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Rainbow PUSH Coalition/PUSH For Excellence to host a Virtual Zoom Education Town Hall meeting on “How Will Schools Reopen Safely?”

With discussions raging across the nation on whether or when schools should open during this COVID-19 era, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and PUSH For Excellence are hosting a series of Virtual Education Town Hall meetings beginning 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (CST) Monday, July 27, 2020, on “How Will Schools Reopen Safely: The Challenges in K-12 Environments.”

To Register for all town halls and join these conversations, please click on: BIT.LY/PUSHEXCELEDUCATION or on the Rainbow PUSH Coalition Facebook and the Rainbow PUSH YouTube pages.

Questions for the panelists may be emailed to:

[email protected]

 Leading the discussion for the Monday, July 27th, town hall will be Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, President/CEO Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Dr. Sonya Whitaker, Deputy Superintendent of Schools, Dolton West School District 148, Dr. Leon McDougal, President, National Medical Society, Rufus Williams, former president, Chicago Board of Education; Felicia Sanders, Deputy Chief of Elementary Schools, Chicago Public Schools; Carolyn D. Franklin, Licensed Clinical Social Work (LCSW) Administrator, Chicago Public Schools; Attorney Robert Patillo, Executive Director Peachtree Project, Rainbow PUSH Coalition; Dr. Nikolai P. Vitti, Superintendent, Detroit Public Schools Community District; Dr. Debra Furr-Holden, Associate Dean for Public Health Integration First Center for Health Equity Solutions and Rev. Janette Wilson, Esq., Executive Director, PUSH Excel.

The second education zoom town hall meeting will be held 10 a.m.-11 a.m. (CST) on Saturday, August 1, 2020, during the Rainbow PUSH Coalition broadcast where the PUSH/Excel/St. Sabina/Illinois Judicial Council (IJC) Virtual Oratorical awards ceremony will be held on the IMPACT TV Network and can be viewed on the Rainbow PUSH Coalition Facebook and YouTube pages.

“We continued to teach children and keep them safe during the global pandemic,” said Cook County Judge Stanley Hill, director of the PUSH Excel Oratorical program who held classes since the pandemic began via Zoom. “We re-engineered and coordinated our national oratorical program during the virus crisis with PUSH Excel, St. Sabina and the Illinois Judicial Council.” This year’s theme is: “Got to Put in the Time: Got to Put in the Work.”

The third educational town hall will be held 6-8 p.m. (CST), Monday, August 3rd,on the opening of higher education classes. Rev. Wilson said parents and educational professionals are concerned about students returning to colleges and universities and campus life given the spread of the coronavirus and the issue of proper protocols.

Dr. Wilson said there are questions about providing meals, how students will social distance in cafeterias, in classrooms and their dorm rooms. “What happens if somebody gets sick?” asked Wilson.

Rev. Jackson and his staff recently met with the NCAA leadership to discuss college student-athletes’ safety and education especially concerns they may lose their scholarship due to COVID-19. Rev. Jackson is urging the cancellation of sports until next year for the safety and education of the student athletes.

And, on Monday, August 10th, from 6-8 p.m. (CST) the fourth town hall meetingwill be held concerning African American students going to predominately white institutions particularly high school students who are attending boarding schools.

Rev. Wilson said in addition to the COVID-19 challenges these boarding high school students are facing, they are also dealing with racism. “They are experiencing racists acts including the displaying of hanging nooses in bathrooms and students wearing blackface on campuses.

“We want these schools to understand that we are watching them, and we expect our children to be safe. Things we thought ended in the 1960’s are still very prevalent today,” she said.

Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a multi-racial, multi-issue, progressive, international organization that was formed in December 1996 by the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. through merging of two organizations he founded Operation PUSH People United to Serve Humanity (estab. 1971) and the Rainbow Coalition (estab. 1984). With headquarters in Chicago and offices in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Oakland, the organization works to make the American Dream a reality for all citizens while advocating for peace and justice around the world. RPC is dedicated to improving the lives of all people by serving as a voice for the voiceless. Its mission is to protect, defend and gain civil rights by leveling the economic and educational playing fields while promoting peace and justice around the world.

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