He first gained public recognition with a speech that he gave last May in protest of the Chicago public school closures.
“It was an impromptu, unscripted speech, spoken directly from the heart,” said his mother Shoneice Reynolds. “Asean has never been afraid to speak up and say how he feels.”
With the help of Asean, Garvey M Elementary School — Johnson’s school — was spared from being closed.
After being made famous by YouTube, Asean was invited to speak at the “Realize The Dream” rally honoring the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington. He was the youngest speaker at the event.
“I am marching for education, justice and freedom,” he said during the memorial. “All over the country public education is under attack. Every school deserves equal funding and resources.”