The South Philly High School story added a more positive chapter a few days ago when the group of young men that stood up against racial violence and the School District of Philadelphia’s historical ineptitude received a Freedom from Fear award.
This is a recognition that honors 15 “Ordinary People” for extraordinary acts of courage on behalf of immigrants and refugees, according to the award’s web site.
The recipients were announced at Net Roots Nation 2011 that took place in Minnesota.
In December 2009, 32 Asian students were the target of attacks from a mob of primarily black students. The students organized and boycotted the school in an attempt to bring authorities to dialogue table to find a solution to the history of racial violence against Asian students at Philadelphia schools.
It took the hard work of organizer Xu Lin and students Wei Chen, Bach Tong, Duong Nghe Ly, among others, to set the path to correct what has been wrong in that school for decades.
I’m glad to see these vatos get recognition after coming out an exposing themselves telling stories of violence and humiliation hoping they would help change things for the better.
The Freedom From Fear Award takes its name from Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s famous “four freedoms” speech 70 years ago in which he outlined four fundamental freedoms that people “everywhere in the world” ought to enjoy:
Freedom of speech and expression;
Freedom of religion;
Freedom from want; and
Freedom from fear.