Hundreds of Chicago students from two Perspectives Charter School campuses took to the streets Thursday morning in a march against street violence.
The "I Am for Peace" march started at about 9:30 a.m. at South State Street and West Cermak Road. The students marched to East 36th Street and South Wabash Avenue, in the city's Douglas neighborhood, where they held a "Peace Jam" with musicians and spoken-word artists.
"We are trying to take back our communities," said Razia Hutchins, one of the students who helped coordinate Thursday's activities.
Hutchins said 2,000 students were expected.
In a separate event, students at South Shore International College Prep held a "Safe Summer Kick-Off" event. That event began with a peace fair, a reception and assembly, and ended with an afternoon anti-violence peace march.
The dual events come a day after shootings on the city's south and west sides killed one man and injured at least nine others. The fatality was 18-year-old Ronald Holliman. He was with two other men, aged 19 and 26, when they were shot while on the 4900 block of West West End Avenue.
U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush on Wednesday called a meeting with Chicago civic and corporate leaders to find out ways to turn the city's most violent neighborhoods into the safest. One way, the leaders said, is to increase the number of job opportunities in neighborhoods like Chatham.
"It's jobs. It's mentorship. It's building relationships. It's the whole part about building a community," said Pastor John Hannah from New Life Covenant Church.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said job initiatives are something she's going to focus on "right away."