An Open Letter to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

An Open and Urgent Letter to Mayor Rahm Emanuel from Educators,
Researchers, Academics and Community Groups Nationwide

Mayor Emanuel,

We are all supporters of the Dyett Global Leadership and Green Technology High School, and see both the proposal and the process as models for true investment in high quality public schools. We applaud the hunger strikers and the people that have come out to support them and we are heartened by your decision to re-open Dyett as an open-enrollment school.

However, out of deep concern for the 15 hunger strikers and out of a belief that their proposal merits implementation, we call on you to take the critical next step and agree to:

  • a curricular emphasis on green technology and to include “Green Technology” in the name of the school,
  • the involvement of members of the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School on the design team and in the selection of the principal,
  • and an elected and fully empowered Local School Council.

After all, it is the vision and tenacity of the African American community of Bronzeville that has led to the reopening of Dyett. A school that prepares our children to tackle the immediate problems of today simply makes sense. Green, sustainable, renewable energy sources make sense. It is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. Dyett sits in the historic Washington Park with a fishing pond, natural grasses, and a successful student-run farm. It will be a national model with your support.

Please take this next step and honor the hard work of community members, educators and organizations that went into the development of the original proposal which, if implemented with fidelity, will indeed provide a world class education to the young people of Bronzeville. Highly regarded education researchers and practitioners have stated the same.

Please do what is right and please do it now.



Alliance AFT (Dallas, TX)
Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment
Alliance for Educational Justice
Action NC
Action Now (Chicago)
Action United (Philadelphia and Pittsburgh)
Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools

Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools – Houston
American Federation of Teachers
The Arab American Association of NY
Arkansas Community Organization
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
Austin Voices For Education
Boston Education Justice Alliance
Brevard Federation of Teachers
California Federation of Teachers
Center for Popular Democracy
Chicago Grassroots Curriculum Task Force
Citizen Action (New York)
Coalition for Community Schools

Coalition for New Orleans Schools
Communities United (Maryland)

Education Austin
Education for Liberation
Feminist Majority Foundation
Grassroots Collaborative (Chicago)
Houston Federation of Teachers Local 2416
Jobs With Justice
Journey for Justice Alliance
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement
Maryland Communities United
Massachusetts Jobs with Justice
Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association
Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment
National Education Association
National LGBTQ Task Force
National Organization for Women

New Florida Majority
New Orleans Education Equity Roundtable
The New Orleans Imperative

New York City Coalition for Educational Justice
New York Communities for Change
New York State United Teachers
Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (Minnesota)
OLE (New Mexico)
One Pittsburgh
Organize Now (Florida)
Our Community, Our Schools (Dallas, TX)
Parents Across America
Parents United for Public Education (Philadelphia, PA)
Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools
Philadelphia Federation of Teachers
Philadelphia Student Union
Power U Center for Social Change (Miami, FL)
Research for Action

Rethinking Schools
Sant La, Haitian Neighborhood Center, Inc. (Miami, FL)
Service Employees International Union
SEIU – Texas
Teachers for Social Justice (Chicago)
Texas AFT
Texas Organizing Project
UCLA Center X
Urban Youth Collaborative (New York City)
Wisconsin Jobs Now

Individuals (organizations listed only for identification purposes):

Gemma M. Abels, President, AFT 2022
Curtiis Acosta, Ph.D, Acosta Latino Learning Partnership, Education for Liberation Network 
Ujju Aggarwal, Spencer Foundation
Salomé Aguilera Skvirsky, Cinema and Media Studies Dept, University of Chicago
Julian T. Anesi, Syracuse University
Subini Annamma, PhD, Department of Special Education, University of Kansas
Michael W. Apple, John Bascom Professor of Curriculum and Instruction And Educational Policy Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Awo Okaikor Aryee-Price, NJ educator and Rutgers Graduate School of Education
William Ayers, University of Illinois at Chicago
Marilyn Barnwell, Parent Leadership Project
Paula Baron, retired teacher, Chicago Public Schools
David C. Berliner, Regents’ Professor Emeritus
Sharon Besser, Edgewood College
Bill Bigelow, Co-Director Zinn Education Project
Leslie Rebecca Bloom, Roosevelt University

