AGC and the Lonely Whale Foundation Panel at Soho House

2 Mar

 

soho panel.JPG

Dr. Liszt with Shedd’s Bridget Couglin and Hip Hop Caucus’s Liz Havstad.

 

This weekend, our friends at the Lonely Whale Foundation invited Dr. Amy Liszt to speak on a panel about sustainability and urban communities. To a packed house in the Music Room at Soho House

The panel featured Bridget Coughlin from the Shedd Aquarium, Leslie Pappas from The Common Ground Foundation, Jessica Yagan from Impact Engine, and Liz Havstad from the Hip Hop Caucus alongside AGC’s Dr. Amy Liszt. Emma Riley, of the Lonely Whale Foundation, who led the conversation didn’t intend to curate an all-female panel but the celebrated the coincidence nonetheless. Lonely Whale Foundation co-founder and AGC advocate Adrian Grenier introduced the event remotely, as he is in Bali working on ocean advocacy.

The discussion focused largely on the importance of fostering environmental stewardship within communities through schools, youth organizations, and community organizing groups. Ms. Havstad, of the Hip Hop Caucus, discussed the particular relevance of environmental issues within marginalized communities, reminding the audience that Flint, Michigan is still without safe drinking water, over a year after AGC families organized to send bottled water to Michigan.

We are grateful to the Lonely Whale Foundation for including us amongst such an inspiring group of leaders! We are honored to partner with the foundation on a dual-language marine science curriculum for K-5th grade.

Click here to learn about the Lonely Whale’s advocacy initiatives, including a campaign to remove 500 million straws from our ocean in 2017. 

Seeking Exemplary 5th-Grade Educator

8 Feb
urban_agriculture_chicago-16

Look at these inquirers exploring the garden! Is it you they’re looking for?

You have the best taste. More than Craigslist, Indeed, Idealist, and any of the recruitment tools around, the people who know and love AGC are the best recruiting tool. Can you help us find an exemplary 5th-grade educator? We are looking for a bilingual (Spanish-English) educator who shares our passion for dual language and IB education and exemplifies global citizenship. Our dual language program currently extends to 4th grade, so we are looking for a teacher to finish the year with our monolingual students and jump into dual language next year. Please share far and wide!

The Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC) is a non-profit Chicago public charter school, located on the Southwest side. Our mission is to develop mindful leaders who take action now and in the future to positively impact their communities and the world beyond. Our innovative and holistic approach aims to foster systemic change and inspire the way society educates future generations. AGC values:

AGC Values

5th Grade Teacher (Spanish/English) – Immediate Opening

The Academy for Global Citizenship seeks an exemplary bilingual and biliterate (Spanish/English) elementary school teacher to lead students through a holistic interdisciplinary International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. We are looking for someone who can start immediately. For the remainder of this year, this teacher will teach 5th grade in English. Next year, the position will switch to a dual language 5th-grade position. The dual language teacher leads students through a two-way immersion program, where about 50% of students are native English speakers, 50% are native Spanish speakers. Instruction occurs in Spanish and English. This position is ideal for a passionate bilingual/biliterate educator seeking a collaborative, open environment for whole-student learning.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Teaching: Uses various modes of learning to accommodate different learning styles: real-life experiences, current events, technology, arts and more.

○    Exhibition: Unique to the 5th grade IB program, teachers will lead students through an independent inquiry where students will be investigating and offering solutions to real-life issues or problems.

  • Instructional Strategies: Uses many types of instructional strategies including teaching through inquiry, differentiating instruction and using data to guide planning
  • Technology Integration: Incorporates technology across all disciplines as much as possible, where appropriate
  • Professional Development: Participates in coaching cycle, stays abreast of latest techniques and demonstrates an eagerness to learn new skills and share experiences with others
  • Curriculum Development: Works closely with coach, other teachers to align curriculum with Common

Core Learning Standards, the IB PYP, and achieving the goals of the school

  • Performance Assessment: Sets high and measurable goals for student achievement and evaluates student progress using summative and formative assessments
  • Community: Encourages the use of community resources, cooperates with families in welcoming them to our community, and maintains solid communication with all community members

 

