STUDENTS WRITE. WE LISTEN.
Do the Write Thing involves folks from across the city of Chicago to reduce youth violence. Young people are invited to share their ideas through written word, educators are invited to share the challenge with their students and support them throughout the process, and community members are invited to volunteer as readers and supporters.
Interested in sharing your perspective on the causes of youth violence, the impact of violence on your life, and ways we can stop youth violence? We want to hear from you. If you are a sixth, seventh, or eighth grade student in Chicago, we invite you to participate.
All student submissions are reviewed by a team of volunteers and culled to 100 selections. These selections are shared with a team of distinguished readers, who select two student writers to represent Chicago at the Do the Write Thing Summit in Washington DC. Their writings are published, bound, and placed at the Library of Congress, the largest library in the country.
Each fall, the National Campaign to Stop Violence makes the Do the Write Thing guidelines available to Chicago principals, teachers, and support staff. All Chicago educators are encouraged to share the challenge with sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students in their network. Here are resources for principals and teachers.
Each year, we receive over 800 written pieces from sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students in Chicago answering the question of how violence has affected their lives and what they think the solutions are. Volunteers are asked to donate just a bit of their time to help us read and score these wonderful pieces. Writings are typically 2-3 pages long so it should take readers about one hour.
Several local leadership and educational organizations support Do the Write Thing participants with resources and mentorship. These include 826CHI, the Anti-Defamation League, Chicago Chess Foundation, Chicago City Soccer Club, Chicago Scholars, Chicago Tutoring Connections, Center on Halsted, Girls in the Game, Marwen, Project Increase, South Side Help Center, and Youth Guidance.
If you are a community organization who wants to amplify student voice and support Do the Write Thing, we’d love to connect you with our amazing student participants.
Distinguished Panelists Over the Years Include:
Dr. Donell Barnett
Deputy Director of Mental Health Operations,
State of Illinois
MD, CEO, KeyCare
Former Assistant U.S. Attorney, Partner,
Latham & Watkins LLP
Chicago Police Superintendent
General Counsel & Senior Vice President,
Director, All Stars Project of Chicago
Singer, Contestant on “The Voice”
Former General Counsel & Senior Vice President, Navistar, Inc.
Hon. Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr.
U.S.D.C. for the Northern District of Illinois
Richard J. Durbin
Executive Director of External Affairs,
University of Chicago School of Medicine
Former U.S. Attorney, Northern District of Illinois
Hon. Judith Fitzgerald
Collins T. Fitzpatrick
Circuit Executive, U.S. Court of Appeals For The Seventh Circuit
Founder, Chicago Charity Challenge
Former Assistant Superintendent, Office of the Catholic Schools
Global Chief Information Officer, HP
Asst. Professor, Dir. of Academic Integrity & Appeals, Medill School of Journalism,
Assistant Vice President, Associate Banker,
Hon. Judge Charles P. Kocoras
U.S.D.C for the Northern District of Illinois
Sara Gilley Krivoshia
Principal, Cornerstone Research
Seventh Circuit Librarian, US Court of Appeals
Director, Stage and Screen Actor
Laurence H. Levine
Partner, Laurence H. Levine Law Offices
Special Counsel, Much Shelist, P.C.
Development Director, Organizing For Action
Director of Accreditation, Medical Assisting Education Review Board
Contributing Editor, Vanity Fair
U.S. Marshal, U.S. Department of Justice,
Northern District of Illinois
CEO & President, Youth for Understanding USA
Hon. Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer
U.S.D.C Northern District of Illinois
Co-Founder of Hadiya’s Promise
Chief United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
Retired Partner, Latham & Watkins LLP
Associate Coach, University of Chicago Maroons
Assistant Professor, School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology
Senior Counsel, Wells Fargo
Hon. Judge Mary Rowland
U.S.D.C Northern District of Illinois
Vice Chairman, Cook County Crime Stoppers
COO, The Chicago Community Trust
CEO, Communities in Schools National Office
Executive Assistant to Congressman Luis Gutierrez
Partner and Lecturer, Dentons and Northwestern University School Of Law
Legal Writing Coach, Schiff Hardin LLP
Eric K. Schuller II
Senior Vice-President, Business Manager,
Citi Private Bank
Professor, Northwestern University School Of Law
Executive V.P., General Counsel, CCO,
RR Donnelly & Sons Co.
Columnist, Chicago Tribune
President, Founder, Dreams for Kids
Legal Operations Counsel, The Obama Foundation
Recording Artist, Songwriter, Producer, Founder of K.W.O.E Group
Secretary of State and State Librarian, State of Illinois
Chief, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office Child Support Enforcement Division