The list read as though part of a commencement ceremony. One by one, accompanied by a mellow hymn, the names of over 260 children killed by street violence in Chicago were read out loud.
Gathered at Holy Cross Church on Nov. 4, parishioners joined by youth and residents of Back of the Yards and other communities, honored the victims as part of Urban Dolorosa, an anti-violence, faith-based initiative working for peace in Chicago neighborhoods.
Amongst a candlelight vigil and opera singers, the documentary images of photographer Carlos Javier Ortiz were shown, displaying instances experienced by youth living in high-crime neighborhoods of Chicago. After the list was read, those who had gathered walked out of the church for a procession that took them around the streets of Back of the Yards, where just a week earlier Omar Gonzalez, 21, was gunned down and killed doors away from his home.
The procession at Holy Cross was among five Urban Dolorosa memorial services that aimed to draw residents, organizers, communities and faith-based organizations across the city together and stop the violence. Other memorial services were held at The Faith Community of Saint Sabina, First United Methodist Church at Chicago Temple, New Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church and Hyde Park Union Church.
THE GATE empowers community residents through relative and informative articles. With the support of community partners, residents and organizations, THE GATE has become a catalyst of information throughout the Back of the Yards community and surrounding neighborhoods like Pilsen, Little Village, Brighton Park, Englewood, Bridgeport and Canaryville.
THE GATE ‘s ability to report in both English and Spanish allows for a better connection among residents from diverse backgrounds. THE GATE is dedicated to inform, educate and engage.
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