Group sets out to spread peace, stop violence

August 18, 2009 (CHICAGO) "Peace and Hope Patrols" are now walking the streets.

The group on Tuesday evening included several dozen men from the community. They handed out flyers, cards and bracelets to rush hour commuters on Tuesday afternoon. The message is peace.

"The men decided that they have to do something different and so we're actually out here. You can see men out here working to bring peace to the community," said Phillip Jackson, executive director, Black Star Project.

The Black Start Project is behind the 'Peace in the Hood' project. The group relies entirely on volunteers who have seen the violence in their communities first hand and are anxious to bring about change.

"We have young men out here who was drug dealers, who was gang bangers and who are saying they are sick and tired and they want to be a difference and make a difference. So that's how we're reaching them. We're reaching them on their level," said Elder Darryl Coleman, volunteer.

They have been circulating in cities all over the city since June. They say they are accepting the challenge of political leaders to get involved in their own communities. They say more police is not the answer.

"Policing has very little to do with reducing violence. It's all the other things. It's the social services. It's education. It's jobs," said Jackson.

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