Former Sec. of Education speaks at Chicago stand up rally

By Roman Treuthart, Reporter

Darren Hollingshead was leaving a Halloween party near Irving and California two years ago, when things took a turn for the worst.

Hollingshead was caught in the crossfire of a shooting, and was shot in the head and the spine. He was 17 at the time, a student at Truman College. He is also a cousin of Mr. Nicholas Logalbo, Boys Basketball Head Coach.

“Pretty much being told he was going to die was rough,” said Logalbo. However, Hollingshead survived and has made strides since the shooting. Logalbo said he is now able to do things that he was told he would never be able to do. Hollingshead “inspired me to want to do something positive so I just tried to figure out what that was,” Logalbo said.

After hearing that Joakim Noah, former Chicago Bull, was working to stop gun violence in the city, Logalbo connected with his organization and worked to expand the reach of the Chicago Stand Up Movement.

The organization seeks to bring attention to the ongoing gun violence problem in Chicago. Logalbo united the organization with Lane, and decided to hold the first march and rally in 2014 at Lane, just a month after his cousin was shot.

Logalbo said the first stand up rally was more emotional than this year’s, due to its proximity to the shooting.

“It was a lot more about our family grieving and our family using this as an outlet,” Logalbo said. This year however, Logalbo reached out to people from different types of media, more than in previous years, to hear about how different types of organizations are working to combat gun violence.

The third annual Chicago Stand Up rally, held Nov. 20, drew an estimated 500 to 1000 supporters, according to Logalbo. Students, athletes and parents from across the city met at Lane to hear from multiple presenters about gun violence in Chicago. The rally was held in Gym 1 from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., followed by a march along Addison and Western.

Featured presenters were former Secretary of Education of the United States, Arne Duncan; Cecilia Rodhe; filmmaker Anthony Sturdivant; Dion McGill of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence; and Erica Prosser. Each speaker had their own unique presentation, but one message was present through them all: the widespread gun violence in Chicago has to stop.

Coach Logalbo kicked off this year’s rally by speaking about why he began the Chicago Stand Up movement. He then introduced the next speaker, Arne Duncan.

Duncan, who is from Chicago, met Logalbo at a USA Basketball tournament.

“I just started talking to him about what we are doing and he wanted to get involved,” Logalbo said.   Duncan discussed the steps needed to be taken to solve the gun problem in Chicago, and included that the problem cannot be solved just by policemen; incarceration of individuals cannot solve the problem.

After Duncan, the program manager of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, Dion McGill, spoke about what his organization is doing to stop gun violence in the city.

McGill works with teenagers and elementary students mostly in the Englewood and Austin communities to raise awareness and bring an end to the gun violence in these neighborhoods.

“I’m a teacher,” McGill said. “I teach the students how to be activists.”. McGill has helped schools organize meetings with anti-gun violence activists and has helped organize marches and rallies.

“When young people do good things, this city will get behind you 100 percent,” McGill said.

Other presenters spoke after McGill, such as filmmaker and Chicago native Anthony Sturdivant, and Erica Prosser, former college basketball player at LeHigh University.

Students, athletes and speakers then made their way outside to make one lap of the Lane campus along Western and Addison, down Rockwell and back into the Lane parking lot where Logalbo dismissed them.

Not only do other organizations want to be involved with Logalbo’s movement, but students at Lane appreciate his effort.

Amira Hardman, Div. 879, is one of them. She says gun violence is very common in her neighborhood, with “one to two shootings every night.”

Hardman says that the Chicago Stand Up movement is a great movement because it “really touches the hearts of people, such as myself.”

Logalbo plans to continue the movement and reach an even larger audience. “There is still so much to do,” Logalbo said. “It’s not just a once a year thing, it’s an ongoing thing.”