Mikva Challenge High School Event Saturday

"On Saturday,
April 28th, at the Hot House (31 E Balbo) from 9:30-12:30 pm,
over 200 Chicago High School Students will showcase their yearlong activism
work at the Mikva Challenge Civics Fair."  Click below to see what schools are participating and what their key issues are.

Press Release:


CONTACT: Brenan Smith Brian Brady

312-863-6342 312-439-9637


High School
Demand Attention on



On Saturday,
April 28th, at the Hot House (31 E Balbo) from 9:30-12:30 pm,
over 200 Chicago High School Students will showcase their yearlong activism
work at the Mikva Challenge Civics Fair. “From HIV to youth jobs, young people don’t take no for an answer when it
comes to issues they care about,” says Issues to Action director Brenan
Smith. “These young people have
worked all year to take action on the issues that they care


Every day, Chicago high school students face major
problems in their schools and communities, including violence and safety,
pregnancy and sexual health, and quality of schools and education. The students in the Mikva Challenge
Issues to Action program are taught how to take their issues and turn them into
civic action projects, eventually taking action to make change on their
issues. This year, students have
held rallies and passed petitions, confronted public officials and school
administration, started student groups and mentoring programs, led student
education and awareness days, and started cross-city and cross-school youth
groups. (see attached page for


Miriam Martinez, a Mikva Challenge Alumni and past Civics Fair
participant, states, “These projects show that young people can go beyond the
expectations most adults have of them. We take the initiative to create change within our own communities, and
empower each other throughout the process. Not only does this program change us, it changes our schools and


The Mikva Challenge was created to honor former federal appellate court
Judge, Congressman, and White House Counsel, Abner Mikva and his wife, Zoe, a
former teacher and lifelong activist. The organization’s mission is to develop the next generation of civic
leaders by actively engaging youth in the democratic process.




and Kennedy: Peace in Schools

Students worked across
schools to establish a culture of peace in their school.


Roberto Clemente High
: School Violence

Starting a peer mentoring


Kenwood Academy: Low
School Achievement for
African American Males; Stereotypes of African American

Students held conferences
regarding both men’s and women’s issues.


Whitney Young Magnet
High School
: Homelessness

Passed petitions with
Chicago Coalition for the Homeless and held a blanket drive for a


High School for Social
Justice: School

Students recruited others
to travel to Springfield for the school funding rally on May


Prosser Career Academy: Student Voice and School

Student Voice Advisory
Board served as a liaison between students and the principal on key

Students worked on school
maintenance and repainted the main restrooms.


Bowen Environmental
Team High
School: HIV Awareness

Students worked with the
Side Help Center to hold HIV testing in the school
and raise awareness.


Farragut Career Academy: Youth Employment

Students worked on creating
a job placement program operating within the school.


King College Prep: Curriculum

Students worked with
administration to expand their curriculum.


Sullivan House Alternative High
: Sexual Harassment; Police

Student held awareness
campaigns on both sexual and police harassment


Lindblom: Violence in Englewood

Students created a youth
coalition with students from other Englewood schools to diffuse tensions and
violence between the schools.


Brooks: Divisiveness and Cliques in

Students held a series of
Mix-It-Up days during lunch periods to stimulate tolerance amongst different
student groups.


EXCEL: School Violence

Students are working to set
up group counseling sessions to tackle school violence.


Other Schools and Issues


The Day School: Student Behavior and

Curie: Traffic Safety Around School;
Scholarships and Financial Aid; Immigration; Sexual health

Taft: Women’s Issues; Global

Austin: Renaissance 2010 and school

Phillips: Curriculum

New Millenium School of Health: Campus violence at Bowen (small

Al Raby: Student Health;

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