On Friday we were invited to a Peace Walk that was put on in our neighborhood by a local nonprofit, specifically by the children in their afterschool program.
I didn't have any idea what a "Peace Walk" even was, but I've learned to just go with it and enjoy whatever these events bring!
It turns out that a Peace Walk is more like a march. The kids had made signs to carry - they said things like "Stop the shooting - I want to grow up!"
If you aren't aware, the number of shootings in the inner city - including my neighborhood - skyrockets around this time of year, as the weather gets nicer. It's literally in the news every Monday morning with headlines like "9 dead, 32 injured in shootings in Chicago this weekend." It's crazy.
So we carried signs, we walked with the kids, we chanted, we wore "Peace for All" buttons, and we heard speeches from children on how violence has already affected them in their young lives and about how they don't feel safe even when they take their garbage out - and we pleaded with the neighborhood to stop shooting each other.
It was pretty cool. It was empowering to see little kids standing up for themselves and their friends, so that they might be able to play in their yards without being afraid. Will it actually make a difference? I don't know. Maybe. Who knows, maybe someone who might otherwise not care had their window open or was walking down the street and heard us. Let's pray they did. Because something has to change.