#TraumaCenterNow! Activists and UofC Alums Say #NoMoreBusinessAsUsual During Univ. of Chicago Alumni Weekend Celebrations

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Organizers say University of Chicago doesn’t care about Black lives. Week of actions aims to educate alumni and calls on them to demand that UChicago open an adult Level 1 trauma center.


CHICAGO, IL – This week, a coalition made up of South Side youth, mothers, clergy, doctors, nurses and university students, joined by UofC alumni, will stage a series of actions to shine a light on the University of Chicago’s refusal to open a Level 1 Adult Trauma Center. The latest week of actions is timed to coincide with the University’s Alumni Weekend Celebrations, a time of heightened tensions at UofC, because it is during this time that it makes the majority of its money from alumni donations.

“The University of Chicago has shown that they do not not care about black lives,” says Veronica Morris-Moore, a Woodlawn resident and youth organizer with the trauma center campaign. “We want to make sure alumni know where their donation dollars are going, and we want to say we can’t live with [UofC President] Robert Zimmer’s definition of ‘business as usual’ any more. University of Chicago needs to open a trauma center now.”

Organizers are demanding that:

UofC open a level one adult trauma center now

UofC raise the age of the Level 1 pediatric trauma center care to 21

UofC President Zimmer set a meeting with the Trauma Care Coalition by the end of the week

UofC include community input in the current trauma center feasibility study

UofC agree to a comprehensive community benefits agreement on the Obama Library

The actions will encompass the duration of the UofC’s alumni weekend celebrations and will be joined by alumni supporters of the ongoing push for a trauma center. “As a student at the UofC I saw first hand the best and the worst of what the institution can do — how many resources they have, but also how they put up barriers around themselves and keep out the rest of the South Side,” explained UofC alum Alex Goldenberg, B.A. ’06.

The community’s demand for trauma care was sparked by the death of Woodlawn youth leader Damian Turner, and is led by the Woodlawn-based Fearless Leading by the Youth, along with the Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization, Students for Health Equity at the UofC, National Nurses United and many faith groups including the United Church of Christ.

The South Side is currently a trauma desert for adults, meaning that victims of shootings and other serious injuries must be taken over ten miles away, to the Near North Side or south west suburbs. The call for trauma care is also supported by a new study by the Illinois Department of Public Health which states that longer travel times to a trauma center increases the likelihood of dying, the study also states that the U of C is best positioned to expand access to trauma care, and that the U of C could further raise the age limit of their pediatric trauma center.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:

Trauma Care Coalition @traumacenternow #TraumaCenterNow!
#BlackLivesMatter  #StillWaitingUChi  #DecolonizeSouthSide

Week of Action for #TraumaCenterNow

During UChicago Alumni Celebrations

Wed 6/3:  4PM – Protest at UChicago President Zimmer’s house (59th & University)

Thur 6/4:  6:30PM – Prayer Vigil, 58th & Maryland

Fri 6/5:    11AM – T-Shirt Action Calling for a #TraumaCenterNow (Location TBA
Friday Morning)

8PM – Large-Scale Visual Action for #BlackLivesMatter (details to be
announced)

Sat 6/6:  all morning – On campus protests and rallies (details to be announced)

In the News
“Here’s What U of C Should Do for the City” Crain’s Chicago Business
“Protestors link Obama library with #BlackLivesMatter,” Bloomberg
“UofC Wants to Raise Age Limit at Pediatric Trauma Center,” The Chicago Sun-Times
“UofC Aims to Expand Treatment at Children’s Trauma Center,” The Chicago Tribune
“Trauma center protesters target U. of C. capital campaign,” The Chicago Maroon
“Chicago Faith Leaders Sing, Pray For A South Side Trauma Center ,” Progress Illinois
“Religious leaders march for South Side trauma center,” Hyde Park Herald
“South Side Hospital Patients Caught in Trauma Deserts,” (Feature Story), Chicago Tribune
“University of Chicago Alumni: No Donations Until Trauma Center Opened,” Progress Illinois
“Chicago needs help, not Obama Library,” LZ Granderson, CNN.com
“Activists protest university’s bid for Obama Library,” USA Today

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