CHICAGO — In an effort to curb violence, neighbors will camp out overnight on "hot blocks" plagued with gun violence across the South Side this summer.
With help from Pilsen nonprofit The Resurrection Project, 40 Chicago youths will lead the #IncreaseThePeace violence prevention program, which aims to stop shootings through mass campouts on blocks routinely affected by gun violence. The Friday night overnight campouts, planned in Englewood, Little Village, Back of the Yards and Pilsen, will include nonviolence training, employment workshops, free food, music and a peace march through each neighborhood.
In an effort to create and promote a culture of nonviolence, the youths and the Resurrection Project staff will work with local residents, community groups, churches and Chicago police to help neighbors curb violence in "hot zone" areas, organizers said.
The Friday night events will be preceded by a week of service in each of the targeted neighborhoods, which will include street cleanup, resource-sharing, reporting problems to 311 and door-to-door meetings with South Side residents.
The 40 youths are participating in Mayor Rahm Emanuel's One Summer Chicago jobs program and have received youth leadership training from the Resurrection Project.
The six campouts are planned:
• From 5 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Saturday at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 4821 S. Hermitage Ave. in Back of the Yards
• From 5 p.m. July 14 to 5 a.m. July 15 at New Life Church, 4106 W. 28th St. in Little Village
• At 5 p.m. July 21 at a location to be determined
• At a time to be determined July 28 at St. Ann's Catholic Church, 1840 S. Leavitt St. in Pilsen
• From 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 8 in Hamilton Park, 513 W. 72nd St. in Englewood, as part of a "Black and Brown Solidarity" event
• From 5 p.m. Aug. 11 to 5 a.m. Aug. 12 at St. Michael's Church, 4825 S. Damen Ave. in Back of the Yards
Jose M. Muñoz, vice president of community ownership at the Resurrection Project, said investing in young leaders will pay dividends for years to come.
"The youth in our program will be working to make their neighborhoods safer this summer, but will likely be tackling other civil rights issues in our city for years to come," Muñoz said.
The 2017 anti-violence campaign kicks off after a particularly bloody July 4th weekend, where at least 15 people were killed, and 84 people were wounded in shootings beginning Friday evening.
The Resurrection Project launched the #IncreaseThePeace initiative in 2016, hosting six peace events, including campouts in Back of the Yards and in Pilsen.
Chicagoans living in Englewood, Woodlawn, Pilsen, Rogers Park, Uptown and Little Village also protested gun violence in their neighborhoods last year.