Message of unity ahead of Memorial Day, and effort to bridge gap between Chicago's south and west sides

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Now is usually a popular time for communities to focus on students and looking forward to the future.

Some of that has been muted because of the pandemic, but one community is making sure to keep kids hopes alive.

In Chicago's Austin neighborhood, a parade sent a message of unity ahead of Memorial Day.

"Bridge the gap between the South Side and the West Side of Chicago to show people that we're all working together," said Donovan Robinson.

Robinson helped organize Saturday's West Side Unity Day Event, in an effort to raise awareness and galvanize support for a variety of issues.

"Really bringing the people together and give them hope for tomorrow," Robinson said.

"We have students that have jumped in being a part of the census to push their families," said Charles Anderson, Michele Clark Academic Prep Magnet HS principal.

"This is just another opportunity for us to look at another way of reaching out to our community, our students, our families we feel like if we can change a kid and we'll change the family, which will change the neighborhood which then will change our community," Anderson said.

Normally, Robinson said Unity Day would be celebrated in person with a big festival.

Because of the pandemic, organizers want everyone to stay home. That doesn't mean they didn't celebrate. A parade of classic cars and floats headed into the neighborhood.

It's an example of perseverance, and a reminder that we're all in this together.
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