National Unity Summit calls for peace in Chicago

September 28, 2013 7:00:42 AM PDT
The summit continues Saturday and the focus will be on education and the influence of music and social media.

Chicago is the first of five stops across the country to hold this "National Unity Summit" where former and current gang members will discuss Chicago-area violence and work with community leaders and members of the clergy to help find solutions.

The organizers have big plans, but say they don't really know what to expect. They invited gang leaders, some gang members, as well as some victims of crime and other community members.

Reverend Tatum has a church in California now, but he grew up in Chicago's Cabrini Green projects.

Chicago, with more than 500 homicides last year, he says is the epicenter of gang violence in the country.

Nortasha Stingley lost her daughter to what she believes was a gang-related shooting three months ago.

Nineteen-year-old Marissa Boyd Stingley was in a car with friends when a man in another car opened fire, injuring the others and killing Stingley, a college freshman.

"I pray that the gangs will understand that we're tired, we're fed up," Nortasha Stingley said. "We need for this to cease."

Reverend Boyd is modeling this summit after a five-day gang summit in Chicago 20 years ago, hosted by Reverend Jesse Jackson and minister Louis Farrakhan.

He's working with a number of local ministers and community members to round up gang members and others for the summit.

"But not just do a fly by night summit, but have a comprehensive plan to try to resolve some of these issues in some of the African American communities, so we can heal," Rev. Tatum said.

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