We are looking for staff who…

  • Have a big heart to match a big brain
  • Want their work to define best practice
  • Respect and thrive in a dynamic, changing, and growing environment
  • Know extraordinary things can happen when people work hard together
  • Want to participate in a laboratory for innovation in education

Working at AGC means…

  • Being surrounded by thoughtful, inquisitive students and hard-working, like-minded colleagues
  • Thinking outside of the box to do what is best for our students
  • Gaining experience with interdisciplinary International Baccalaureate Units of Inquiry, balanced literacy, arts integration, and TERC Investigations Math
  • Having high academic expectations for every student in the school every day
  • Getting your hands dirty in our school garden while working in an environmentally sustainable school culture
  • Enjoying 100% organic, scratch made meals prepared by our on-site chef

Required Skills and Experience:

  • 5+ years experience as an educator
  • Bilingual and biliterate (English/Spanish)
  • Familiarity with IB program, inquiry-based teaching, and Responsive Classroom
  • Believer in culturally relevant teaching
  • Strong leadership, initiative, communication skills and personal drive
  • Ability to maintain a safe, orderly environment
  • Proven ability to play a lead role in their grade level
  • Experience with RTI process and accommodating students with IEPs in the classroom

Education Requirements:

  • Bachelor Degree in Education
  • Master’s Degree in Education or related fields (ideal)
  • State of Illinois Teaching Certificate
  • Endorsement or extensive experience in ELL instruction

Compensation:

Competitive salary based on experience and level of education. Full benefits, free breakfast and lunch, wellness fund, and professional development funds offered.

Application:

To view up-to-date grade level vacancies and to submit an online application, please visit:

http://www.applitrack.com/agcchicago/onlineapp/

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, gender, age national origin, or disability.

AGC 7th Grader Selected as Youth Ambassador for Women’s March on Washington, Profiled in Local and National Press

17 Jan

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7th grader Cora Haworth, 13, was selected to serve as a youth ambassador for the Women’s March on Washington this weekend. She will be joined by her sister, in 6th grade, her mother, and her grandmother, as well as many of her teachers, and AGC board members.

Cora was among a small group of teenagers selected from 300 applicants to serve as official advocates for the march, taking place this Saturday in Washington DC. For her application, Cora wrote an essay about what it means to her to be an advocate for causes in her community and beyond. She has been civically engaged “since she was a baby,” says her mother, Tricia Fitzgerald.


Click here to watch a profile of Cora and her mother on NBC 5. 

In this role, Cora will be a representative within the student body for the march. This week, she is visiting classrooms to educate students about the march and the power of their voice. She will continue to encourage youth advocacy and share her experiences after the march. Cora and her family will ride 10 hours each way on a bus this weekend with other advocates to attend the march.

The Haworths are used to a long commute. Since 2010, Cora and her three siblings have traveled to AGC every day from Beverly, spending as much as two hours in transit to attend a school that shares their commitment to civic engagement.  AGC’s mission is to develop mindful leaders who take action now and in the future to positively impact their communities and the world beyond. Students are given opportunities to practice civic engagement and advocacy throughout AGC’s interdisciplinary International Baccalaureate inquiry program.

We are humbled and inspired to see the mission of AGC shine through students like Cora. Click to read about Christina, Martha, and Katie, just a few of the AGC Middle Schoolers who have used their voice for good this year. If you know a Middle Schooler or Elementary schooler who would be a good fit for AGC, direct them to our admissions page. AGC is a tuition-free, open enrollment public charter school.

 

We are particularly excited to share this news so soon after Martin Luther King day. For all of us at AGC, MLK day is a time to reflect on our individual and collective responsibility to be advocates for good. As Dr. King said, “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable.”

Read about Cora on DNA Info and Teen Vogue here.

CLICK HERE to watch Cora, Tricia, and AGC’s Aaron Fischer on NBC 5. 

[Consider a donation to help AGC support the next generation of mindful leaders.]

AGC Open House on January 21st | Casa Abierta el 21 de enero

13 Jan

AGC is enrolling students for the 2017-2018 school year in grades K-8. We particularly encourage students enrolling in grades 3-8 to attend our open house on January 21 and shadow day on February 3rd.

