ENGLEWOOD — A South Side organization honored Martin Luther King’s legacy through an open discussion around unity and privilege, followed by yoga.
I Grow Chicago invited members of the community to its Peace House, a renovated home in Englewood, for a candid conversation about how privilege separates society. They practiced breathing exercises between each question and did yoga during the second half of the session.
The conversation was led by Tameka Lawson, who said she wanted to get people thinking about ways they can make a difference in the world and become more united. To do that, they first need to look within and then find ways to stop seeing everyone as different, but as just human, she said.
“How are we accountable for creating the them versus us?” she asked the room.
The conversation around “the others” and who society sees as the privileged are relevant today and also relate to what King represented, Lawson said because he wanted people to not look at different races, but instead one race: mankind.
Lisa Rademachen traveled from Hyde Park and said she participated because she wanted to honor King.
“I think it was an important topic to talk about privilege and I know I have a lot of it,” Rademachen said. “I wanted to be a part of an event where people come together from different places and different backgrounds."
Shango Johnson, 43, a longtime Englewood resident and the male coordinator for I Grow Chicago, said Monday’s session was about bringing the community together and getting people to think about how they can strengthen it.
Johnson said that Englewood is not quite a community yet because there are still those who aren’t ready to connect with others and help make a difference, something that he is trying to do.
“I want to die leaving the same type of legacy Martin Luther King left,” Johnson said. “When I die, I want to be known as someone who was here to leave a legacy of freedom, not just for my kids, but my kids’ kids,” he said.
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