Chicago Edgewater prayer walk success, hot
We were melting in the sun of the church lawn this afternoon, flanked by a police escort and a lemonade stand.
Members of the Immanuel Lutheran community held a prayer walk today in recognition of recent violence in the Andersonville/Edgewater neighborhood in Chicago. Residents have been concerned about a rash of armed muggings and the discovery of a murder victim found in the trunk of his own car.
Around 40 people marched to Senn High School, down Broadway Avenue and back to the church on Elmdale beginning at 11:30 this morning. The true martyrs of the group were the ones wearing choir robes – the temperature in Chicago is 86 degrees with blinding sun.
A slightly more comfortable subgroup was on the walk as well. Members of the Cease Fire organization
were in t-shirts promoting the anti-violence movement they work towards on a daily basis with neighborhood youths. A former gang member turned community activist and youth councilor was on hand to tell me about his day-to-day.
“We go into the schools and teach kids there is an alternative to gang life,” he said. When I asked if it was as easy as turning away, he kind of winked at me and said yes. “This isn’t the south side or the west side where gangs are a way of life for protection. We have the benefit of being on the north side. These kids just get into [gangs] to be cool”.
Oh, so it’s like smoking.
“Yeah, I guess so,” he smiled. I noticed he had a name tattooed down his arm. He told me that is his son. He is a dedicated father and social activist, working hard every day to better life in the city. Some gangster. He laughed and gave me a high five as I finished my lemonade.
I’m never moving.
Members of the Immanuel Lutheran community
march down Broadway