It would be very easy for most of our members to turn a blind eye to the movement. It’s easy to say that police violence is not our problem, that it doesn’t affect us. We have a lot of distractions in our lives, and even if we care, it’s hard to know what to do. It’s hard to know what side of history you’re on while it unfolds in front of you. And it’s easy to stay home….eric_garner_2-01

Today was our first day back to work in over two weeks. Things got (even more) real in the #BlackLivesMatter movement over the winter break. While we were gone, more police officers got away with killing #EricGarner in New York, #AntonioMartin in Berkeley, Missouri, #DontreHamilton in Milwaukee, and #EzellFord in Los Angeles. #JerameReid in New Jersey and #JohnQuintero in Wichita were also gunned down while unarmed. The hashtags just keep piling up….

Protester at #TakeBlackChi protest

Protesters at #TakeBlackChi

It seems like every day another young man or woman of color is killed by the cops with no accountability. As we got back to work today, we thought about all that happened over the past few weeks and what it means for us. Since we are all young men (and one older man) of color, we know that any one of us could be added to the list. Any of our names could become a hashtag of remembrance and resistance. As one of our members said, “This is the kind of shit that makes you fear for your life.”

Kena Betancur/Getty Images

Kena Betancur/Getty Images

But we won’t live in fear and we won’t be silent. 

We gonna turn up! 

We gonna take to the streets!



This constant cycle of death has caused a youth uprising across the country. Inspired by Ferguson, protestors have taken to the streets and organized to challenge “the whole damn system.” Our focus is on Chicago, our hometown, where organizations like BYP 100We Charge Genocide and the Chicago Light Brigade have been leading the resistance.

All of this has given our project a new meaning. We didn’t realize when we started planning our oral history project on police brutality and youth resistance that we would be documenting a new civil rights movement. Now that we are back to work, we have only begun to grasp the seriousness of the situation and the power of the movement. In the coming weeks and months, members of MAVReC will lend our voices, bodies and minds to the movement against racist police violence in Chicago, and documenting the struggle.

Die in at Union Station in Chicago

Die in at Union Station in Chicago

Below are some of the upcoming events we plan to participate in so that we can not only document the movement but learn how to move it forward. We hope anyone reading his will join us in the fight and be on the right side of history.

On Thursday, 1/15 we will join the Reclaim MLK march and rally to take back the radical legacy of Martin Luther King.reclaim-mlk

On Monday, 1/19 (MLK Day) we’re not gonna just stay home! MAVReC will join the MLK 4 Mile March and participate in a die in at the City Gallery of the Historic Water Tower Place.screenshot-2015-01-07-21-05-47

On Thursday, 1/22 we’re going to Students Teach Racial Profiling: From the Classroom to the Street hosted by the Chicago Teacher’s union.screenshot-2015-01-07-21-15-51

And on Saturday, 1/24 (our regular meeting day) MAVReC members will be attending the conference Watching the Watchers: Strategies to End Police Violence.


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Tuesday, October 10, 2023 4:30 PM

Tuesday, October 24, 2023 4:30 PM