Park Forest, Schools

Chicago Public School Youth to Stand Up on Issues of Racial Justice, Violence & Education on Nov. 18

200 Students from over 50 schools across Chicagoland will speak their truth, give 2 minute speeches on issues impacting them

CHICAGO—(ENEWSPF)—November 13, 2017

By: Maliha Sadiq, Communications Director. Mikva Challenge

Mikva Challenge Project Soapbox

Project Soapbox gives youth a platform to be heard (Source: Mikva Challenge)

Young people from schools all over Chicago will be giving short speeches answering the question: “What is the most pressing issue facing young people today, why is it important, and what should be done to address it?” at Mikva’s 10th Annual Project Soapbox Competition on Saturday November 18th, at Jones College Prep. High School, 700 South State Street in Chicago.

Some of the semifinalists include:

  • AriannaMoore from Mason Elementary will give a speech on Black Lives Matter.
  • Estefani Hernandez from Crane Medical Prep High School will give a speech on sexual harassment
  • Sarai Murray from Morgan Park High School will give a speech on people with disabilities
  • Taylor Harris from Phillips Academy High School will give a speech on using the word N*****

The first step to becoming an engaged citizen is gaining the ability to stand up and speak out on issues you care about passionately. While many of these young people are not old enough to vote, they want to put the spotlight on issues they feel Chicago and the country should be trying to tackle. Giving them this opportunity benefits the entire community:

  • 88 percent of Mikva alumni are registered voters, vs. only 53 percent of 18-29 yr. olds nationwide
  • 66 percent of Mikva alumni encourage their friends and family to be politically engaged, vs. only 35 percent of 18-29 yr. olds nationwide
  • 130 Chicagoland teachers participate in Mikva Challenge programs.

Project Soapbox, now in its 10th year, is where students address civic leaders, teachers and their peers to deliver powerful speeches on issues that are most important to them. Click on the link to see sample speeches from 2016. These 200 young people have been selected by their peers and teachers from over 3,000 youth that participated in soapbox competitions that happened in classrooms across the city.

About the Mikva Challenge

Named after Abner and Zoe Mikva, the Mikva Challenge is a non-partisan, nonprofit that develops youth to be informed, and active citizens and community leaders. We do this by engaging youth in action civics, an authentic and transformative learning process built on youth voice and youth expertise.

Source: Mikva Challenge