A gong was rung Tuesday evening for each of the 108 Chicago children that were killed last year to violence and guns in Chicago during a ceremony Feb. 5 held at The Black Star Project Center.
The report card grade was given following not only the shooting death of Hadiya Pendleton but also the countless victims before her.
Black Star Executive Director, Phillip Jackson, read aloud the names in remembrance for those killed just days after 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton’s death. The youngest child on the 2012 list, was not even 3 weeks old, was killed by improper care by a parent.
A Member of Centers for New Horizons and student at Wendell Phillips Academy High School, Jamale Barber, wants to know why the big businesses are flourishing, while the youth programs and YMCAs are depleting.
“Why can’t the president or anyone else see this massive problem that Chicago has,” questioned Barber.
According to Jackson, their deaths went largely unnoticed by political leaders.
“108 people killed,” Jackson said. “No outcry.”
Mother of two sons, Natasha Dunn, is concerned about the safety of her sons due to the education system in Chicago.
“Enough is enough,” Dunn said. “We refuse to keep allowing the system to use our kids as scapegoats for dysfunctional education, for dysfunctional management, and we’re going to start taking control of the situation.”
The Black Star Project sent copies of petitions, with 8,000 signatures, to Washington, D.C., the group requested greater resources to fund education, mentoring programs and provide economic alternatives to crime for young people in the community.
“It is time for us to get to work,” Jackson said. “We’re going to fix the problems of violence in our community.”
- Michelle Obama to Chicago for Hadiya Pendleton funeral (politico.com)
- Rev. Jackson Leads March to Park Where Hadiya Pendleton Was Killed (atlantablackstar.com)
- For Discussion: Don’t Let Hadiya Pendleton’s Death Be In Vain, How Do We Stop Chicago Violence Now? (bossip.com)
- Jesse Jackson urges Obama to ‘come home’ and tackle Chicago’s gun crisis (guardian.co.uk)