CeaseFire Week Kicks-Off

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

By: Ashmar Mandou

Earlier this week, students, parents, community activists, and elected officials kicked-off the 14th annual CeaseFire Week in light of City of Chicago efforts to prepare for an expected increase in shootings and summer violence this summer.

Parents, youth, business owners, and faith-based leaders held gatherings from Maywood to South Chicago to Gage Park to Humboldt Park to launch a ‘positive, constructive and collaborative dialogue around community peace.’ As seen recently, over Easter weekend, 40 people were shot and nine killed, which prompted The Spencer Academy to launch CeaseFire Week to engage youth to take control of their lives and their streets.

CeaseFire Week began as CeaseFire Day in 2000 in response to data that showed spikes of violence during the summer months. Each day during the week all CeaseFire groups host and attend events in support of other CeaseFire communities. This year marks the 14th annual celebration.

CeaseFire Illinois is a local nonprofit affiliate of the national organization Cure Violence that sends trained credible messengers from the community to interrupt violence, and help change violent norms and behaviors. The group will send representatives from its sites across the state including Chicago, Maywood, Rockford, East St. Louis, Springfield, and North Chicago and Cicero. In honor of CeaseFire Week, Cure Violence shared several ways to diffuse a potential violent situation.

  • Prevent Retaliations – Whenever a shooting happens, trained workers immediately work in the community and at the hospital to cool down emotions and prevent retaliations – working with the victims, friends and family of the victim, and anyone else is connected with the event.
  • Mediate Ongoing Conflicts – Workers identify ongoing conflicts by talking to key people in the community about ongoing disputes, recent arrests, recent prison releases, and other situations and use mediation techniques to resolve them peacefully.
  • Keep Conflicts ‘Cool’ – Workers follow up with conflicts for as long as needed, sometimes for months, to ensure that the conflict does not become violent.
    Throughout summer an array of programs will take place to combat violence hosted by CeaseFire Chicago partners. Some of the Chicago partners include:

Albany Park
Albany Park Community Center (APCC)
4730 N. Kimball, Ste. D
Chicago, IL 60625
Contact person:
Rev. Rodney C. Walker

Humboldt Park & Hermosa Park
Alliance of Local Service Organizations (ALSO)
2401 West North Avenue
Chicago, IL 60647
Contact person:
Lori Crowder, Executive Director

Little Village
Enlace Chicago

2756 South Harding
Chicago, IL 60623
Contact person:
Michael Rodriguez, Director

Rogers Park
Organization of the Northeast

7067 North Glenwood Avenue
Chicago, IL 60626
Contact person:
Angie Lobo, Executive Director

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