McCarthy, Brizard participate in community summit

March 31, 2012 5:19:07 PM PDT
Chicago police Supt. Garry McCarthy and Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard spoke at a community summit Saturday in the wake of an uptick in violence in the city.

They spoke at the third-annual Woodlawn Community Summit, discussing crime and ways to prevent it.

They were joined by Pastor Cory Brooks, who earlier this year camped on the roof of abandoned motel to raise money to have it torn down because it had become a haven for crime and drugs.

The summit was aimed at the Woodlawn neighborhood. But the topic applies to the entire city. Speakers focused on the importance of a multi-tiered approach, which starts, at the block level, creating an infrastructure in which the entire community is involved.

For Chicagoans in tough neighborhoods, an early rise in temperatures brought an early spike in violence. Community activists in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood canvassed local businesses, putting up flyers calling for "peace in the hood."

"We can't cure this unless we bring other medicines to the table," McCarthy said.

McCarthy was joined by Brizard and others at the summit to discuss crime and ways to prevent it by bringing everybody -- churches, police and schools -- together.

"A child who is engaged in school is not going to look to a gang to find that kind of belonging, because it happens in the school structure," Brizard said.

The weekend of March 17 and 18 was particularly violent, with 10 people killed, including 6-year-old Aliyah Shell. This Thursday, in just a six-hour period, 13 people were shot, two killed and among the injured was the nephew of NBA star Dwayne Wade.

"This is going to sound callous but it doesn't matter who the victim is," McCarthy said. "It's unacceptable to have this level of violence. And nobody is more important than anybody else."