When violence touches our communities, Chicago residents summon up our determination and creativity to respond. Supporting survivors, engaging youth to help them find a more peaceful path, bearing witness by commemorating those who have been lost: we come together to make a difference.
Through the Acting Up Awards, the Trust is proud and hopeful to support these projects with unique, community-led approaches to fighting back against violence.
Addressing Youth Violence in Our Schools
This idea to address how West Side adolescents see conflict in their schools came from On the Table conversations about how basic needs like hunger and personal safety often give rise to youth violence. The Acting Up Award will go towards four youth events at schools, where the teens will share meals and discuss their perspectives on how they can make school a safer place to learn.
Woodlawn Baptist Church and No Shots Fired approach youth violence prevention from a proactive approach, providing an active option for the kids in their community. Healing Courts provided evening access to Woodlawn Baptist’s basketball courts until midnight through the Labor Day holiday weekend, as well as t-shirts, refreshments and equipment for local young people to play.
Humboldt Park Peace Rally
This event will be an opportunity for the Humboldt Park community to come together to change the narrative of violence in their neighborhood. With leadership from Casa Central, a peace rally has the power to unite area families and organizations to send the message that all the neighborhood’s residents are invested in each other’s safety.
Surviving the Mic
Over the last two years, Surviving the Mic has worked with Cup and Spoon Café in Humboldt Park to provide the only dedicated monthly event where survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence can tell their stories. In addition to continuing to make this safe space available, the Acting Up Award will help to provide crisis counselors and massage therapists for the attendees.
The Healing Corner
This outreach program in the West Humboldt Park and Austin neighborhoods sends volunteers to corners that have a known drug presence, or have been the sites of shootings. They provide community resource information, and emotional support through their “free food, free hugs” approach to building connections in the community. Their award will help to expand this program, and to provide materials for volunteers.
Colors Project/Projecto Colores
Projecto Colores seeks to extend an idea to Little Village that is already used in some North Side and Downtown areas to install community murals in areas that suffer from the effects of gang violence and homicides. Community members will submit art work online and with volunteers to be considered for the hardest hit locations at 25th St. and Trumbull, and 25th St. and Karlov, where the street murals will serve to commemorate victims and bring beauty to the community.