Chicago violence victims' families promote summer of peace, as mayor strives to lift up youth

As Chicago recovers from violence rocking city, Johnson on Wed. took to streets to promote positive choices for young people

Wednesday, June 19, 2024
Chicago violence victims' families promote summer of peace
Chicago violence victims' families are promoting a summer of peace, as Mayor Brandon Johnson toured North Lawndale to lift up young people.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- As Chicago is still recovering from the violence that has rocked the city the past four days, Mayor Brandon Johnson on Wednesday took to the streets to promote positive choices for young people.

It comes as parents who lost children to gun violence are launching a campaign to promote a summer of peace.

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Starting Thursday, ABC7 Chicago will begin airing a public service announcement featuring four prominent parents who have lost children to gun violence.

But, on Wednesday, Johnson joined a team of young people from My Block My Hood My City on a tour of North Lawndale.

SEE ALSO: 'He never came back': 7-year-old killed by stray bullet on Near West Side was joy in his community

"Something that makes me a part of my community is when my community looks out for other kids in the community," said Jubrea James Sr., from Jackson State University.

My Block My Hood My City founder Jahmal Cole shared the group's hopes and goals for reaching kids and keeping them away from violence.

"A lot of the kids have been to 15 funerals by the time they're in ninth grade. You know what I mean? So, it's like, we, we stand guard at the door of our thoughts. We watch what we take in, and we want to put out positivity. That's what we're about," Cole said.

After a violent weekend, that by Monday morning had left more than 70 people shot across the city, the mayor on Tuesday night called for accountability and change.

"This is no longer just simply about tragedy. This is about course correcting ways of life of some individuals in this city that have caused terror, trauma and torment," Johnson said.

The call for making this a summer of peace in Chicago was Father Michael Pfleger's idea.

"I'm hoping to reach somebody's heart. I'm hoping, you know, if one life is saved, if one child makes a decision to make better choices, or to not shoot somebody, it's worth it all," said Pfleger, pastor of the St. Sabina faith community.

Pfleger and others hope this past weekend's violence will serve as a wakeup call across the city that something has to change, and there's no time to wait.

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