A. Lynn Bolles, PhD, University of Maryland, College Park
Martha Biondi, Professor of African American Studies and History, Northwestern University
Francesc Borrull, M.Ed College of Education, DePaul University
Joan Bradbury, retired teacher, co-founder Teachers' Inquiry Project
Jennifer Brier, University of Illinois at Chicago
Dr. Lisa Brock, Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, Kalamazoo College
Amy Brown PhD, University of Pennsylvania
Phillip Cantor, M.Ed, National Science Foundation Project SEEEC Master Teaching Fellow, University of Illinois, Chicago
Charlene Carruthers, National Director Black Youth Project 100
Dorinda J. Carter Andrews, Ed.D., Department of Teacher Education and African American and African Studies Program, Michigan State University
Prudence L. Carter, Stanford University
Linda E. Carty, African American Studies/Sociology, Syracuse University
Sumi Cho, DePaul University College of Law
Casey D. Cobb, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, School of Education, University of Connecticut
Cathy J. Cohen, University of Chicago, Black Youth Project
Dan Cohen, University of British Columbia
Mardge Cohen, MD, Boston Healthcare for the Homeless
Sara Connors, Shasta College
João Costa Vargas, University of Texas at Austin
Julia Daniel, University of Colorado Boulder

Jaye T. Darby, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles
Antonia Darder, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles
Suzanne Davenport, University of Illinois at Chicago
John Dittmer, Professor Emeritus of History, DePauw University
Ruth Dawley-Carr, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Michael Dawson, College Director of the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture, The University of Chicago
Tracie Dobie, Nothwestern University
Bernardine Dohrn, activist, academic & organizer for youth justice
Alysson Dover, Department of Educational Inquiry & Curriculum Studies, Northeastern Illinois University
John Duffy, Northwestern University, School of Education and Social Policy
Katherine Dunn, Southern Education Foundation
Alyssa Hadley Dunn, Ph.D., Michigan State University
Elizabeth Dutro, Ph.D., School of Education, University of Colorado Boulder
Billy Easton, Alliance for Quality Education
Shanti Elliot, Northwestern University School of Education and Social Policy
Kathy Escamilla, University of Colorado, Boulder
Stephanie Farmer, Roosevelt University
Beth Ferri, Syracuse University
Gustavo E. Fischman, Arizona State University 
Derek R. Ford, West Chester University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia ANSWER Coalition
Dr. P. Gabrielle Foreman, University of Delaware
Nyle Fort, Ordained minister, community organizer, & Ph.D. student
Mary Lou Fulton, Teachers College
Roderick A. Ferguson, Professor, University of Illinois, Chicago
Annamaria M. Francois, Ed. D, Executive Director UCLA Center X UCLA GSE & IS
Megan Franke, Professor, Education UCLA
Anne Froelich, Cincinatti Education Justice Coalition
Jean Fujiu, Consultant for nonprofit development
Kiyoko Kasai Fujiu, retired executive of the United Methodist Church
Mario Galván, retired teacher, Carmichael, CA
Judith Gardiner, retired, Chicago, IL
Erik S. Gellman, Associate Professor of History, Roosevelt University
Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Chair, Department of African American Studies, Princeton University
Beth Glenn, Director, Education Justice Network

