Worth Fighting For Chicago Public High School Tour

Worth Fighting For Chicago Public High School Tour

featuring Rory Fanning

Sponsored by The Chicago Teachers Union


The Chicago Chapter of Veterans for Peace

The US Military employs more than 10,000 recruiters and spends nearly $700 million on advertising each year trying to convince young people to travel to one of its 668 bases to fight in the unending Global War on Terror.

10,000 students are currently enrolled in Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp (JROTC) in the Chicago Public School system, which is more than any school district in the country. The JROTC program disproportionately targets children of color in CPS. Currently 50% of those enrolled in JROTC in Chicago are Black and 45% are Latino. JROTC operates in 45 Chicago-area public high schools. Rory Fanning will provide a counter argument to the military’s messaging.

Rory will visit CPS high schools throughout the 2015/2016 school year in the hopes of helping students make a more informed decision before joining the military. These speaking visits will help serve as much-needed space in which students can come together for important and timely discussions about the fourteen-year-old global war on terror, the motivations behind these wars, and what those who are fighting in them are expected to do.

At each classroom Rory visits he will discuss his experience in the military for 20-25 minutes. Then students will discuss what they have been told about the military and what they think of it. The students will write down the pros and cons of joining the military.

Rory will submit suggested reading to teachers ahead of time to include a copy of his book so the students are prepared to ask questions and get the most out of his visit. Each student will receive a free copy of Rory’s book Worth Fighting For.

Rory will target US and World History classes and make a small lesson plan for teachers that will highlight a few of the main points he’d like teachers to address from his book. Further, he will make himself available to all the history teachers in the school during the course of the day; he is prepared to speak to multiple classrooms during the day or collectively with multiple history classes in the same space. Rory will work with teachers beforehand to coordinate this. The lesson plan would be submitted to one or many teachers at each school one month before the visit. Rory will conduct one or two follow up visits with each schools to ensure kids are weighing all factors and thinking critically about the military before signing up.

Rory walked across the United States for the Pat Tillman Foundation in 2008–2009, following two deployments to Afghanistan with the 2nd Army Ranger Battalion. He is a war resister, and writer living in Chicago, Illinois. Haymarket Books recently published his book Worth Fighting For: An Army Ranger’s Journey Out of the Military and Across America in November 2014. His writing has appeared in The Guardian, The Nation, Mother Jones, Salon, Truthout, Common Dreams, TomDispatch, and others. He is a proud member of Veterans for Peace.

If you would like Rory to speak at your Chicago Public High School during the 2015/2016 school year please email him at wffcps2015@gmail.com

For more information listen to his recent interview on WBEZ’s “Worldview” here.

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