As an open-enrollment Chicago public charter school, AGC provides an opportunity for students across the city to access a tuition-free authorized International Baccalaureate program focused on the growth of the whole child.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE AND SIGN UP FOR ADMISSIONS EVENTS 

grow-skateboard-credit-eva-and-daniel-gillet

The Academy for Global Citizenship is an innovative Chicago Public Charter School, located on the Southwest side of Chicago. Our mission is to empower all students to positively impact the community and world beyond. In pursuit of this mission, AGC is committed to:

  Serving the whole child

  Modeling academic excellence

  Developing inquirers

  Cultivating international awareness

  Fostering environmental stewardship

  Facilitating collaboration within the community

An AGC education extends beyond a solid academic foundation. Organic, nutritionally balanced meals, daily yoga, gardening, wellness instruction and ecologically sustainable practices throughout the school encourage learners to develop healthy and sustainable lifestyles for themselves. Ultimately, the Academy for Global Citizenship engages the whole child in an enriching educational community focused on fostering academic excellence, international awareness, and environmental stewardship.

SATURDAY OPEN HOUSE

Saturday, January 21, 2017

K-2nd Grade: 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

3-8th Grade: 11:30 a.m. – 12:30pm.

Prospective students and families are encouraged to get to know the Academy for Global Citizenship at our Open House. Visit us on Saturday, January 21, 2017, between 10:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. at the 47th St. Campus. The Open House will begin with guided tours at the 47th building, which houses our Kindergarten to Second grade. There will be an Admissions presentation from 10:15 a.m.-11:15 a.m. We encourage all grade levels to attend the Admissions Presentation. The presentation will include a general overview of the International Bachelorette curriculum with a focus on our Dual Language program, as well as testimonials from some of AGC’s current students, parents, and faculty. The Open House continues with a tour of our Annex campus for 3-8th-grade from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Attending an Open House provides families with an opportunity to learn all about our school community. Families will meet AGC’s faculty, parents, and students. Representatives from AGC’s student council and AGC’s Community Council will be available to answer questions.

 

CASA ABIERTA PARA GRADOS K-8

La Academia para la Ciudadanía Global
Sábado, 21 de Enero de 2017
Presentación sobre la escuela y admisiones:
10:00 a.m. -11:30 a.m. en 4647 W. 47th St. (K-2nd grado edificio)
Tour de edificio para grados 3 – 8: 11:30-12:30 en 4941 w. 46 St., Chicago, IL 60632

Todas las familias interesadas en matricular su hijo o higa pueden asistir a la casa abierta. El único requisito es vivir en la ciudad de Chicago y tener 5 años antes de 1 de Septiembre para Kindergarten.

Por favor marque su calendario!

Este evento es una oportunidad maravillosa para aprender acerca de nuestra escuela desde la perspectiva de nuestros maestros, padres y alumnos.
Familias y estudiantes de
Familias Prospectivas están invitadas el SÁBADO 21 de Enero

Se anima a conocer a la Academia para la ciudadanía Global en una casa abierta

Visítenos en sábado, 21 de enero de 2017, entre 10:00 a 11:30 en el 47th St. Campus. La casa abierta incluye una presentación de 10:00-11:15 La casa abierta continúa en nuestro campus de anexo, el 3-8 º grado del edificio, con una visita guiada de los alumnos.

La casa abierta comenzará con visitas guiadas el 47, en el edificio para nuestro Kindergarten a segundo grado. Animamos a todos los niveles para asistir a la presentación de la admisión. La presentación incluirá una descripción general del plan de estudios El Bachillerato Internacional, el programa de lenguaje Dual, así como testimonios de algunos de los estudiantes actuales de AGC.
Asistir a un Open House ofrece la oportunidad de aprender todo acerca de nuestra comunidad escolar de la perspectiva de: maestras, padres y estudiantes. Representantes del Consejo de estudiantes de AGC y comunidad Consejo de AGC estará disponibles para responder preguntas.

FAVOR de llamar a Maribel Mares 773-582-1100 Ext. 10
o mandar correo electrónico: admissions@agcchicago.org

EXPERIENCE A DAY AT THE ACADEMY FOR GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP
3rd – 8th Grade Shadow Day
Friday, February 3, 2017
7:30 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.

