Children should not be kept out of school

Thanks for pointing this out [The school boycott stunt is over. Now what? Arlene Jones, Sept. 11]. My husband and I were just talking about this the other day. We were wondering what did become of all this. Both of us never felt those children should have stayed out of school in the first place. What did this accomplish? Nothing. If anything, I believe it may have been actually detrimental to some of the students that participated. I feel if anyone wanted to boycott, the parents should’ve made the sacrifice and did it. You never know how those two days may have affected some of the kids. I’m not an advocate of using children as pawns under any circumstances. Keep up the good work, Ms. Jones.

Ernestine Funches
Submitted at

In need of your support

As a proud member of the Supreme Executive Advisory Council, a public initiative of concerned citizens who create community programs, in the past we have created and submitted programs to various groups. Among them, the Chicago Police Department, Chicago Park District, University of Chicago, Boys and Girls Club of Chicago, American Association of Police Officers and Rainbow/PUSH. About a year ago, I created a peace campaign called the Folks and People Nations (Strategy for Peace). Prior to its creation, I met with current and ex-gang members. All expressed the need for financial, educational and economical opportunities to thwart youth/gang violence. Strategy for Peace directly targets current and ex-gang members, along with ex-offenders who desire to change their lives. This is where we need your endorsement and support. Your support is in no way a contract or agreement for financial assistance. Strategy for Peace needs all city, state and county politicians to assist us in passing policies and laws that can assist our targeted groups. We’re looking to build a membership of at least 30,000 who is able to commit to a monthly fee. Strategy for Peace is seeking permission to go into the jails and prisons to spread our message. The monies from our fees will help us achieve that. I sincerely believe this is the greatest way to combat youth and gang violence. It also puts responsibility in the hands of those who claim government lacks the ability to fund youth, anti-gang and ex-offender programs. The Folks and People Nations (Strategy for Peace) is not looking for a hand out, but rather a hand up. Please visit us at the accompanying link: Many thanks for your support.

Rev. Jim Allen

Community has a right to speak out

In his 1963 Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial ‘outside agitator’ idea.” His words are poignant and appropriate. For too long, Austin has existed on an island where despair is rampant. I am grateful that the AWN allows itself to be a sounding board for those who are concerned with the well-being of this community, regardless of whether or not they call it home or how absurd their opinion may be. I believe the more eyes and hearts focused on this community, the better.

Randon Gardley