In partnership with the East Garfield Park Youth Collaborative, Breakthrough took action against Chicago violence in a Youth Peace Walk & Rally on Saturday, June 10. During the 30-minute walk, more than 200 youth, adults, and many of you, our supporters, marched the streets of East Garfield Park carrying signs and sharing the message of anti-violence, “Peace Begins With Us.”

The walk, facilitated by the East Garfield Park Youth Collaborative, of which Breakthrough is a member, began at different starting points throughout the neighborhood. At the end of the walk, all participating organizations met in the center, at the East Garfield Park Neighborhood Market, where a rally was held.

Youth Peace Walk Brings Community Together 1

At the rally, our youth made a pledge many of us never considered at such a young age: they committed to put an end to the violence in East Garfield Park. They also read the names of 33 of their neighbors who have been lost to violence this year.

Local 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett Jr. also gave a peace pledge. Following the rally, the market continued, featuring entertainment and vendors offering fresh produce and ice cold lemonade.

Thanks to Breakthrough, these hopeful and committed kids have an alternative to the gangs and violence that surround East Garfield Park. At Breakthrough, they have academic support to help them excel in school. Arts and science clubs to expand their skills and creativity. Sports teams to keep them engaged and healthy.

Visit our Facebook page to see a video of the walk; the kids’ speeches; and more photos.

Partner organizations of the East Garfield Park Youth Collaborative are Marillac St. Vincent Family ServicesGarfield Park Community Council, Beidler Elementary, Priscy’s Production Outreach Program NFPTaproots, and Chicago West Community Music Center.