unwanted at Elite Universities

Last Sunday, the institution I attend, the University of Chicago, sent another sobering reminder to the University community that students and communities of color are not to be seriously valued, considered, or even meaningfully respected in their full dignity as human beings. On  January 27th, the University of Chicago used brutal and unnecessary force to arrest 4 individuals during a protest that urged the university’s hospital (the richest hospital on the South Side) to open a trauma center to treat victims of gun violence, stabbings, car accidents, and other traumatic incidents. This movement started after a young man, Damian Turner, was shot roughly three blocks away from the University of Chicago’s hospital, but died during the 10-mile trip to another hospital which does have a trauma center. After much silence on the University’s part, it finally responds by wrestling down youth of color, more than a few of which are students of its own institution, and planting them to the ground.


In many respects, I should not be surprised.

VIDEO: Hadiya Pendleton Appeared in Anti-Gang PSA

A 2008 anti-gang PSA has surfaced featuring Hadiya Pendleton when she was in the 6th grade.

Titled “Think Smart,” the clip cautions young people against the pitfalls of involving themselves in gangs. Hadiya and a friend share statistics on gang violence.

In unison, the two young ladies warn of being caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It’s a haunting, heartbreaking video:

Shirley Chambers Buries 4th Child Dead from Gun Violence

54 year-old Shirley Chambers never expected to outlive all four of her children.

On January 26th, her fourth child – 33 year-old Ronnie Chambers – was shot to death while sitting in a parked car.

Since the start of 2013, Chicago has already seen 147 shootings and 42 murders.

According to the Grio, Chambers was a reformed gang member and aspiring music producer; and a mentor to a young Chicago rapper named YK.

SIGN THIS PETITION: President Obama! Make a Speech in Chicago Addressing the Crisis of Gun Violence!


 Click here to sign a petition asking that President Obama make a speech in Chicago addressing the crisis of gun violence in Black and Latino communities!


This speech must layout specific policies on how the current administration and the country will work to save the lives and improve the futures of Black and Latino youth.

We know that President Obama cannot solve the issue of gun violence alone. However, he can call the nation to consciousness about the need for a response to this crisis.

Parents, Students and Activists Confront Dept. of Education Over Wave of School Closures

Parents, students, and activists from cities across the country confronted the U.S. Department of Education, asserting that widespread school closures violate the civil rights of minority youth.

Dubbed the Journey for Justice Movement, they have filed several Title VI civil rights complaints with the Education Department Office of Civil Rights.

Proponents of school closings contend it is a way to save money and boost academic performance.

Many strongly disagree, arguing that minority students are disproportionately impacted by such measures.

NYPD Handcuffs and Interrogates 7 Year-Old For HOURS Over Stolen $5

7 year-old Wilson Reyes was accused of stealing $5 from a classmate, and a scuffle ensued.

Instead of being sent to the principal’s office, the NYPD took him to a police station, handcuffed Reyes to a wall, and interrogated him for hours like a hardened criminal.

His horrified mother has filed a claim with the city’s Comptroller’s Office.

From the New York Post:

“My son was crying, ‘Mommy, it wasn’t me! Mommy, it wasn’t me!’ I never imagined the cops could do that to a child. We’re traumatized,” Wilson Reyes’ distraught mom, Frances Mendez told The Post last night.

Obama Throws Support Behind Plan to Reform “Out of Date and Badly Broken” Immigration Laws

Speaking at a majority Hispanic high school in Las Vegas, President Obama  voiced his support for a plan to fix our nation’s “out of date and badly broken” immigration laws.

The President is referring to a plan drafted by 8 senators – four from each party – that hopes to provide eventual citizenship for some 11 million people.

He focused specifically on three pillars of reform: the enforcement of immigration laws, providing a path to citizenship, and reforming the legal immigration system.