‘We’re trying to make a change’: Chicago youth promote peace, aim to combat gun violence across city

‘We’re trying to make a change’: Chicago youth promote peace, aim to combat gun violence across city

CHICAGO (TOC) — Greater than two dozen organizations that mentor younger males of colour are coming collectively to fight gun violence.

It is a difficulty that weighs very heavy on the hearts of the kids who’re making an attempt to make a distinction.

“It begins with you, it begins with me, with all of us working collectively. No extra violence,” stated Vondale Singleton with Champs Male Mentoring Program.

It is that message that is bringing dozens of anti-violence teams and teenagers collectively to kind the brand new “brilliance and excellence motion.”

“We’re in downtown Chicago as we speak to easily march round with our flags, with our T-shirts, with our postcards to easily promote the message of peace, unity and most of all no violence,” stated Jermaine Anderson, government director of I AM A GENTLEMAN, INC.

Their aim is to showcase, spotlight and uplift younger males of colour.

RELATED: March for Our Lives 2022: Chicago rally pushes for extra gun management after latest mass shootings

“We do not want no extra violence, we have to come collectively as a gaggle to show that there is extra to Black individuals, there’s extra dwelling in Chicago. We do not essentially want to come back out right here and shoot one another,” stated 15-year-old Jalyn Pressley.

“I’ve actually seen violence in our faculties and throughout the South Facet of Chicago, so right here as we speak, I am simply making an attempt to carry consciousness,” added fellow 15-year-old Adeeb Borden.

The group marched within the South Loop Saturday, becoming a member of a thousand of others in Grant Park for the Race Towards Gun Violence.Their motion was created after the Champs Male Mentoring Program misplaced member Seandell Vacation final month when a whole bunch of teenagers descended upon at Millennium Park and issues turned violent.

“I simply misplaced a pal and I do know he’d be wanting me to be doing the identical, so I really feel like if he sees me doing this, he will be completely happy and he will know that we’re making an attempt to make a change locally,” stated 14-year-old Sam Sadeen Jones.

“I feel it is fully obligatory that we do that as a result of most individuals suppose — from different states — individuals suppose individuals in Chicago, all they do is shoot however I would like individuals to know that we’re greater than that,” added 13-year-old Joshua Hughey.

Final month, Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued a brand new city-wide curfew after that now requires teenagers 17 and beneath to be accompanied by an grownup after 10 p.m. Thursday by way of Sundays.

RELATED: Chicago youth converse out towards Millennium Park curfew: ‘Downtown was our outlet’

“Our hopes all through the summer time is that we’ve no extra blood slain, that there is not any extra violence, that the weapons are put down,” stated Damien Howard, director of training initiatives with Collectively Chicago.

This group stated they plan to proceed taking to the streets of Chicago all through the summer time, making their message heard till one thing adjustments.

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