KINETIC is Advancing Justice | Chicago’s civic leadership program for high school English language learner youth in Chicago. Through KINETIC we build a community for, and increase the visibility of, Asian American and immigrant students in Chicago.

Over 100 students learn civics from KINETIC staff every school year. Additionally, 30 students regularly attend KINETIC after school and participate in KINETIC’s summer program.

KINETIC staff currently lead a 3-week civics curriculum at Lake View High School and Kelly High School in Chicago.

KINETIC was featured on ABC 7’s Asian American Heritage Month special in 2016. Watch the story here.

Examples of Our Work

In 2018, KINETIC leaders won a campaign to make high school graduation more accessible for English learner immigrant students in CPS. The policy change addresses the “world language” graduation requirement for English learner students, who previously had to take a “world language” class concurrently with an ELL class for multiple years in order to graduate. KINETIC youth leaders identified the issue and organized over the course of three years to pass changes through the Board of Education. 

In 2016, KINETIC leaders authored and passed a Chicago City Council resolution affirming the rights of English learner students and advocating for culturally relevant curriculum in Chicago Public Schools.

On November 16, 2018, the youth leaders from KINETIC hosted their fourth annual immigrant and refugee youth art gallery. SUITCASE: The Power We Carry, was a creative space for them to honor, share, create, and re/learn their histories as immigrant and refugee youth.

Check out photos from the gallery on Facebook.

Our trained KINETIC staff facilitate a civics curriculum in partnership with teachers in Chicago Public Schools. KINETIC students who wish to further develop their leadership attend the KINETIC after school program, and participate in KINETIC Summer where they identify and run campaigns while engaging their peers and organizing for change.

From Our Leaders

“Knowing I was an immigrant, I knew I wanted to help others so that they wouldn't go through the same things I went through – because if you look at it, there aren't a lot of groups who advocate for students like us.”

— Georgette, KINETIC leader

For updates on KINETIC campaigns and annual art gallery announcements, sign up for our newsletter below and like us on Facebook.

To find out how you can help the program or bring KINETIC to your school, contact Vi at