Skip to content Skip to navigation

Chicago Peacebuilding November 2021 News

Including updates on teach-ins and canvassing with Sullivan High School Students, our latest Community Safety Beyond Policing Webinar and more

Sullivan High School Social Justice Club students with AFSC & Dissenters
Sullivan High School Social Justice Club students with AFSC & Dissenters Photo: / AFSC

This November, we're excited to share some updates with you about our ongoing work, including teach-ins and canvassing with Sullivan High School Students, our latest Community Safety Beyond Policing Webinar and more.

But before we do, we want to update you on the Michael McConnell Peace with Justice Youth Organizing Fellowship and fundraising drive. Last month, we announced our efforts to raise $96,000 to fund this part-time position with full health insurance benefits for three years. We are thrilled to announce that, thanks to Wellington UCC's seed funding, the contributions of more than 54 individual donors, the support of Michael's family, and organizational gifts, we have now raised...$72,594 in pledges!  

We are thrilled to get to grow our team in this way, and to have already surpassed two-thirds of our goal with our fundraising launch. If you have yet to make your own gift, we welcome you to do so using this online link - or you can reach out to us directly about where to send a check or how to make a contribution via your financial institution or organization.  

Thank you.

Community Safety Beyond Policing

Watch our October webinar! Policing and the War on Terror (October 14, 2021)

The post 9/11 war on terror framework further legitimized the targeting and criminalization of Muslim, immigrant and Black communities and produced techniques, agencies, and concepts of policing that are increasingly being used on all communities of color and protesters. In this webinar, we looked at militarized policing, the development of ICE, fusion centers, "pre-crime," the use of community leaders and social service organizations in surveillance, and what local communities are doing to push back.

Speakers: Dr. Maha Hilal (Justice for Muslims Collective - DC, and author of the forthcoming Innocent Until Proven Muslim), Fatema Ahmad (Executive Director of the Muslim Justice League - Boston), and Pedro Rios from AFSC's US/Mexico Border Program in San Diego. Moderated by Mary Zerkel from AFSC's Chicago Peacebuilding program.


Youth Organizing Updates

The new student-led anti-war movement, Dissenters, has launched a campaign to demand that the City of Chicago cancel its contract, in which it pays Boeing to have their headquarters here, as a step towards divesting from the war industry. Last month, we joined the Dissenters #DivestFromDeath week of action to coordinate two teach-ins and day of canvassing with Loyola Dissenters, Sullivan High School Social Justice Club, and PO Box Collective!  Nearly a dozen students learned about Boeing and hit the streets of Rogers Park to talk to neighbors about getting Chicago's tax dollars out of the war industry. They gathered 50 signatures in one afternoon!

Check out some of the pictures below!  

If you haven't yet, be sure to sign the petition for the city of Chicago to end its contract with Boeing and divest from war profiteering.


Intern Spotlight

Over the past month, the Senate held confirmation hearings on former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's bid for Ambassador of Japan. Here's what two of our former interns, Citlali Perez and Destiny Harris, had to say:

"Black youth keep dying every day in Chicago. Meanwhile, Emanuel — who closed schools and clinics and cut the after-school programming that those same youth should have had access to while in office — gets promoted, moving up the ranks and on to other political ventures. He is able to disassociate himself from the communities he helped gut, but we aren’t able to remove ourselves from the harmful effects of his politics.

We still have to experience crises daily, and Rahm Emanuel still has blood on his hands."  Read more.

Lessons in Liberation

New Resource Alert!

Born from sustained organizing, and rooted in Black and women of color feminisms, disability justice, and other movements, abolition calls for an end to our reliance on imprisonment, policing and surveillance, and to imagine a safer future for our communities. Lessons in Liberation: An Abolitionist Toolkit for Educators offers entry points to build critical and intentional bridges between educational practice and the growing movement for abolition. Designed for educators, parents, and young people, this toolkit shines a light on innovative abolitionist projects, particularly in Pre-K–12 learning contexts.

We're honored that they included excerpts from and an article about our Coins, Cops and Communities Toolkit from 2016 in this fantastic new educator's guide. Be sure to check it out and share with any educators or youth workers in your life.  


Get your holiday gifts & support our work!

The holidays are around the corner, and our abolitionist t-shirts make great gifts! Even if you already have yours - who might want want to rock one next year? Reach out to us if you're interested in purchasing bulk (5 or more) shirts for a discount.

With your donation of $20, we'll send you a t-shirt with free shipping. Be sure to order by December 10th to ensure delivery before December 24th! Once you've donated, select the design and preferred size in the linked google form.


Become a Partner for Peace!

Partners for Peace make monthly donations to support AFSC’s worldwide work for peace and justice. Will you provide reliable, year-round support to communities overcoming violence, poverty, and oppression? Start your monthly donation today to help us meet our goal of 175 monthly gifts by Jan. 31.

Give Now →