CHICAGO — Prayers for peace and an end to the city’s gun violence filled Westside streets Thursday night as church leaders rallied, hoping that not being silent would help curb gun violence.
“We’re hoping that as a result of this, this is just the beginning of something big: the church and the community working together,” said New Landmark Missionary Church pastor Cy Fields.
According to Chicago police, over 1,500 reported shooting incidents have occurred this year. Reverend Dr. Sheldon Williams traveled from New York to participate in the rally and support the community.
“It has to stop and we have to be a part of the solution and silence just makes us a part of the problem,” Williams said.
Young people like James Solis with Base Chicago are optimistic that positive community events like this will make a difference in curbing violence.
“A lot of our friends and family we see get gunned down; we come from bad areas, so we’re kind of used to it, but hopefully we’re bringing awareness, so we get rid of that,” Solis said.
Putting an end to violence in city neighborhoods will heal a multitude of social issues, says 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett Jr.
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“When there is peace in our neighborhood, it attracts development, it attracts businesses, it attracts jobs, it attracts better schools,” Burnett said.
Pastor Fields says Thursday’s march and rally are just the beginning in the fight to stop gun violence.
“In my mind, this is just the first,” Fields said.
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