I Am For Peace is a movement started by three Perspectives high school students who took lessons from the classroom to the streets to organize one of the largest student-led peace marches in the city’s modern-day history.

June 5, 2020

What will you do different to oppose injustice today?

This week on every screen across America are images of anguish and rage. The 8 minutes and 46 seconds caught on film of George Floyd’s murder has become the American tipping point. This single story illustrates years of abuse, neglect, and oppression of black and brown people. Dr. King reminded us that “Riots are the language of the unheard …” and while we don’t choose violence at Perspectives, we understand it.

Perspectives was designed to attract socially conscious educators to teach and empower young people to; think intensively, question everything, stand for justice, show compassion, shift the narrative, counter hate, and love self & others. Let us use this same design to teach and empower ourselves as adults.

As a white woman, mother of black sons and co-founder of Perspectives, I speak to white adults because we must do more and better now. It is past time for us to think intensively, question everything, stand for justice, show compassion, shift the narrative, counter hate, and love self & others. Let this design be a starting point for many, and a continuation for others – because it is most urgent that we educate ourselves so that we can begin to understand the privilege of the skin we live in every day. This will mean getting uncomfortable, admitting past silence, rethinking what courage looks like and so much more. It will take intentional life-long work and an authentic mindset shift to become conscious opposers of racial inequity. And racial discrimination ends when the oppressors are as enraged as those oppressed. —What will you do different to oppose injustice today?

This morning we would have held our annual student-led Peace & Justice March – to practice our first amendment right and stand unified against systemic racism. We are given hope when we see images of peaceful protestors, just like us, bringing awareness and light. As we think about our path ahead, we look to our young people at Perspectives and across this country to ignite their experience and wisdom and lead us to a more kind and just world – a world that uncovers truth so to begin to reconcile, restore and heal. Together let us lean on our truth, our 26 principles of A Disciplined Life, founded to be a part of the answer to injustice. It is in this foundation that Perspectives remains more steadfast than ever in our commitment to teach for a more equitable world.

Let’s act together,

Diana Shulla-Cose
President & Co-Founder, Perspectives

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Each week, students at Perspectives spend 180 minutes in A Disciplined Life class. They talk with their teachers and peers about the problems facing their communities, and how to apply the 26 principles of A Disciplined Life to develop positive self-perception, healthy relationships, and tools for productivity. In short, they learn to become ethical leaders.

During an A Disciplined Life class two years ago, students engaged in a discussion about a young man who had been shot after a basketball game at a Chicago high school. Students came to the realization that many people didn’t care about violence unless it affected them personally. They wanted to find a way to get everyone to care, so they started the “I Am For Peace” movement to share how the principles of A Disciplined Life can help create a more peaceful Chicago.

The documentary follows three Perspectives students as they plan a peace march through the South Side of Chicago that drew more than 2,000 students, parents, and corporate and community leaders. At a rally after the march, students expressed their hopes for the safe return of all their classmates in the fall.

2019 Peace March Photos
2019 Peace March
2018 Peace March Photos
2018 Peace March
2014 First Annual Peace March Photos
"I Am for Peace" March by Perspectives Charter Schools