Jackie Goldberg, Chair of the Education Committee of the California State Assembly, retired
A. Lin Goodwin, AERA Vice President 2013-2016, Division K, Teaching and Teacher Education, Teachers College, Columbia University
Dr. Kai M. Green, Northwestern University
Anna Guervarra, Director and Associate Professor, Asian American Studies Program, University of Illinois at Chicago
Horace Hall, PhD, Center for Diaspora Studies, DePaul University
Laurene M. Heybach, Coalition for the Homeless
Patricia H. Hinchey, Professor of Education, Penn State
Allyson Hobbs, Assistant Professor, Department of History, Stanford University
Marvin Hoffman, Urban Teacher Education Program, University of Chicago, retired
Rachel L. Holtz, University of Illinois at Chicago
Dr. Diane Horwitz, Coordinator, Education Issues Forum, DePaul University
Marisha Humphries, College of Education, University of Illinois at Chicago
John Jackson, President and CEO, Schott Foundation
Valerie C. Johnson, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science, DePaul University
Brian Jones, City University of New York, Graduate Center
Raymond Kang, M.A., University of Illinois at Chicago
Ronak K Kapadia, Assistant Professor, Gender and Women's Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago
Eleni Katsarou, Ph.D., School of Education, The University of Illinois at Chicago 
Dorothy Kou, Syracuse University
Dennis Kelly, Administrator, Orange County Classroom Teachers Association
Michelle P. Kern, AFT 1493, San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers 
Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies, Chairman, Department of History, Columbia University
Ben Kirshner, University of Colorado Boulder
Rico Kleinstein Chenyek, Univerisity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Rita Kohli, Graduate School of Education, University of CA, Riverside
Kevin Kumashiro, Dean, University of San Francisco School of Education.
Jeffrey J Kuzmic, College of Education, DePaul University
Bob Lawson, Director of Special Projects, In the Public Interest
Sheila Lane, UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies
Gregory V. Larnell, PhD, University of Illinois at Chicago
Margaret D. LeCompte, School of Education, University of Colorado Boulder
Dr. Lisa Yun Lee, Director UIC School of Art and Art History
Dr. Scott Lee, Lancaster, CA
Karen J. Leong, Arizona State University
Pauline Lipman, Professor, Educational Policy Studies; Director, Collaborative for Equity and Justice in Education, University of Illinois-Chicago
Vernon Lindsay, University of Illinois at Chicago
Norma A Lopez-Reyna, Associate Professor of Special Education, University of Illinois at Chicago
Bettina L. Love PhD, University of Georgia
Christopher Lubienski, Professor of Education Policy, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Douglas MacDonald PhD, Syracuse University
Dr. Elizabeth Meadows, College of Education, Roosevelt University

Catherine A. Lugg, Rutgers University
Jane Margolis, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies
William J. Mathis, University of Colorado Boulder
Tracye A. Matthews, Ph.D., Historian
Russell Mayo, University of Illinois at Chicago
Dr. Elizabeth Meadows, College of Education, Roosevelt University

Monica McGloin OP, Cincinnati Education Justice Coalition
Kathleen McInerney PhD, Associate Professor and Chair, TESOL, Saint Xavier University Chicago, IL
Linda McSpadden Mcneil, Rice University
Rev. Linda Misewicz-Perconte, United Methodist Pastor, Chicago, ILL
Tom Moher, Department of Computer Science and Learning Sciences Research Institute, University of Illinois at Chicago
Karen Monkman, College of Education, DePaul University
Daniel Morales-Doyle, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago
Norma Claire Moruzzi, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Illinois at Chicago
Liz Mount, Visiting Assistant Professor, Rhodes College
Nadine Naber, Associate Professor, University of Illinois
Premilla Nadasen, Associate Professor of History, Barnard College
Donna Nevel, Participatory Research Action Center for Education Organizing
Sonia Nieto, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Nicole Nguyen, University of Illinois-Chicago
Akemi Nishida, The University of Illinois at Chicago
Marlynne Nishimura, University of Illinois at Chicago
Isabel Nunez, Concordia University Chicago
Tammy Oberg De La Garza, PhD, Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL
Dr. Jackie Orr, Syracuse University
Amalia Pallares, Director, Latin American and Latino Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago
Django Paris, Department of Teacher Education, Michigan State University 
Michelle Parker-Katz, Ph.D., Clinical Professor Masters Programs Coordinator, Special Education & Teacher Education
Leigh Patel, Boston College
John Perez, North Hollywood CA, President UTLA, retired
Dr. Thomas C. Pedroni, Associate Professor, Curriculum Studies, Wayne State University
Daniel Press, Olga T. Griswold Professor of Environmental Studies, ED, Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, University of California, Santa Cruz
Bree Picower, College of Education and Human Services, Montclair State University
Farima Pour-Khorshid, Teachers for Social Justice, San Francisco, CA
Kathleen Pitvorec, CEMSI at the University of Chicago
Amira Proweller, DePaul University, College of Education
Isaura Pulido, Northeastern Illinois University
Michelle A. Purdy, Washington University in St. Louis
Karen Hunter Quartz, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies
Laura Quaynor, Lewis University
Therese Quinn, University of Illinois at Chicago
Josh Radinsky, Curriculum Studies and the Learning Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago
Barbara Ransby, Distinguished Professor, Departments of African American Studies, Gender and Women's Studies and History, University of Illinois at Chicago
Lori Redding, College of Education, The University of Illinois at Chicago
Gayatri Reddy, Director and Associate Professor, Asian Studies Program, University of Illinois at Chicago
Michelle Renée, Ph.D., Associate Director, National Education Policy Center; University of Colorado Boulder