Register by January 27, 2017

What occurs on a shadow day?
• On February 3, CPS students do not have school however, classes will be in session for AGC students. Any student in 3-8th grade who is interested in learning more about AGC, is invited to “shadow” an AGC student throughout his or her day of classes and get a feel for the academic and social aspects of the Academy for Global Citizenship.  Experience why AGC is a great place to be!

Who can shadow at AGC?
•We encourage 3 -8 grade students to spend the day at AGC.

How do I schedule a shadow day?
Click here to register or E-mail: admissions@agcchicago.org or call Ms. Mares at 773-582-1100 Ext. 10 by January 27, 2017 to schedule your visit.  It is important to let us know that you are coming so that we can plan accordingly for cafeteria meals. Shadows must register by January 27 to attend.

Can my child attend for half a day?

Yes, we can schedule your student for half a day from 7:30 a.m. – 11:45 p.m. Please let Ms. Mares know at the time of registration.

Whom will I shadow during my visit to AGC?
•Our goal is to help you have the best day possible.  Your host for the day will be a student at the same grade level. Know a current AGC student you would like to shadow?  We will make every effort to accommodate your request.

Where and when should I arrive?
•Please use the entrance on the west side of the building between 7:30-7:45 a.m.  A faculty member will meet you and introduce you to your AGC host. School begins at 7:45 a.m. with shadow pick up starting from 3:30-3:45 p.m.  Please arrange for pick up at the main office at the conclusion of the school day. If you are interested in a half day, please let Ms. Mares know.

What should I wear?
For non-AGC students it is a casual dress day:
– No offensive writing on the shirts which must cover the midriff and be long enough to be tucked in,
– No tank tops or frayed, tattered or torn clothing
– Gym shoes are preferred.
– Please wear appropriate outerwear, as students may go outside for recess.

Will my child need to bring or pay for lunch?
•You need not bring anything with you for the day.  AGC will provide our visitors with breakfast, lunch, and snack.

EXPERIENCIA DE UN DÍA EN LA ACADEMIA PARA LA CIUDADANÍA GLOBAL

Viernes 3 de Febrero. Este día no hay escuela en las escuelas publicas de Chicago. Pero AGC si va tener clases en sesión.

¿Que ocurre en un día de sombra?

  • Estudiantes en 3-8 º grado que está interesado en aprender más acerca de AGC, estan invitados hacer “sombra” – seguir un estudiante de AGC a lo largo de su día de clases y tener una idea de los aspectos académicos y sociales de la Academia para la Ciudadanía Global. AGC es un gran lugar para estudiar!

¿Quien puede asistir en este dia?

  • Solamente estudiantes de 3- 8 Grado para pasar el día en el AGC.

¿Cómo programo un día de sombra?
• Se puede mandar correo electrónico: admissions@agcchicago.org o llamada Sra. Mares en 773-582-1100 Ext. 10  antes de 27 de enero de 2017 para planificar su visita. Es importante que sepamos que viene para que podemos planificar para las comidas de la cafetería. Los visitantes deben registrarse por el 27 de enero para asistir. 

Puede mi hijo asistir a medio día?
Sí, podemos programar medio día, desde las 7:30 a.m. – 11:45 p.m. por favor deje la Sra. Mares saber en el momento de registrar.

¿Cuál estudiante va acompañar mi hijo durante la visita a AGC?
•Nuestro objetivo es ayudarle a tener el mejor día posible. Su anfitrión para el día será un estudiante del mismo nivel de grado. ¿Si usted conoce a un estudiante de la AGC, haremos todo lo posible para atender su solicitud.

Dónde y cuándo debo llegar?

•Utilice la entrada en el lado oeste del edificio entre 7:30-7:45 a.m. un miembro de la facultad se reunirá con usted y presentarle el estudiante. La escuela empieza a las 7:45 a.m. Favor de recoger su hijo a partir de las 3:30-3:45 p.m. en la oficina principal. Si usted está interesado en la mitad de un día, favor de avisar la Sra. Mares.

¿Qué debo llevar?

