#FightForDyett Chicago: Jitu Brown

The Dyett 12. Courtesy of Twitter

The Dyett 12.
Courtesy of Twitter

Chicago’s southside neighborhood of Bronzeville has been making waves: a group of parents from the community engaged in a 34 day hunger strike to fight for their neighborhood high school, Walter H. Dyett High School.

Chicago Public Schools had slated Dyett to be phased out due to poor performance over the past three years. The village council proposed reopening the school as a Global Leadership Green Technology (GLGT) program. Instead, the school was set to be an open-enrollment arts schools. Organizer Jitu Brown co-wrote the proposal as a means of preparing students for a competitive future in STEM fields.

The community fought for their school and met with the mayor on a few occasions, but their voices were not heard. On August 17, they began a hunger strike – fasting for their school and their community. They continued this strike for 34 days, which ended on September 19 because, as Brown said, he felt with all his heart that the mayor would have just let them die.

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Jitu Brown

For KBOO News In-Depth, I spoke with Jitu Brown, National Director of the Journey for Justice Alliance and one of the hunger strikers, about Dyett, the strike and the greater ramifications of failing Chicago’s black and brown students. Check out the podcast!

Air date: 9/24/2015:

**The anchor’s live introduction to the feature was cut off. You can listen to Jitu Brown’s (unaired) history of Dyett High School and the Bronzeville community’s engagement here:

I anchor the KBOO Evening News on Thursdays at 5 pm PST. You can click here to listen to the newscast that aired on September 24th, 2015.

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