Photo of Ameil Kenkare

Ameil Kenkare

  • Hosted by Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights
  • Sponsored by AbbVie Inc., Kirkland & Ellis
  • Service location Chicago, Illinois
  • Law school University of California, Davis School of Law
  • Issue area Education/Special Education
  • Fellowship class year 2021
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Ameil (he/him/his) will fight for actualized student potential in the classroom by combatting exclusionary discipline policies at the individual and systemic levels in the return to in-person learning era of Chicago Public Schools (CPS).

Black and Brown students were six times more likely to be expelled or suspended than their White, CPS peers. Among these exclusions, charter schools were responsible for 19 of the top 20 expulsion rates in CPS in 2018. This was happening before COVID-19 laid bare disparities for CPS and low-income students, particularly students of color. Because of the substantial learning equity issues raised during the remote learning period, many CPS schools may feel pressure to ‘play catch-up’ through harsh policies meant to cut down on distractions. Return to in-person learning cannot be a return to business-as-usual practices with exclusionary discipline, and specifically within charter schools, which have more autonomy to practice punitive measures.

Ameil taught U.S. History and English on the Westside of Chicago at a public charter school for four years. He also served as a four-year advisor to a male advisory and coached the boys’ soccer team.

Fellowship Plans

Ameil will represent students directly, working with community and legal organizations to gain a stronger understanding of the post-COVID-19 landscape in learning and disciplinary policies. Additionally, he will conduct Know Your Rights trainings for families, engage in policy advocacy, and potentially bring complaints of widespread rights violations to state and federal government oversight bodies.

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