Para estudiantes visitantes la vestimenta es casual:
– ningún ataque ofensivo escrito en las camisetas que debe cubrir el diafragma y ser lo suficientemente largo para ser metido,
– Sin depósito tops o deshilachado, andrajos o prendas desgarradas
– Gimnasio zapatos son preferibles.
– Por favor, llevar ropa de abrigo, ya que los estudiantes podrán ir fuera para el receso.

¿Necesitará mi hijo a traer o a pagar el almuerzo?

  • También no necesita traer nada con usted para el día. AGC que nuestros visitantes disfruten de desayuno, almuerzo y merienda.

 

Seeking Exceptional and Multitalented Spanish Language Educator

6 Dec

The Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC) is a non-profit Chicago public charter school, located on the Southwest side. Our mission is to develop mindful leaders who take action now and in the future to positively impact their communities and the world beyond. Our innovative and holistic approach aims to foster systemic change and inspire the way society educates future generations. AGC values:

AGC Values

3rd – 5th Grades Spanish and Art Teacher

The Academy for Global Citizenship seeks an exemplary Spanish and Art teacher for grades 3-5 for a January 9, 2017 start date to lead students through a holistic interdisciplinary International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. This position is ideal for a passionate educator seeking a collaborative and open environment for whole-student learning. This position includes Spanish as a second language instruction for students in AGC’s monolingual track and art instruction in Spanish for students in AGC’s dual-language track.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Teaching: Uses various modes of learning to accommodate different learning styles: real-life experiences, current events, technology, arts and more
  • Instructional Strategies: Uses many types of instructional strategies including teaching through inquiry, differentiating instruction and using data to guide planning
  • Technology Integration: Incorporates technology across all disciplines as much as possible, where appropriate
  • Professional Development: Participates in coaching cycle, stays abreast of latest techniques and demonstrates an eagerness to learn new skills and share experiences with others
  • Curriculum Development: Works closely with coach, other teachers to align curriculum with Common Core Learning Standards, the IB PYP, and achieving the goals of the school
  • Performance Assessment: Sets high and measurable goals for student achievement and evaluates student progress using summative and formative assessments
  • Community: Encourages the use of community resources, cooperates with families in welcoming them to our community, and maintains solid communication with all community members

We are looking for staff who…

  • Have a big heart to match a big brain
  • Are bilingual in English and Spanish
  • Want their work to define best practice
  • Respect and thrive in a dynamic, changing, and growing environment
  • Know extraordinary things can happen when people work hard together
  • Want to participate in a laboratory for innovation in education

Working at AGC means…

  • Being surrounded by thoughtful, inquisitive students and hard-working, like-minded colleagues
  • Thinking outside of the box to do what is best for our students
  • Promoting student profile qualities of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (PYP): inquirers, thinkers, communicators, risk-takers, knowledgeable, principled, caring, open-minded, well-balanced, and reflective.
  • Gaining experience with interdisciplinary International Baccalaureate Units of Inquiry, balanced literacy, arts integration, and TERC Investigations Math
  • Having high academic expectations for every student in the school every day
  • Getting your hands dirty in our school garden
  • Enjoying 100% organic, scratch made meals prepared by our on-site chef
  • Working in an environmentally sustainable school culture

Required Skills and Experience:

  • 5+ years experience as an educator
  • Bilingual and biliterate (English/Spanish)
  • Familiarity with IB program
  • Familiarity with inquiry-based teaching and Responsive Classroom
  • Believer in culturally relevant teaching
  • Strong leadership, initiative, communication skills and personal drive
  • Ability to maintain a safe, orderly environment
  • Proven ability to play a lead role in their grade level
  • Experience with MTSS process and accommodating students with IEPs in the classroom

Education Requirements:

  • Bachelor Degree in Education
  • Master’s Degree in Education or related fields (ideal)
  • State of Illinois Teaching Certificate
  • Endorsement or extensive experience in ELL instruction

Compensation:

Competitive salary based on experience and level of education. Full benefits, free breakfast and lunch, wellness fund, and professional development funds offered.

Application:

To view up-to-date grade level vacancies and to submit an online application, please visit:

http://www.applitrack.com/agcchicago/onlineapp/

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, gender, age national origin, or disability.

