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Do the Write Thing

Each year, young people across Chicago respond to the call to end youth violence through the Do the Write Thing challenge.

An initiative through the National Campaign to Stop Violence, Do the Write Thing is a writing program that empowers middle-school students to examine the impact that youth violence has on their lives, communicate what they think should be done to reduce youth violence, and become catalysts for change.

Do the Write Thing has been active in Chicago for 23 years and counting and is sponsored in partnership by Communities In Schools of Chicago and Latham & Watkins.

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This is not just another writing program.

Here’s how it works:

During the school year, the challenge is shared with sixth, seventh, and eighth grade educators and students across Chicago.

Students answer three key questions in an original essay, poem, fictional story, or play. The questions include: What are the causes of youth violence? How has violence affected your life? What can you do to reduce youth violence?

A team of volunteers select the most poignant writings from the hundreds of submissions they receive. Those selections are shared with a team of readers who score the writings and determine two students to serve as ambassadors at the Do the Write Thing Summit in Washington D.C.

The two Chicago ambassadors travel to the nation’s capital, where they tour the city, share their ideas for creating change with state legislators, and visit the Library of Congress where their essays will be bound in the country’s largest library.

Since Do the Write Thing has been in Chicago, more than 36,000 middle school students have accepted the challenge to do something to stop violence.

Do the Write Thing amplifies student voice.

Participating students reflect on their role in society – and the power they have to change their environment. Moreover, they make personal commitments to reduce youth violence and are empowered to seek solutions in their homes, schools, and neighborhoods.

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Support Do the Write Thing

If you’d like to explore supporting Do the Write Thing with a monetary or in-kind donation, contact [email protected] or reach out to: 

Robin Hulshizer
Latham & Watkins LLP
330 N Wabash Ave Suite 2800
Chicago, IL 60611

Do the Write Thing (DtWT) is a national, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with the vital goal of reducing youth violence. All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Our mission is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.

Follow the latest CIS news and learn more about our impact on Chicago’s young people!

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