Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls center, unveils "Chicago Stand Up" anti-violence effort

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Joakim Noah announced a new "Chicago Stand Up" anti-violence campaign at Major Adams Community Center Friday. (WLS)

Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah has unveiled "Chicago Stand Up," a new effort to fight Chicago gun violence.

The new tactic is part of his Noah's Arc Foundation, the professional athlete's ongoing campaign to combat violence in Chicago.

Noah spoke to young people Friday afternoon at the Major Adams Community Center on the near West Side.

"As somebody who plays for the Chicago Bulls, I feel like I'm somebody who represents the city, and I think that helping our youth is important," Noah said.

The West Side center is where both Noah and his mother have focused much of their charitable outreach.

"For these young men to see successful young men like my son and the rest of the Bulls guys is really a positive thing," said Cecilia Rohle, Joakim Noah's mother.

The public service announcement calls on Chicagoans to take a stand against violence and become ambassadors for peace and positivity by using art and the sport of basketball.

The campaign looks to compliment the peace basketball tournaments sponsored by St. Sabina's Father Michael Pfleger.

"The basketball builds tremendous relationships with each other and with us, and then it becomes an avenue where we can talk and say, 'What else can we do? How can we help you become everything you're supposed to be?'" Father Pfleger said.

Friday's efforts come on the eve of his foundation's city basketball tournament at the United Center, where Noah hopes to promote peace and take a unified stand against violence.

"We have to find a way together, whether you're rich, poor, black, white, whatever you are, to come together and solve this together," Noah said.

Noah's new initiative focuses on grade school children as well as young men ages 18-21.
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sportssportschicago violencestop the violencegun violencegang violenceChicago BullsChicago - Near West Side
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