Making Peace on Chicago's Most Dangerous Block
A loose network of mentorship programs is trying to fill a leadership void—and protect the city’s most vulnerable young people.
Unite4Peace | Sep 27, 2017
Title: Editor
Topic category:
Unite 4 Peace
Mark Peterson/Redux Pictures for Politico Magazine

In a city so notorious for violence that President Donald Trump has used its name interchangeably with American crime, Chicago’s West Garfield Park is one of the hardest-hit neighborhoods. Local news outlet DNAinfo labeled the 4400 block of West Monroe Street -- just one block south of Pastor Marshall Hatch's New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church -- as the city’s most dangerous in 2016, the exact bloody intersection of Chicago’s well-documented drug and crime crises.

State-level austerity, congressional gridlock, and good-old-fashioned civic neglect have left residents on Chicago's struggling South and West Sides with precious few institutional resources on which to rely. The task of filling that void has fallen, then, to community groups, churches, and non-profits, armed with little more than a deep sense of pride in communities others have long forsaken.

Hatch, 59, leads the Maafa Redemption Project, which aims to keep young men away from the drug trade by engaging them in community service. He led the magazine on a walking tour of the neighborhood, a glimpse of the quotidian where the unthinkable happens all too frequently.

Mark Peterson and Derek Robertson |Sep 21, 2017
FROM: Politico
Tags: Chicago, Peace, Youth, Civic Engagement
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