Susan M. Reverby, Women's and Gender Studies, Wellesley College
Aja Reynolds, Teachers for Social Justice
Jane Rhodes, Professor and Head, Department of African American Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago
Santiago Rincon-Gallardo, Ontario, Postdoctoral fellow Institute for Studies in Education
Dorothy Roberts, George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology, University of Pennsylvania
Samuel K. Roberts, Director, Institute for Research in African American Studies (IRAAS), Columbia University
John Rogers, Professor of Education, UCLA, Director, UCLA, IDEA
Dr. Ricardo D. Rosa, Co-Chair, Save Our Schools; Co-Chair, Massachusetts and Rhode Island Coalition to Save Our Schools; Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth
Anna Roy, Peralta Federation of Teachers, AFT-CFT Local 1603
Dr. Kenneth Saltman, Professor Department of Educational Leadership, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Laurie Schaffner, Ph.D., Associate Professor Sociology Department, Gender and Women’s Studies, Criminology, Law, and Justice, University of Illinois at Chicago
William H. Schubert, Professor Emeritus of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Illinois at Chicago
Brian D. Schultz, Ph.D., Professor and Chair
Educational Inquiry & Curriculum Studies, Northeastern Illinois University
Kathleen M. Sheridan, College of Education, The University of Illinois at Chicago
Amy Shuffelton, Loyola University of Chicago
Ed Shurna, Executive Director, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless
Warren Simmons, Executive Director, Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University
Christine Sleeter, Professor Emerita, California State University Monterey Bay
Robyn Spencer, Lehman College History Department
Anya Stanger, Ph.D., Syracuse University
Timothy M. Stoelinga, University of Illinois at Chicago, Learning Sciences Research Institute
David Stovall, Ph.D., Educational Policy Studies, African-American Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago
Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Chair and Distinguished Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, Syracuse University
Dr. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Department of African America Studies, Princeton University
Tracy Thomas, CWA Local 1141
Dr. Salamishah Tillet, University of Pennsylvania; Co-Founder, A Long Walk Home
Elizabeth Todd-Breland, University of Illinois at Chicago
Gustavo Torres, Executive Director, CASA
Vilna Bashi Treitler, Professor and Chair, Black and Latino Studies, Baruch College, City University of New York 
Elizabeth Todd-Breland, University of Illinois at Chicago
Robin L. Turner, Ph.D., Butler University
Tina M. Trujillo, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Education, University of California
Maria Varelas, University of Illinois at Chicago
Manka Varghese, Ph.D., College of Education, Language, Literacy and Culture, University of Washington

Sabina Vaught, Department of Education, Tufts University
Terah Venzant Chambers, Michigan State University
Aleks Veselovsky, UIC
Rebecca Vilkomerson, Executive Director, Jewish Voice for Peace
Leticia Villarreal Sosa, Ph.D., Dominican University, Graduate School of Social Work
Shirin Vossoughi, Northwestern University, School of Education and Social Policy
Donna Vukelich-Selva, Edgewood College, Madison, WI
Federico R. Waitoller, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago
Chezare Warren, Ph.D., Michigan State University
Mark R. Warren, Associate Professor of Public Policy and Public Affairs, University of Massachusetts, Boston
George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology
Rinda West, Oakton Community College, Des Plaines, IL
Professor Kevin Welner, University of Colorado Boulder Director; National Education Policy Center
Connie Wun, Ph.D., Mills College
Irina Zadov, Jane Addams Hull-House Museum
Miguel Zavala, California Chapter of the National Association for Multicultural Education
John W. Zeigler, Director, Egan Office of Urban Education and Community Partnerships at Steans Center, DePaul University