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To Whom It Should Concern:

For a long time, we used to address our letters, "To Whom It May Concern." We said a lot of the same things in those letters as we're writing on letters today. The issues have stayed the same. We assume it's because you never read our letters. We know you received them. We looked up your addresses and we sent them to your offices. We know you can hear us, but are you listening? Our voice has changed. In those early letters, we wrote looking up to you, hoping that you would look down, and just maybe, see what we were going through. We know you saw us. We made eye contact. But we always saw you look away. Maybe that's why we're deciding to speak up: you can still look away, but you'll still be able to hear us.

We are going to continue using our voices until you listen. Until you listen to our realities, our dreams, and our desires.  

On Friday, April 28th, 2017, we are taking the stage to talk about our educational experiences. We are going to read, we are going to rap, we are going to perform, and we are going to discuss the issues that impact us, and the issues that matter to us. We are going to talk about things that few policymakers are willing to confront. But here's the thing: that's because policymakers never have to face the outcomes of their decisions. We do. Students do. We always do.

We have too much respect for ourselves and each other to continue writing letters to no one. From now on, we're writing letters to you: the people who should be listening up.

If you're a public high school student somewhere in this country, know that we are here, and that we will always listen. We  know you won't be able to make our events in New York City, but we still hope to hear from you. Send us a letter and tell us the issues you face on a daily basis, and we will publish them on our site and read them in front of live audiences during our event. 

In solidarity,

Teens Take Charge