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Trauma Center Won! (for real this time)

June 14, 2016 Leave a Comment

TRAUMA CENTER WON! (for real this time)

The University of Chicago has made an about face, and conceded to the demand and over 5 year campaign of black youth from FLY and allies: they will open a trauma center at the University of Chicago Hospital. This victory is possible because of our supporters and because of the longterm investment we have made to develop the leadership of black youth. We are winning.

See the statement from the Trauma Care Coalition below:

In this moment, the whole world is watching Chicago and its history and practice of institutional racism. The decision by President Robert Zimmer and Dean Kenneth Polonksy of the University of Chicago to listen to the community and concede to the demand to open a Level I Adult Trauma Center and save black lives shows that young black people can absolutely impact policy and influence political change for the betterment of the black community. To see the way that young black people have been able to move things from the fight for police torture reparations, to the Dyett hunger strike, to the fight against CPD police brutality, to be a part of this has been an amazing thing. This is something you don’t expect to see in a lifetime.

We applaud the University of Chicago for taking responsibility as a member of the broader south side community. A Level I Adult Trauma Center at the University of Chicago will provide the best possible outcome for addressing the current lack of south side trauma care. It also signals a significant shift in the University’s approach to responding to the needs of its predominantly Black South Side neighbors.

We will continue to call on President Robert Zimmer and Dean Kenneth Polonsky to implement and operate this proposed trauma center with transparency and accountability to the surrounding community. We are encouraged that the University of Chicago has stated an intention to release a detailed timeline and an intention to engage the community on these issues going forward. We will hold the University accountable to all of their commitments until they are secured. In 1988, the University of Chicago closed a Level I trauma center after two years of operation. We plan to stay resolute in our demands until we can see that this proposed trauma center will operate in a long-term, sustainable capacity.

This is a movement moment. We are winning and need to dream bigger and demand more to create a society where healthcare is a human right and all human rights are respected. We are calling on everyone who has struggled with us and all oppressed people to dream bigger. Let’s do more, it’s working, we can get the things that we want. The “I believe that we will win,” chant is not just a chant, it is real.

The Trauma Care Coalition is a community-led coalition, led by Southside Together Organizing for Power, Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, Interfaith Leadership Council, Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, National Nurses United, and Students for Health Equity.

See news coverage of the announcement here:


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