Community Leaders Hold Community Peace Surge Labor Day Weekend

CHICAGO (CBS) – Community leaders in Chicago are hoping to prevent violence this Labor Day by holding a Community Peace Surge.

Community leaders have received financial backing from some of Chicago’s biggest foundations to make the event happen, CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports.

“We are going to be out here on the corner all weekend trying to keep things safe,” said T.J. Crawford, Breaking Bread Co-Founder.

Safe means reducing the number of shootings that can occur on a holiday weekend. Last year over the Labor Day holiday, 46 people were shot and nine were killed.

“We are giving out book bags,” said Crawford. “We are going to have a live DJ.”

The corner at Grand Crossing will be packed Friday night with people, as part of the Community Peace Surge.

“This let’s anyone who is thinking about doing nonsense know you have people out and involved,” said Crawford. “That in of itself dispels negative activity.”

T.J. Crawford’s group, Breaking Bread is one of 72 community groups across the city planning weekend activities, in an attempt to reduce violence. Contributors form several foundations, including The Chicago Community Trust, provided the funding.

“There was an expression of fear and desperation about the carnage that happens on holiday weekends,” said Terry Mazany, The Chicago Community Trust CEO. “We heard that call and provided money quickly.”

Sonya Bellephant, Greater Rock Development Corporation, received a check for $5,500. She plans to use the check to engage police with young men in the Lawndale community, but the fun will not start until 10 p.m.

“We hope by the time they play basketball and they talk they are worn out and police officers can get nice rest and a peaceful shift,” Bellephant said.

The hope is that positive projects equal a peaceful holiday.

The foundations contributed a half-million dollars in just two weeks to help curb violence. Almost half of the activities going on this weekend, include a partnership between the community and police.

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