Actor Nick Cannon and NFL player J’Marcus Webb joined dozens of Chicagoans, community activists and religious leaders in a march for peace in the city Friday.
"I want to do much more than just hashtag," Cannon said. "I want to be a body. So I'm here."
St. Sabina Catholic Church’s peace walk kicked off at 7 p.m., led by Rev. Michael Pfleger from the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood church at 1210 W. 78th Pl.
"It is a trying time in our country, in our world," Cannon said just minutes before the march began. "It's very apparent that we're all in pain and we're frustrated."
The Chicago march comes a day after five officers were killed and several others injured in Dallas, Texas when snipers ambushed and opened fire on police at the end of an otherwise peaceful protest surrounding recent police-involved shootings. It is the deadliest attack on U.S. law enforcement since Sept. 11, 2001, NBC News reports.
"Our police have a very difficult task protecting us in a nation where guns are so available," Webb said before the march began. "They need our support. Our people of color must be free to live in pursuit of happiness and their lives matter. We must find a solution."
Cannon has been open in his commitment to supporting calls for peace. On Thursday he posted many photos on social media as he led a march across New York City.
"Hurt people hurt people," he said Friday. "And ultimately we're all hurt and it's time to fix that hurt. It's about coming together."
St. Sabina’s spokesperson Corey Williams said the church began working with the actor years ago while he was in town filming Spike Lee’s “Chi-raq.”
“He was really committed to what we were doing here,” Williams said.
Pfleger got a call from Cannon last week that he wanted to “come out and do what he can,” according to Williams.
“It is just a testament of who he is,” Williams said. “He is really concerned about what happens to those in the community.”
Offensive tackle J'Marcus Webb, now with the Seattle Seahawks, attended St. Sabina's services during his time playing with the Chicago Bears before he was waived by the team in 2013, according to Williams.
Webb soon became more involved with the church’s movement, Williams said, and in recent years joined other professional athletes to play at St. Sabina’s "Peace League Basketball Tournament" held in the church’s gym.
“He is someone who, from day one that he came here, has been committed,” Williams said of Webb.
Elsewhere in the city, community activists staged a die-in outside President Barack Obama's Chicago home calling for change and peace.
The group chanted "Obama we need you."
"The Police have violated many in every way imaginable and our anger is valid, however you can't be mad at your oppressor if you get a chance to choose and use that chance also to oppress," said activist Jedidiah Brown. "How do we complain about cheaters if when it's our move on the chess set of life we play the game the exact same way? We can't drive out hate with hate."