Support AGC on #GivingTuesday Next Week

22 Nov

Tis’ the giving season! This is a time to give thanks and gifts, but it is also the time when most Americans make charitable donations. More than 80% of Americans do some charitable giving and the average annual household contribution in 2015 was $2,900. Approximately $1,000 of those gifts were made between Thanksgiving and New Years.

Following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday on November 29 is a celebration of giving back. Last year, generous citizens donated $100M to causes around the world on Giving Tuesday, with an average contribution of $100.

For the students, families, and educators at the Academy for Global Citizenship, this is a critical time, as we work to recover after the largest funding cut in our history during the recent district budget crisis. AGC must raise $1,000 per student to close this gap.

Here are a few ways you can support AGC this Giving Tuesday, regardless of your budget. Remember, all of your gifts to AGC are tax-deductible! 

  • Give Stock: Donating stock or securities will allow you to earn the full tax benefits of the value of your shares and avoid capital gains taxes. Contact us to learn more.
  • Give Time: Tell the world about AGC by sharing posts from our blog, Facebook or Twitter feeds throughout the giving season.

AGC 8th Graders Write Passionate Speeches About Dakota Access Pipeline

22 Nov
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AGC students march on the UN’s International Day of Peace

“500 years. 500 years that the Native Americans have been ridiculed by the whites, it’s been so long and yet you haven’t changed, money before humans.” 13-year-old Cristina Torres has been reading lots of speeches in Mr. Fischer’s class and knows that she wants to start her speech about the Dakota Access Pipeline with a bold statement. Torres knows she can support those strong words with strong evidence because she has been studying the history of indigenous peoples in one class and the history of manmade environmental impacts on U.S. in another.

Like all 8th graders participating in the common core, Cristy Torres is learning to write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. Because she is a student at the Academy for Global Citizenship, an International Baccalaureate public school with an environmental and social mission, Torres is developing these skills through concepts that are relevant to her time and place within an interdisciplinary unit of inquiry.

AGC Language and Literacy teacher Mr. Fischer feels that the political context helps draw students into the unit. “The speeches that we have been writing have been very helpful for students perspective taking skills.  I think there is a great deal of empathy being developed by our students.  I notice that many students are writing things like, ‘To us the land is more that just soil and water.’ They are thinking in terms of their place in the broader society, and getting a taste of what it feels like to use their voice in a structured, supported, serious way.”

AGC had found that, when it is developmentally appropriate, topics in social justice and environmental stewardship promote academic excellence and student-led learning. Developing the perspective of a global citizen takes time, and, in younger grades, students may not be ready to learn about things like climate change. AGC has an rule: “no tragedies before 3rd grade.” In the early years, AGC’s curriculum fosters the natural empathy and curiosity of children, inviting them to fall in love with nature and find wonder in the diversity of the human experience.

Torres and her classmates have been studying this issue from many angles and perspectives for six weeks. In Science class, she is studying the energy industry and how climate change impacts indigenous people. In Individuals and Societies, she is studying the history of indigenous peoples in America. In Language and Literacy, Mr. Fischer’s class, she is reading and writing first-person literature.

During weekly grade-band meetings and on professional development days, Cristy’s teachers got together to plan how the unit would align with common core standards, AGC’s sustainability program, and global citizenship continuum. These content standards are aligned within the International Baccalaureate framework and AGC’s cycle of inquiry. “We have deliberately planned the use of resources to work in conjunction with each other,” says Mr. Fischer. “We made sure that we were focusing on complementary events and time periods. We planned our assessments to complement each other but assess the students on different aspects of the criterion.”

Individuals and Societies Teacher, Berenice Salas (who is also an AGC parent) says that she appreciates collaboration because “we are really prioritizing holistic learning and the authentic learning process… not to mention the level of academic rigor that it demands! We are studying shared concepts, yet teaching our own disciplinary skills. We do not purposefully tell students, “you are learning an interdisciplinary unit…” they make those connections on their own- and when that moment happens, it is amazing! They also see their teachers collaborating and holding them responsible and accountable.

