CHICAGO — The Luv Institute hosted its Parade of Hearts Bike and Walk tour Saturday on the city’s South Side to involve residents in a possible solution to a recent up-tick in violence.

The Luv Institute is now celebrating ten years of service in the Bronzeville community and the executive Director, Cosette Nazon-Wilburn, said that art and restorative practice is the foundation of the organization.

The hearts were designed by the residents to reflect what they consider their normal to be.

“The CDC says two out of every three young people have experienced trauma by the age of 16. After the pandemic that’s probably every neighborhood in Chicago,” Nazon-Wilburn said. “But our kids who are in the South Side are most at risk.” 

He says that the statistic is reflected in the uptick in the senseless acts of violence like the shooting death of a 17-year-old CPS student in the Kenwood neighborhood Friday afternoon.

“If we can start to do more things that are love related and restorative, we can start pull back some of the things we are seeing today.”

Nazon-Wilburn thinks that getting the community involved, giving them a space to speak their needs and having them heard will go a long way.

“In light of all the violence that we are experiencing, love really makes a difference,” Nazon-Wilburn said. “When we think about love we think about connectiveness, community, living from our shared values so that we can create a safer Chicago.”

This is one of several projects and events organizers will be hosting and they said they will be expanding through various communities in the area.

For more information, visit the website: Non-Profit Organization in Illinois | LUV INSTITUTE