Welcome to Perspectives Charter Schools:

For the past 6 years Third Wave have marched for Peace alongside students in Chicago for 6 years now.

I Am For Peace (2014) – Trailer from Perspectives Charter Schools http://www.pcsedu.org/

Sept 11th 2001 was a man-made disaster that unfolded in the city I lived and it had a deep impact on my life.
For years I would participate in the NYC memorial ceremonies at ground zero and walk down into the deep pit to mourn with 24,000 people who had also lost loved ones. Years later I found myself out on volunteer deployments during the Sept 11th anniversary so I threw myself into volunteering full time to honor the ‘Stolen Lives’ of that day.

In 2010 I met Perspectives Charter schools CEO and Founder Diana Shulla and she encouraged me to come speak to her students about what I had learned through my disaster work-Each year I would speak about my experience and then relate it to their local disaster, which was the rampart gun violence through the streets of Chicago (killing students caught in the crossfire.) We created peace gardens and planted bulbs for each student that had been killed in the gun violence. We discussed solutions for the community and formed groups to discuss what they could do as students in their own hoods. The garden was growing larger and the gun violence got worse. The ‘I am peace’ march was created by students who marched through their local Chicago streets on the last day of school in protest to the gun violence and the I am Peace documentary was born.  Each year we march- we grow larger and we get louder.

These ethical teen leaders turned a neighborhood march for peace into an annual global event

A few years ago, Chicago-native Razia Hutchins found herself in a class discussing the recent shooting death of a local teen after a high school basketball game. Unfortunately, stories like this were all too common and most people just accepted it as simply the way things were, but not Razia.  Razia wanted change to come to her community. So, she helped come up with the idea for a neighborhood peace march, and the I Am For Peace movement was born.

Teaming up with her best friend Maurice Young, the two rallied people across Chicago together, and the march has since grown from 100 people in its first year to 2800 this year!

In 2018 there was a mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland Florida and a huge movement against gun violence was launched by the students themselves and the Chicago kids became a part of that movement.

Why is it so important for you both to be a positive force in your community?

Razia: It’s important for us to give back to our communities because we grew up on the south side of Chicago. The culture is just so rich and it has built us. The only thing we can do is try to give back and help our community.

Maurice: It’s a way to be the change that you want to see happening in the world.

What’s your advice for another teen who might want to follow in your footsteps and give back in a big way?

Razia: Don’t be a victim—be a voice. If you see something that’s not going right in your community just stand up. Always speak up and don’t let one person or a group of people try to take you off track.

Who are some people that inspire you?

Razia: Everyone who has had a part in just sticking up for what they believe in, whether they played a big role or a little role. They have taught me something.

Maurice: J. Cole and Martin Luther King Jr.

Favorite read or flick?

Razia: I Know Why the Cage Bird Sings by Maya Angelou and Big Girls Don’t Cry by Rebecca Traister

Maurice: Pay it ForwardPerspectives operates five open-enrollment public schools serving 2,300 students in grades 6-12 in the communities of Auburn Gresham, Bronzeville, and the South Loop. Committed to providing access to top quality public school education throughout Chicago, Perspectives seeks to ensure that all students graduate prepared to succeed in college and in life.

Unique to Perspectives Charter Schools is the A Disciplined Life® (ADL) education model.


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