Faith leaders, young men from West Side of Chicago team up to launch summer anti-violence initiative

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Leaders Network clergy were joined by young men from the Maafa Redemption Project, an employment, residential anti-violence program housed on the West Garfield Park church campus on Friday afternoon.

Both groups were gathering on the kickoff of Memorial Day weekend to launch the Leaders Network's safe summer initiative.

Together they will launch a website that will collect program data of positive, safe haven and enrichment activities on the West Side, which engage the youth.

The website will serve as a clearing house for families and communities on the West Side of Chicago.

"We are calling on all social services, faith based programs, government and community organizations on the west side to register their youth friendly services on our website, so we can help market them. We need all hands on deck if we expect to drastically reduce the violence this summer," said Rev Ira Acree, co-chairman of the Leaders network and pastor of Greater St John Bible Church.

The Maafa men are hosting a Memorial Day Weekend Barbecue, for the residents of the cohort and for their families.

"Our work with our Maafa young men demonstrates that our youth have great promise when given opportunities. For us to solve our violence problem, they must be redeemed not demonized," said Rev. Marshall Hatch of the Leaders Network and New Mount Pilgrim Church.

Tours of the West Side anti-violence project will be conducted.

To out more information about the program, go to:
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