You Can Help A Philly Student Activist Get On The USA Network, Presumably In Between “Burn Notice” Reruns

The Peace First Prize, with the goal to “showcase young people who have confronted injustice, crossed lines of difference, and had the courage and compassion to create lasting change” — has rounded up their 50 finalists for this year’s $50,000 two-year Peace First Fellowship, a prize the top 5 winners will receive. Of the fellowship time, Peace First’s website says, “through mentoring and coaching, the Peace First Fellowship is a real investment in young people‚Äôs ability to take their peacemaking to the next level of action and impact. But more than just recognizing a few individuals, we want to tell the thousands of stories about how young people are changing the world.”

But that’s all the technical stuff. The fun part is that one of our own is among the 50 finalists: Former South Philadelphia High School student Wei Chen, now 21. Wei was one of the leaders of the student boycott at SPHS back in 2009, not too long after he came here from China. As education activist Helen Gym told us, “Not only did the work [Wei did] result in a groundbreaking settlement by the US Dept. of Justice, Wei and the community organizing around the struggle won new leadership and staff; changed policies training and practices at the school; and built multiracial student coalitions to dismantle zero tolerance policies.” In addition, he recently co-founded the Chinatown Youth Organizing Project to “help new immigrant youth come together to build leadership for collective action.” Sounds like he’s earned it to us.

Over at Wei’s Peace First page, you can retweet, +1, or Facebook recommend to show your support, and the winner with the most social media hits between Aug. 12 and Sept 16 gets that recognition on the USA Network we mentioned.