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Rep. Davis sponsors prayer/peace breakfast to help stem violence

Representative Danny K. Davis

Photo caption: REPRESENTATIVE DANNY K. DAVIS (D-7th) is hosting a prayer peace breakfast on Friday, May 5, from 7 a.m. to 12 noon, at St. Paul Church of God in Christ, 4526 S. Wabash, where clergy and community leaders will hammer out an anti-crime agenda for Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson. 

In an effort to prevent yet another long, hot summer of violence, Representative Danny K. Davis (D-7th) is hosting a prayer and peace breakfast on Friday, May 5, from 7 a.m. to 12 noon, at St. Paul Church of God in Christ, 4526 S. Wabash, where clergy and community leaders will hammer out an anti-crime agenda they will present to Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson.

The conference is a reaction to the recent teen takeover of the Loop and the political fallout that ensued. However, the clergy want to present Johnson with a more holistic proposed solution rather than focusing just on anti-crime.

According to Davis, there will be breakout sessions to voice and document the suggestions before they are presented to Mayor-elect Johnson.

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Elder Kevin Anthony Ford

Elder Kevin Anthony Ford, pastor of St. Paul Church of God in Christ said, “The purpose of this meeting is to identify the areas in the city that have been neglected for a number of years including identifying racism that these endangered communities have endured. We decided to come up with some solutions for the incoming mayor about our concerns for corrective actions to move forward.

“We are not coming from the pulpit talking down to the community, but rather having an opportunity for the community to talk up its concerns while focusing on solutions,” Ford explained.

He said there will be two breakout sessions and participants will have an opportunity for candid expression. Sessions, he says, will culminate in a set of solutions to problems.

Improving public safety, economic development, community development, employment, education, youth and parenting skills, housing and developing a system of block clubs that would create a sense of partnership with the city are among the recommendations to be considered.

There will be a plenary session at the end where all the data will be collected, discussed and prepared for Mayor-elect Johnson.

Ford said having this summit is not just a reaction to the teenage takeover of the Loop or a fear of a long, hot violent summer, but rather a holistic package he says will include answers to the causes of violence.

Asked if the youth will be invited, Ford said, “Yes, they are being invited. We are looking at all age factors including ecumenical leadership to formulate policy and procedures with answers about our community.

“We are also inviting those in the labor movement,” Ford stated. “We understand in Chicago they have had isolated relationships with Black people. So, we are opening up the doors to the labor unions and other employers. Our goal is to bring about peace in our community.

“People can voice their positions in the spirit of unity at our church, known as ground zero for peace. We are so pleased to have Representative Davis sponsoring this event,” Ford said. He is also reaching out to the network of ministers who helped him get the city’s water exemption restored years ago.

Joining the leadership team is Tanya Cody Robinson, a business relations specialist, project manager with the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership who specializes in hiring and training prospective employees.

Facilitators of the workshops will be: Education, Bernard Clay; Public Safety, Ernest Kato; Economic Development, Loretta Minor; Community Development, Victoria Lakes- Battle; Employment, Joseph Green; Grief and Loss workshop; Dr. Wanda Jenkins, Youth/Parenting; Cheryl Anderson, Housing; Anthony Simpkins, Block Club formation, and Reverend Jakes.

Simpkins, president/CEO of the Neighborhood Housing of Chicago, a home ownership nonprofit serving Chicago, focuses on providing access to the wealth building power of homeownership for low and moderate income people and people of color. “We can provide lending to people who want to buy homes or keep their homes, financial literacy, mortgage and rental assistance.

On the peace summit, Simpkins said he will focus on homeownership that helps build generational wealth, and all of the developmental expertise that can connect a person with the many services his organization provides.

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