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Explore Englewood Saturday And Learn, My Block My Hood My City Founder Says

 Jahmal Cole is organizing an
Jahmal Cole is organizing an "Explore Englewood" event Saturday.
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DNAinfo/Stephanie Lulay

ENGLEWOOD — My Block, My Hood, My City founder Jahmal Cole said he hopes that by hosting his next event in Englewood Saturday, he will help change the neighborhood's narrative.

Cole usually takes kids and teens from the South and West sides to explore neighborhoods in other parts of the city they haven't been to. But for this event, he's encouraging people from other communities to ignore Englewood's stigma and see the neighborhood he calls a "diamond in the rough" for themselves.

"It’s really about getting people to Englewood to visit a couple of places and talk to somebody," Cole said.  "We’re trying to start 100 new conversations on our Facebook page so we can change the narrative about Englewood."

For the "Explore Englewood" event he also wants to expose the area's rich history and cultural attractions as well as a list of places he calls "hidden gems."

"The media always says you can’t go further south than the White Sox stadium," he said. "I want people to go out there. I want people to go out there on their own and actually step outside their comfort zone, experience different perspectives, ideas. I think when they do that, they’ll begin the process of not seeing Englewood as a third world country."

The day will begin at 11 a.m. at St. Benedict Church, 6540 S. Harvard. Attendees can visit resource tables to learn more about what's going on in the community. At 1 p.m. Cole will have lunch at Dream Cafe, 748 W. 61st St.

Other places he recommends people visit Saturday include:

Kusanya Cafe: 825 W. 69th St.

Sikia Restaurant: 740 W. 63rd St.

Imagine Englewood If: 730 W. 69th St.

I Grow Chicago: 6402 S. Honore St.

Ogden Park: 6500 S. Racine Ave.

Hamilton Park: 513 W. 72nd St.

Cole started his organization after meeting kids who had never been outside of their South and West side neighborhoods. Through his exploration program, he is able to take groups of 10-15 to explore other neighborhoods like Greektown, Edgewater and the Loop.

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