Mayor Rahm Emanuel today joined residents, community groups and faith leaders to kick-off the fourth annual Summer of Faith and Action, a citywide initiative designed to promote positive community engagement and alternative programming for youth throughout the summer months. For the kick-off Faith and Action night, from 5 PM – 9 PM, more than 22 events are occurring simultaneously, in every police district across the city.
“As we kick off our fourth Summer of Faith and Action, we are reminded that faith and action are one in the same,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Nothing out there is stronger or more powerful than when we stand together. It is faith and action that puts the guns down and brings up hope for the future of our kids and communities.”
During the evening Faith and Action kick-off, Mayor Emanuel attended the Apostolic Faith Church concert in Bronzeville, joined by Deputy Mayor Andrea Zopp, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and Alderman Pat Dowell. Later, the Mayor attended the 7th Police District and Freedom Temple of God in Christ for a prayer vigil in Englewood. The groups called on residents throughout the city to join in the Faith and Action series of positive community activities or create one of their own.
“While we may be a city of diverse neighborhoods, when it comes to keeping our kids and families safe, we are all committed to the same cause,” said Deputy Mayor Zopp. “All over this city, there are men, women and young people from all walks of life who are committed to a safer Chicago. This community-driven initiative is about turning that faith into action.”
The Faith and Action initiative is a call to action for community-based organizations to partner with the city to create positive programming that supports youth in staying off the streets during the summer – particularly during holiday weekends, like Memorial Day and Fourth of July. Residents and community leaders are encouraged to gather together in their communities, creating a safe environment throughout our city. In additional the Police Department CAPS office is supporting events, attending and engaging with their communities to foster transparency and trust.
"There is no greater deterrent to crime than when residents stand together as one city united for peace," said CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson. "This year's Summer of Faith and Action, and the events that kick-off tonight, send a loud and clear message to those contributing to the violence to put the guns down. Across the city, Chicago police officers will be standing together with residents as a force for good."
Last year’s Faith and Action brought together nearly 1,000 residents across the City to kick off the summer of Faith and Action. This year, participants have planned barbeques, street corner prayer, door to door canvassing, recruiting block clubs, rallies, block club parties, CAPS activities, raffles, wellness checks for seniors, block clean ups, neighborhood walks, and events for youth. All events have the common goal to help provide positive alternatives for young people this Friday and throughout the summer.
“The faith community in Englewood is proud to be a part of the Summer of Faith and Action initiative sponsored by CPD and the Mayor’s office,” said Pastor Leslie Sanders of Hope Presbyterian Church. “We are determined to make sure that this holiday weekend and all holiday weekends are safe, not only for the residents of Englewood but throughout the city of Chicago.”
“Tonight is about working together within the community to engage neighbors, churches, social services, and the police department, and bring them together to get to know each other and work together to create safe neighborhoods.” said Father Tom Walsh of St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church. “Tonight is all about opening doors of opportunity for the community through building relationships and improving the quality of life for residents.”
Details about the events is available at: www.CityOfChicago.org/PutTheGunsDown