Roseland children speak out against gun violence through talent show

Michelle Gallardo Image
Sunday, January 7, 2024
South Side children speak out against gun violence through talent show
Roseland, Chicago kids are speaking out against gun violence through a talent show organized by Titus One Missionary Baptist Church and Ceasefire.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It was a talent show like no other.

That's not because of the flashy acts or costumes or the fancy venue, but for what it represented: A group of children living in Roseland, one of Chicago's most dangerous neighborhoods, using their voices to speak up against the gun violence too many of them are growing up surrounded by.

"They can share their point of view. And their community knows them and their point of view. Now, they have a community of people who say, 'We don't believe in this.' And they're growing, and together we stand, divided we fall," said Allison Cunningham, whose children were contestants.

Contestants in the talent show, organized by Roseland's Titus One Missionary Baptist Church in conjunction with Ceasefire, ranged in age from 6 to 20.

"We want to let kids know their voice matters and their expressions are cared about. These kids actually want the violence to stop but they don't know how to reach the proper messages and venues to get the messages out," said Marcus Jones with Titus One Missionary Baptist Church.

No matter the age or the medium, whether it was through music, the spoken word or art, their message was the same.

"Having the opportunity to share how the world is affecting you. So, she can come in and express herself artistically and still tell how life has come to her and what she sees outside," said Marlon Jones, whose children were contestants.

Sunday's talent show is just one part of the anti-violence programming St. Titus runs in the community for youth of all ages. Next up is a basketball tournament scheduled to take place during spring break.