AUBURN GRESHAM — Religious, political and community leaders issued a call to action Friday for residents of neighborhoods plagued by violence to organize and address the seemingly intractable problem.
But before the open mic show, scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday, Muhammad and others called on adults in their communities to "unite" to tackle issues like violence and chronic unemployment.
"Everything that we say is a problem in the city, it only exists because many times we refuse to sit down long enough to work out a strategy and actually be upfront and honest about where we are," Muhammad said at the gathering held at the Salaam restaurant, 700 West 79th St.
Muhammad was joined by Ald. Latasha Thomas (17th), who echoed calls for cooperation among residents and groups who all want to see these problems addressed.
"If we're not working together, than we will never solve anything," Thomas said. "We can't wait for someone else to do it. We have to do it ourselves."
The Rev. Michael Pfleger, who heads St. Sabina Church on the South Side, said people need to stop demanding just police or outside groups solve the problem in the city. Instead, Pfleger said communities must tap into their "most powerful resource.
"The biggest resource we got and I think that we have not tapped into, citywide, is the people on the block because they don't come in just eight-hour shifts. They live there," Pfleger said.
Muhammad said he hopes to prepare a model for collaboration by mid-summer that groups can implement by the time children return to school next fall.