Mission Statement


“ODE: Operation Defend Education” is a project/campaign led by the Revolutionary Poets Brigade of Chicago (#RPBchi) that brings together a coalition of teaching-artists to serve the popular movement in defense of Chicago’s public schools through cultural work. We organize to inspire, facilitate, gather, and promote creative expressions on the subject of schools and the education system by those most harmed by the downsizing of public education taking place across our city, state, nation, and world.

The educational aspect of our mission is to engage youth (and others) who are directly impacted by the increasingly violent budget cuts, school closings, and “austerity” measures imposed by governments in honest conversations about the current state of education in Chicago and beyond.

The political aspect of our mission is to support the movement by organizing with students, teachers, parents, and the wider Chicago community (as all citizens are affected by the attacks on public education) and bringing cultural resources into the political activity the school communities are carrying out.

Specifically, we:

  • Facilitate spaces for critical reflection, dialogue, and testimony around the issues;
  • Help the communities impacted by the assault on public education to generate original poems, raps, songs and other works of literature and art on the subject of education by leading creative workshops, thus arming the movement with cultural/artistic weapons.
  • Help arrange for individuals from the movement to make artistic contributions at rallies, actions, etc. in support of the school communities’ efforts to defend public education;
  • Organize showcases featuring student work to inspire and mobilize the communities and the movement; and
  • Create a blog featuring student work that can be used to support the organizing and educational efforts of the movement.

To organize workshops or showcases, coordinate performances, or submit works to the blog, please email us at revolutionarypoetsbrigadechi@gmail.com