CHICAGO—Members of Chicago’s religious communities are expected to join faith leaders of all denominations for Prayer Vigil for Our Schools, a day-long prayer vigil Wednesday, May 15, at Chicago Public Schools, 125 S. Clark Street. The vigil will unite congregations from across the city in prayer in advance of the May 22 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education on the proposed closing of 53 elementary schools and one high school program by the mayor’s office and CPS. The proposal—the largest school action in U.S. history—would impact the lives of nearly 50,000 students and their families, and further disrupt communities long destabilized by crime, foreclosure and unemployment.
Prayer Vigil for Our Schools comes days before the “Our City, Our Schools, Our Voice,” three-day march May 18-20 on the South and West sides to protest school closings. Thousands of parents, students, teachers, clergy, citizens and community leaders will walk each day past many of the 54 school communities slated for closure, ending in a mass demonstration in Daley Plaza.
“We must be strong in our fight and vigilant in our faith as the Board vote approaches—a decision that will affect thousands of students and families, as well as thousands of city and school employees,” said CTU President Karen Lewis.
WHO: Reportedly, more than 20 members of the clergy and members of their congregations and Chicago’s religious communities
WHAT: Prayer vigil or “pray in” for Chicago’s public schools and against school closings
WHEN: Wednesday, May 15
WHERE: Chicago Public Schools
WHY: To pray for all of Chicago’s students and families; for those who make the decision to close our schools; for alderman and legislative leaders to stand with our students in support of a moratorium on school closings and legislation to elect a representative school board; for student safety; and for the strength and salvation of the citizens of Chicago and for our communities.