Chicago breaks the silence with rally this Friday

Tue. April 14, 2015 9:13 AM by Anthony Morgano

Night of Noise rally at the Thompson Center features Chicago indie band Mister E. Machine, James Panther and Congressman Mike Quigley

Chicago, IL - This Friday, April 17, is the Day of Silence, when countless participants across the world take a vow of silence to protest the silencing of LGBTQA students in schools and the bullying they face. That evening, Night of Noise events across the country will unite activists and allies to break the silence with a series of rallies.

The Illinois Safe Schools Alliance is excited for this -- their 15th -- rally, which includes an appearance by Congressman Mike Quigley and two musical fantastic performances to energize and inspire the crowd, which converges at the Thompson Center in the Loop at 5:30 p.m.

"This year the Alliance Youth Committee has taken a look at their previous NON events and made some changes that we think are going to set the Night of Noise apart from all others and really send a message of community and partnership between the LGBTQIA youth community and our adult allies," Lawrence Carter, Youth Engagement Manager at the Illinois Safe School Alliance, told

This year's program is one of the most exciting parts of the event. James Panther, a Portland-based artist recently named an artist to watch by Out Magazine, will perform his song Desireable and Chicago indie band Mister E. Machine will perform a set and premiere a music video. The song, titled "Rosa Marie," is appropriately an anti-bullying anthem inspired by front man Manny Capozzi's older sister, who helped him through bullying he faced as a student.

"With the song's uplifting message, we all thought it would be a great tool to use while rallying young people for the day of silence," Carter said. "We were able to get the song out and have Gay Straight Alliances use the song and its message to help organize their Day Of Silence activities. We are excited to be able to showcase local Chicago bands that are finding time to support our LGBTQA youth and provide them with positive messaging and great role models to look up to."

U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill), a known LGBT rights supporter who has also participated in National Coming Out Day, will take the stage to share a message with the youth. The Night of Noise event also features a resource fair with a selection of community partners designed to provide young people with the resources available to them, including Northwestern University's Impact program.

"We hope everyone involved in the Night Of Noise will leave energized and ready to join the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance in fighting for safe schools for LGBTQA youth in our schools across the state of Illinois," Carter concluded.

Friday's Night of Noise will be held in front of the Thompson Center at 100 W. Randolph Street in the Loop from 5:30 - 8 p.m., finishing off with a DJ Dance Party set. The event is expected to draw upwards of 500 participants from across Illinois.