I’m Citlali Perez, I am a rising sophomore at DePaul University and have worked with the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council as a youth leader. In the spring of 2019, I was part of WRL’s three-day Demilitarization School in Chicago, where I learned a lot about what militarization looks like around the world that I hadn't known before.
I’m writing because of the positive experience I had with WRL, and my hope that others like me will be able to benefit from WRL’s programs in the future. Can you donate to support WRL’s work towards a world expunged of war, today?
I came into the Demil School with experience in organizing around immigration, education, and policing. I was surprised to learn how my previous organizing experiences and knowledge tie into fighting against U.S militarization. Learning about tragedies that happen around the world that are caused by imperialist countries like the U.S and Britain, was very angering. Often, learning about facts like how much money is spent on militarization and how many lives are lost is difficult to picture, but the demilitarization school also helped me know how I can take action as a next step to being informed. We learned about how military recruitment works to target specific people but we also learned how to help people who may be considering enlisting as their only option. This is an issue that ties into different aspects of our society, everyone is impacted in a way and if we are not informed we may contribute in negative ways.
Youth are speaking up about many issues, one of them being raising environmental awareness. I hope to see that fight connected to the impact and struggle against militarization. Right now, I am hopeful that the next generation of organizers will get involved and continue the fight against militarization, thanks to the influential and impactful work of the WRL.