On a frigid Sunday morning, the faithful filled the streets of Lincoln Park with a message of non-violence.
For six years, members of St. Paul’s Church and the nonprofit UCAN have organized the “Polar Peace March” in January to call for peace. They say the march is meant to remind residents of more affluent neighborhoods that some areas are still plagued by violence.
“We let Chicago know that all of our streets are connected and there are people throughout the city that really do care,” UCAN CEO Zack Schrantz said. “Trying to bring peace and love to the city of Chicago, trying to help youth who’ve suffered trauma become our future leaders.”
The marches raised $350,000 over the years to support violence-prevention efforts at UCAN. The effort is done in the memory of civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr., and held the day before the nation honors him.
“On Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend it’s important for us to honor his legacy and call to bring peace to this world,” Schrantz said.
That legacy lives on more than a half century after Dr. King’s assassination, continuing to bring out dozens interested in helping to affect change.
“We need everybody to rally together to bring peace… and as we say here at the Polar Peace March, ‘stop the violence and start the love,'” Schrantz said.