Open Letter to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel about Dyett High School Hunger Strikers

Posted by: Gordon on 9/15/2015

Fight for Dyett image

Dyett leaders have been working for education justice for several years.  Photo by LightBrigading from flickr

 Note: Gamaliel, a co-signer on this letter and member of Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools, is cross-posting this letter from the AROS website. See the individual signers and get more information on the #FightforDyett there. You can also read a good overview and update of the fight for Dyett and what the hunger strikers want in the current edition of @EqualVoiceNews, "Chicago Hunger Strikers Want Voice in Future of Dyett High School."

An Open and Urgent Letter to Mayor Rahm Emanuel from Educators, Researchers, Academics and Community Groups Nationwide:

Mayor Emanuel,

We are all supporters of the Dyett Global Leadership and Green Technology High School, and see both the proposal and the process as models for true investment in high quality public schools. We applaud the hunger strikers and the people that have come out to support them and we are heartened by your decision to re-open Dyett as an open-enrollment school.

However, out of deep concern for the 15 hunger strikers and out of a belief that their proposal merits implementation, we call on you to take the critical next step and agree to:

  • a curricular emphasis on green technology and to include “Green Technology” in the name of the school,
  • the involvement of members of the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School on the design team and in the selection of the principal,
  • and an elected and fully empowered Local School Council.

After all, it is the vision and tenacity of the African American community of Bronzeville that has led to the reopening of Dyett. A school that prepares our children to tackle the immediate problems of today simply makes sense. Green, sustainable, renewable energy sources make sense. It is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. Dyett sits in the historic Washington Park with a fishing pond, natural grasses, and a successful student-run farm. It will be a national model with your support.

Please take this next step and honor the hard work of community members, educators and organizations that went into the development of the original proposal which, if implemented with fidelity, will indeed provide a world class education to the young people of Bronzeville. Highly regarded education researchers and practitioners have stated the same.

Please do what is right and please do it now.


Alliance AFT (Dallas, TX)

Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment

Alliance for Educational Justice

Action NC

Action Now (Chicago)

Action United (Philadelphia and Pittsburgh)

Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools

Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools – Houston

American Federation of Teachers

The Arab American Association of NY

Arkansas Community Organization

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance

Austin Voices For Education

Boston Education Justice Alliance

Brevard Federation of Teachers

California Federation of Teachers


Center for Popular Democracy

Chicago Grassroots Curriculum Task Force

Citizen Action (New York)

Coalition for Community Schools

Coalition for New Orleans Schools

Communities United (Maryland)

Education Austin

Education for Liberation

Feminist Majority Foundation


Grassroots Collaborative (Chicago)

Houston Federation of Teachers Local 2416

Jobs With Justice

Journey for Justice Alliance

Labor Council for Latin American Advancement

Maryland Communities United

Massachusetts Jobs with Justice

Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association

Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment

National Education Association

National LGBTQ Task Force

National Organization for Women

New Florida Majority

New Orleans Education Equity Roundtable

The New Orleans Imperative

New York City Coalition for Educational Justice

New York Communities for Change

New York State United Teachers

Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (Minnesota)

OLE (New Mexico)


One Pittsburgh

Organize Now (Florida)

Our Community, Our Schools (Dallas, TX)

Parents Across America

Parents United for Public Education (Philadelphia, PA)

Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools

Philadelphia Federation of Teachers

Philadelphia Student Union

Power U Center for Social Change (Miami, FL)

Research for Action

Rethinking Schools

Sant La, Haitian Neighborhood Center, Inc. (Miami, FL)

Service Employees International Union

SEIU – Texas

Teachers for Social Justice (Chicago)

Texas AFT

Texas Organizing Project

UCLA Center X

Urban Youth Collaborative (New York City)

Wisconsin Jobs Now

Tags: education | Dyett | Chicago |
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