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National Unity Summit hopes to bring an end to gang violence

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Inside the house of hope the message was strong Saturday—even if the turnout was not.

Annette Holt, Blair Holt’s mother: “You have no idea what it’s like to lose your child.”

Aaron D. Wright Sr., a former gang member, now a motivational speaker, came to this first ever National Unity Summit on Chicago’s south side wanting to turn young minds away from gangs and violence and onto a new path, by listening.

“Because behind all that anger there’s some hurt  if their momma don’t care and their daddy ain’t around what you think they gotta do? They gotta fend for themselves 21 that’s like a little guppy in a big old shark tank,” he said.

Dr. Gregory Tatum, who organized the summit, grew up in Cabrini Green and now lives in California.  Chicago is the first stop for these first summits that’ll include Detroit, Los Angeles, Kansas City and Ohio– he’s not surprised this first time isn’t well attended.

“I think people have this wait and see mentality even the politicians and some clergy people.  And some gang members. They want to see if this is the same old same old and i understand that,” he said.

Tio Hardiman, Ceasefire Violence Interrupters said “I think pastor tatum will go back to the drawing board and find a way to re-group  and present this in another way in the future.”

But some were attended to listen.

Kim hunter-Bradley, Kordero Hunter’s mother: “The days of just kind of preaching to them and telling a child ‘don’t do that’ that no longer works.”

Kim Hunter-Bradley ‘s mission to train young men to stay out of trouble began in earnest when her son Kordero, a college student  and athlete, was shot and killed two years ago, he was an innocent bystander.

“His dream was to work with young men. He felt that his life experiences and the discipline that he had as athlete would help him help them solve their problems growing up,” she said.

One of those she brought here with her MVP program is Ti-Shawn Clark, who says he’s turned his life around..

“I wanted to go to college, so i had to stop doing a lot of stuff.  So a lot of people that i hanged out with i don’t hang out with anymore.”

It’s a small but important step some here say, to turn violence around.

Dr. Rev Gregory Tatum: “I think that’s what we have here.  This will matriculate in the community.  This message is being conveyed all over the world.”

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  • Bruce

    More smoke and mirrors. We can stop the violence today if we put the national guards on city streets with orders to shoot to kill, anyone on the streets with a gun in their hand. This would stop gun violence in one day. But no one wants to really solve the problem, they just want their names to stay in the news as if they are really doing anything, they are really nothing more than Black Camera Hogs, and nothing more. People are tired of getting shot in the @ss every night, and this is a proven way to solve the problem. These camera hogs including Jessie Jackson and his ilk, are the real terrorist of the black community. They fleece their followers, and fill their private bank accounts, and the city is nothing more than a war zone. Mr, Jackson is in Cuba right now instead of keeping his black behind at home and doing something for the black community. He's nothing more than a pulpit pimp, and nothing more. Put the national guards on city streets with orders to shoot to kill, anyone on the streets with a gun in their hand. And if any black people do not like that tactic, simply leave Chicago, and take your bad @ss habits with you. I'm a 57 year old african american male, and I say put a stop to this violence by any means necessary. We as black people must stop looking to the ilk of the black so called leaders, and take responcibility for our own destiny. These race leaders and culture pimps have never done anything for us, and they never will!!!

  • Bruce

    Gregory Tatum, Jessie Jackson, and the rest of these so called race leaders and ministers, are nothing more than POVERTY PIMPS. Solving violent crime is not even on their actual agenda. The local police can not solve it because people will sue the department for actually solving the problem. The mayor could care less, and the parents of some of the young thugs are allowing their young men to continue this violent practice. Instead of innocent people getting shot, let the parents and families of these gang thugs, see their sons in body bags, and caskets instead. I bet this would stop the violence right away. Who needs a summit, the black community needs action, and right now not next year.
    I'm a black man and I say, shop TV the showboating crap and start sending these gang thugs to their own graves instead of innocent people.

    • Bruce

      I'm a black man and I say, stop the TV showboating crap, and start sending these gang thugs to their own graves instead of innocent people.

  • snoop_jobbyjob

    We all want golden toilet seats, diamond encrusted Easter eggs, and perfectly round ball bearings…
    *sigh* This is never going to happen; just like stopping gang violence with new gun laws and curfews.
    However, the violence can be slowed down:
    All the governor has to do is bring back the death penalty instead of giving these cretins free room and board for the rest of their lives on the taxpayer's dime.