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In many cases, the end of the year gives you time to step back and take stock of the last 12 months. This is when many of us take a hard look at what worked and what did not, complete performance reviews, and formulate plans for the coming year. For me, it is all of those things plus a time when I u...
Hundreds to Gather for South Side Peace Vigil

Community groups, schools, and churches to gather, calling upon fellow neighbors to STOP the violence, Illinois Network of Charter Schools supports plan

CHICAGO, Nov. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- After a particularly violent summer on Chicago's South Side, and with regularly occurring violence in their own backyard, the residents of Washington Park are ready for a change.

They will call for a stop to violence at a peace vigil at the S. Indiana Avenue entrance to the Christ Unity Church on E. 61st and S. Indiana this Friday, November 30, from 3-4 p.m.

One community member in particular became concerned for the safety of the children in the area, given the proximity of several public schools to dangerous gang territories. Jayme McKeel, Director of Operations for CICS Washington Park, saw a need for the community to come together and discuss their reactions to recent violence, and to work together to keep the peace. She contacted neighboring church leaders, anti-violence groups like Cure Violence and the Illinois Commission Against Handgun Violence, and community leaders from the Boys & Girls Club and Community Schools In Chicago, and a peace vigil was born.

From students reading award-winning, anti-violence poetry, to local celebrities such as Rev. Calvin Bridges; Maurice Griffin (a finalist from BET's "Sunday Best"), and Kim Stratton performing at a Peace Concert to follow the vigil, the event will take on a hopeful and spirited tone. Community leaders will also speak to specific ways that community residents can help to keep the peace.

The Rev. Dr. Richard L. Tolliver, Rector of St. Edmund's Episcopal Church states, "Children are our most precious commodity. St. Edmund's has invested millions of dollars in providing quality affordable housing so that families can thrive. The current level of violence threatens the health and welfare of our community and the peace vigil will send a message that those people who would diminish the neighborhood's quality of life, won't have the last word."

"This vigil is important in so many ways," said Beth Purvis, CEO of Chicago International Charter School. "We are inspired by the overwhelming response the Peace Vigil organizers have received from neighborhood organizations in the Washington Park community. With a shared vision of keeping children and neighbors safe, we believe this community will thrive. We feel honored to be a community partner in stopping the violence."

Supporting community organizations include: Archdiocese of Chicago, Boys & Girls Club, Christ Unity Evangelistic Church, Communities in Schools of Chicago, Cure Violence, Illinois Commission Against Handgun Violence, St. Anselm's Catholic Church, and St. Edmund's Episcopal Church. All are welcome to attend.

ABOUT CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL CHARTER SCHOOL – WASHINGTON PARK CAMPUS CICS Washington Park is a K-8 charter school campus that is part of the Chicago International Charter School network. The campus serves a 100% minority student population, and 96% of the students qualify for free- or reduced-cost lunch.

ABOUT CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL CHARTER SCHOOL (CICS) The mission of CICS is to provide, through innovation and choice, an attractive and rigorous college-preparatory education that meets the needs of today's students. CICS was founded on the belief that every child has the right to a high quality education and currently operates a network of 15 campuses serving 9,200 K-12 students across Chicago, and one campus in Rockford. For more information, please visit

Press Contact:
Kate Proto, Director of Communications, CICS
(cell) 617.851.9067 | (email)

SOURCE Chicago International Charter School

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