Six years ago, 12 community members lead a hunger strike demanding that then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel reopen Dyett High School in Chicago and invest in the city’s much-needed community schools. The strike attracted national attention and lasted over a month. Now, the story is being told through a film project called “34 Days: The Fight for Dyett.” Learn more about the project and how you can help make it happen.
The story of Dyett is so resounding because it is a story of hard-fought success. Community members stood up against school privatization and closure and the negative mainstream narrative of a neighborhood like Bronzeville. They stood up to make a place for their students and to resist the oppressive systems and structures that have traumatized Black communities and perpetuate inequity in public education. The IFT stood in solidarity with Dyett strikers six years ago, and we look forward to seeing their story retold today.
The IFT has made it a priority to support the sustainable community school model so that more communities can benefit from having schools grounded in the pillars of sustainable community schools:
• Engaging, culturally relevant, and challenging curricula
• An emphasis on high-quality teaching, not high-stakes testing
• Wrap-around supports and opportunities
• Restorative/transformative justice and other positive discipline practices
• Authentic parent and community engagement
• Inclusive school leadership
Through your union, you, too, can fight for sustainable community schools. Find out more and contact your IFT field service director for more information.