CHICAGO — Organizers on the ‘Heal America’ tour held an event in Chicago Wednesday, hoping to focus on education while acknowledging that there is a problem with race relations and violence.
“There’s hope. You cannot allow vitriolic rhetoric to make you feel violated permanently. Very few people are permanent in our lives,” Bishop Omar Jahwar said. Jahwar is an urban specialist and founded the Heal America tour.
Organizers shared a message of hope, while speaking on topics such as education, race and humanity, topics they said are important to the Black community.
“We are going to be talking about Black citizenship at its core. Those things that are challenging and what are the solutions,” Jahwar said.
Jahwar feels the racial divide, crime and violence in Chicago and the rest of the country have created a polarized nation.
“It seems to me that someone forgetting citizenship is real and that there are real people that are really hurting. We have to figure out how to help them heal. That was not the way to do it,” Jahwar said.
One Chicago activist wanted to hear the message tonight, and help it build on to his own work.
“Unfortunately, people are talking with no action. I started KLEO because of violence, and as a result we’re starting to reduce the violence in our community because we talk to those individuals that were promoting violence,” KLEO Center founder Torrey Barrett said.
The KLEO Center is a non-profit organization aiming to provide a safe haven for all ages in Chicago.
About 50 people were allowed inside the two-hour event, with many others watching the events online.