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Metropolitan Peace Academy graduates its fourth cohort of outreach workers

“What is my legacy?”

In his keynote at the Metropolitan Peace Academy’s Cohort Four Graduation, City of Chicago Director of Violence Prevention Norman Kerr spoke about the legacy our street outreach workers are building.

“We are leaving a legacy that will force people to acknowledge this work as a legitimate and professional field,” he said.

Norman also spoke about the importance of leaning on and supporting fellow cohort members, a sentiment reflected in the remarks from graduates of Cohort Four.

“The beauty of the cohort was, everybody got to speak and talk about the different experiences they had in their communities, and their strategies they used to attack violence,” shared Rayqwan Alexander, a graduate from Institute of Nonviolence Chicago (INVC). “Everybody had a different approach.”

The Metropolitan Peace Academy learns from each and every approach. Director of Training Vanessa DeReef and facilitators from previous cohorts lead sessions on trauma-informed care, restorative justice, Kingian nonviolence practices, self-care, and more. Cohort members’ experiences shape the sessions, as outreach workers share their thoughts and skills.

Thank you to all our graduates and program partners for your commitment to the Peace Academy, and congratulations to Cohort Four!

Congratulations to all our Cohort Four members!

  • Rayqwan Alexander
  • David Benifield
  • Marlon Buggs
  • Marcus Davis
  • Ralph Edwards
  • Larry Ford
  • Valerie Goodloe (Cohort 1)
  • Nekenya Hardy
  • James Highsmith
  • John Hooks
  • Jimmie Lee
  • Seanay McDowell
  • Tamiko McDowell
  • Bamani Obadele
  • Rafi Peterson
  • Willie Round
  • Steve Rucker
  • James Sims
  • Dennis Tabb
  • Michael Thomas
  • William Thomas
  • Sixto Torres
  • Paulino Vargas
  • Joseph Washington
  • DeAndre Watkins
  • Andrae Woodard