Chicago youth organizers are set to protest outside Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office Tuesday morning in support of the Dyett hunger strikers and against school privatization.
The protest, to include youth from the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Communities United, the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization and the Southwest Organizing Project, comes just hours after Emanuel met with the Dyett hunger strikers after a raucous city budget town hall meeting Monday night.
Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool, Board of Education Vice Chair Jesse Ruiz and other CPS officials also attended the meeting with Emanuel and the Dyett activists.
Jitu Brown, one of the Dyett hunger strikers, told the Chicago Sun-Times that the meeting was cordial, however, city officials "made no commitments."
"That's not acceptable," Brown said. "So we'll be on this hunger strike."
Brown and 11 other activists are in their third week of not eating in an effort to push Emanuel to reopen Dyett as a district-run, open-enrollment neighborhood high school focused on global leadership and green technology.
A mayoral spokeswoman issued a statement after the Monday meeting: "Tonight, following his budget forum to hear ideas from residents for savings, reforms and efficiencies as the city works to balance the 2016 budget, Mayor Emanuel, CPS CEO Forrest Claypool, Board of Education Vice Chair Jesse Ruiz and other senior CPS representatives met with 16 demonstrators for more than 30 minutes regarding their concerns and ideas about the future of Dyett High School."
"The mayor appreciates there are strong feelings about Dyett, and he understands there is a desire for a quick resolution about its future, however what's most important is the right decision," the statement continued. "CPS is engaged in a thorough review of Dyett, and while they are closer to a decision, they continue to weigh all the factors at play in an effort to achieve the best outcome possible -- one that will ensure a strong Bronzeville and a strong future for our children."
Protests over the future of Dyett High School will continue on Tuesday.
During their morning news conference, the youth organizers plan to "challenge Mayor Emanuel to account for the destabilization of traditional public schools in order to promote his privatization agenda," reads a news release from KOCO, a key group behind the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School.
"In the northwestern community of Belmont Cragin, the southwest community of Brighton Park, and the South Side community of Bronzeville, Mayor Emanuel has attempted to supplant traditional public high schools with charter and/or contract options despite vehement community opposition," the release adds. "Just as the northwest and southwest communities have had their voices heard, the South Side community demands its voice be heard in support of the Dyett Global Leadership and Green Technology High School."