In the parking lot of St. Titus One M.B. Church on South Emerald Avenue, members of the church’s Youth Anti-Violence and Mentoring Program stood up in front of friends and family, sharing works of art that they created to speak out against violence in their neighborhood.
At STO church mentor program, art competition encourages #WestPullman youth to fight violence, create a #SafeChicago
The “Stop The Violence” Artistic Expression Competition welcomed songs, raps, poems, dance routines, drawings or any form of creative expression—and offered a $100 prize for the most powerful statement.
Designed to provide youth in the community with a safe, positive outlet for learning and connecting, the Anti-Violence and Mentoring Program teaches skills that range from anger management and coping with peer pressure, to academic success and job readiness.
This solo performer placed a tape outline representing a fallen body on the ground, then performed a skit imagining the aftermath of a death by gun violence. “But what about picking up your sister from school?” he asked. “Now, who will take her on a bike ride?”
As Chicago faced an escalation of violence over the holiday weekend, communities across the city gathered together to create safe spaces like this one—building trust, strengthening bonds, refusing to abandon their neighborhoods to violence, or to ever stop working toward peace.