With the Dakota Access Pipeline and Standing Rock Protests so prevalent in the news, our students have developed especially passionate arguments. With Thanksgiving a few days away and protestors standing strong against pepper spray and water cannons at Standing Rock Protests, Torres’ words reverberate through the empty halls at AGC.

 

Without further ado, here is the full text of Cristina Torres’ persuasive speech assignment.

500 years. 500 years that the Native Americans have been ridiculed by the whites, it’s been so long and yet you haven’t changed, money before humans. I understand that money rules our society, it always has. I understand that money is important and those broken treaties have been repeated through history so it doesn’t seem like such a big deal but putting their basic need to water at stake is ridiculous. You say it’s safe, but if it was why did you change the location from an 80% white town to a sacred reservation?

The ridicule has been going on for centuries, not just going to dig a pipeline under sacred land but to strip them of their religion and tell them that what they believe is wrong. Referencing Red Jacket’s defense of Native Americans speech of 1805, “You have our country but are still not satisfied, now you want to force Christianity upon us.” (1). It’s all connected! Your reasons and excuses changing with time. The Energy transfer partners claim it safe, not commenting on the fact that there were 26 oil spills in the United States in 2016 alone! We have been breaking treaties, treating them like dirt, all while making it seem like we’re the winners. A vicious cycle that no one seems to want to stop.

Let’s take a moment to remember the 1862 massacre, the hanging of 38 Native American men with no real evidence, you say it’s behind us but now you’re killing them in a different way, endangering their water supply. You claim it’s safe, that the pipeline won’t do anything to their land but you can’t just act like it’s never happened before, their fears are reasonable. For example: on April 17, 2016, a petroleum products pipeline failed in Wabash County, Il, resulting in 48,000 gallons of diesel oil being spilled onto the Wabash River(2). Along with that on March 11, 2016, a leaking plug on a pipeline tank farm in Sioux city, Iowa about 30,000 gallons spilled. (3) In addition, there have been 26 other oil spills in 2016 alone, so the threat is there you’re just doing your best to hide it.

Let’s take a moment to think about the effects that the oil spill would have on all living creatures around the water, the wildlife would die off, the Sioux relies on the water in the Missouri and the plants and animals it feeds as their source of food, it’s not only the Sioux relying on the Missouri river, it’s over a million people. To be fair it’s safer to put the pipeline underground than using a train or a car, so it’s a no-brainer for some to put the pipeline underground and even make the pipe shorter by using a shortcut, but it matters when you’re short cut’s go through sacred land that time and time again your promise to the Native Americans but end up taking it for your own gain.

Losing land isn’t new for them; broken treaties since the 1800’s and you’re still honoring those who killed innocent families in the “Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890.” You’re going to say that was in the past but you’re taking their land, sacred land that contributes to greatly to their culture and society! You’re threatening their water supply all while digging a black snake into is horrifying! These most likely weren’t your intentions and you’re trying to improve our economy but this isn’t the way to go. “The military commissions that tried the Dakota was unfair and biased.”(4) So long ago and we’re still acting the same, blinded by money. We’re so blinded that we’re not listening to the people that don’t deserve this, they’re protecting their basic need, the need of water that we’re jeopardizing all while creating death at every turn. Digging up bodies and artifacts without any remorse or second thought.

All in all, the Native Americans have been ridiculed and pushed aside for centuries and it’s time we give them some respect! We’ve been repeating the same disrespectful and biased history by endangering their water supply and stealing and ruining sacred, religious, and cultural ground that we had already promised them. I know your intentions aren’t to kill off the indigenous people but all you care about it money and it’s getting in the way of your morals, we are oblivious to the facts that they have rights just as we do. Money runs the world but it shouldn’t run your mind. I hope you’ve gained a new perspective and understand how this action could endanger many lives, so think twice before you think.”

  1. http://primis.phmsa.dot.gov./comm/reports/enforce/documents/220165003H/220165003H-Corrective%20action%20Order_0422016.pdf
  2. Red Jacket Speech adapted by Newsela staff
  3. Jessica Plue. “UPDATE: The gas spill at Magellan Pipeline Company has been” Siouxland matters retrieve March 23, 2016
  4. Marczak,3 “The Dakota war of 1862: America’s Genocide 150 years ago Lingers on.”
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