DePaul turns ‘Blue for Peace’ to help address youth violence
February 14, 2012
DePaul will co-host a city-wide symposium on April 24 involving 60 to 100 Chicago community leaders and organizations working on youth violence prevention and response.
The symposium and a youth peace rally on Federal Plaza on May 5 are the cornerstone events of “Blue for Peace,” a year-long project designed to raise awareness and address youth violence in Chicago.
The campaign is DePaul’s contribution to the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Challenge, a U.S. Department of Education-sponsored project which invites universities to develop a program in which students partner with religious groups to tackle a specific community challenge.
“The project underscores DePaul’s civic engagement strategy to convene community leaders around important issues,” says Mark Laboe, associate vice president for Student Affairs, who is coordinating Blue for Peace. “The President’s Challenge is an intentionally interfaith initiative that encourages participants to reach out across religious lines to work toward a solution. With Blue for Peace, we are addressing the issue of youth violence in our city.”
The April 24 symposium will take place in Room 314 of the Lincoln Park Student Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is being held in partnership with Chicago Citizens for Change.
The organization is headed by Joy McCormick of Chicago Citizens for Change, who is the mother of slain DePaul student Frankie Valencia.
DePaul’s Steans Center, Egan Urban Center and the Master’s in Social Works are the university’s co-sponsors of the event.
The May 5 anti-youth-violence rally in the Loop will be the concluding event of the annual Vincentian Service Day, which is expected to have about 1,500 volunteers this year. Another 1,500 students from Chicago Public Schools, as well as hundreds of youth from other partnering organizations, are expected to attend the rally that begins at 1:30 p.m.
Other elements of the Blue for Peace campaign include:
The “DePaul Peacemakers” program, which features 14 DePaul student leaders who facilitate peace/nonviolence education sessions with students at 30 CPS schools.
- A service learning project directed by CDM Professor Theresa Steinbach to develop and launch a website for Chicago Citizens for Change.
- A public service announcement about the Blue for Peace campaign during the men’s basketball game vs. Providence on Feb. 25. DePaul invited 100 youths from several partner organizations who were given complimentary tickets and “Blue for Peace” T-shirts.
- A partnership with LA&S to create a “Theme Quarter” this spring called “Journeys to Justice: Mobilizing for Change,” including a series of curricular and cocurricular events focused on transformative and restorative justice as a response to situations of violence.
- Quarterly Interfaith Celebrations of more than 200 student leaders focused on celebrating the shared value and work of nonviolence and peace-building across faith traditions.
For more information, contact Mark Laboe at email@example.com or at x54004.