On November 7th, 2015, 52 Chicagoans gathered at Pride Cleaners parking lot in Chatham to Rally for a More Interconnected Chicago. “Today is about opening doors between communities,” said Jahmal Cole, founder of My Block, My Hood, My City.
Speakers included author and motivational speaker Richard Taylor; social impact strategist Chris Foltz, President of 79th Street Business Corridor Victor Love, and City Treasurer, Kurt Summers.
The group marched down 79th Street holding signs depicting the names of different Chicago community areas. After the march, everyone gathered at Captain Hard Times Dining, a local hidden gem business in Chatham located at 436 E 79th St, Chicago, IL 60619. Jahmal paid for Chicken & Waffles for the first 50 people that attended the rally for interconnectivity. “We have to support our small businesses. Captain Hard Times is more than just a restaurant; it’s a community hub and a beacon of hope for the Chatham community. Mother Wade is a community superhero, and Chatham is a better community when Captain Hard Times is thriving. Crying in front of an audience, Mother Wade said she wasn’t even able to give back to the community this year because her business has come on hard times. Captain Hard times should be able to survive these times.
To truly make our city a better and more interconnected place, we need more people, young and old, to visit community areas outside of their own. While this was the first rally, it's also the first of many more yet to come. It was important for me to kick this is off in Chatham. It was good for Chatham, and it was good for Chicago.