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EMAIL: lrglenn@thinkincstrategy.com



End-of-Summer ‘Light in the Nights’ Convene Thousands in South & West Sides As They Reclaim Public Spaces

WHAT: In the wake of violence, a quest for peace has been drawing thousands of South and West side residents into parks and public spaces, to take back their streets. Eight leading outreach organizations, working in nine neighborhoods, are organizing free Light in the Night events in or near public spaces where there’s been violence. Young people and adults of all ages are showing up to create safe spaces.

The groups known as Communities Partnering 4 Peace host these events to build a sense of community and positive relationships in neighborhoods with music, dance, yoga, sports, games, art, family activities, health and wellness information, employment resources, food and lots more. Since July, Light in the Night events have been held three nights a week in eight public spaces for 10 weeks. Since 2017’s inaugural Light in the Night, 165,917 community residents have attended 1,396 events.

Convened in 2016, CP4P employs a multi-tiered violence-reduction strategy:

  • Deploys outreach workers, who defuse tensions to prevent retaliatory shootings;
  • Provides life-stabilizing services: Housing assistance, legal aid, trauma-informed care, mental-health programs and more;
  • Provides continuous learning opportunities to outreach workers, including a 144-hour curriculum offered through the Metropolitan Peace Academy, designed to increase the impact of outreach; and
  • Promotes Light in the Night events to reclaim parks, gyms and other public spaces in their neighborhoods.

Friday will be the last time in 2019 that simultaneous Light in the Night events will occur in all CP4P communities.

WHO: Those available for interviews will include:

  • CP4P street outreach workers, discussing how CP4P impacts their lives and communities
  • Families living in the neighborhoods

PRESS AVAILABILITY: CP4P executive directors, outreach workers and community members will be available for interviews at 5:30 p.m., East Garfield Park Light in the Night, SE corner of Garfield Park, Homan Ave. & Madison St.

WHEN: 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 pm, Friday, September 13, 2019   

WHERE: Light in the Night events:

  • Austin: Columbus Park, 500 S. Central
  • West Garfield Park: Tilton Park, 305 N. Kostner
  • Humboldt Park: N. Kedzie and W. Crystal
  • North Lawndale: Franklin Park, 4320 W. 15th St.
  • Englewood: 74th and Stewart
  • Little Village: 3740 W. 31st St.
  • East Garfield Park: Homan Ave. & Madison St.
  • Back of the Yards: 4817 S. Paulina

ABOUT: Communities Partnering 4 Peace, convened by Metropolitan Family Services, is a partnership of leading outreach organizations working to impact Chicago communities most affected by gun violence. This marks the first time that such efforts have been locally implemented on such a broad level. The nine CP4P community groups are Austin, Institute for Nonviolence Chicago (INVC); Back of the Yards (New City), Precious Blood; Englewood, Target Area DevCorp; West Englewood, Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN); East Garfield Park, Breakthrough; West Garfield Park, Institute for Nonviolence Chicago (INVC); Humboldt Park, Alliance of Local Service Orgs. (ALSO); Little Village (South Lawndale), New Life Centers; North Lawndale, UCAN. For more information, visit https://www.metrofamily.org/cp4p-info/.