WE SAY WE'RE A TOLERANT society and pride ourselves for delaying judgment until we know one’s plight or circumstances. Yet, our actions do not always mirror our words. On Saturday, April 23rd, I invite everyone to step out of their comfort zone and visit Englewood. Experience a community that you’ve heard about but never seen. It is my hope that this experience will give you a new perspective and an appreciation for Englewood and its residents. While you’re here, I also invite you to eat at one of two of our hidden gem businesses and show support by purchasing a 3M T-Shirt and sharing a photo and post about your experience on our M3 Facebook page.
THEY SAY IT TAKES A VILLAGE—I say it takes a city. We can make a difference in Englewood and in Chicago, one person at a time. Spread the word and ask more Chicagoans to visit Englewood on April 23rd and become part of one of the most positive movements in the city.
IT MIGHT SEEM LIKE A SMALL thing, but it can have a huge impact. By participating in My Block, My Hood, My City, you’re really volunteering to create a city that’s more interconnected and united. This is a step toward a better Chicago, for what happens in Englewood affects our city as a whole. In Chicago, some folks say Englewood’s greatest challenges are gangs and violence. I disagree—the major enemy of our survival is ISOLATION—children, teens, and adults whose geographic location isolates them from the opportunities and possibilities that Chicago offers. It is this isolation that leads to poverty and creates a cycle that becomes difficult to break.
I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT although many Englewood residents live in what the statisticians in Washington describe as poverty, they are rich in imagination. This is your chance to visit Englewood and discover firsthand the creativity and hope that thrives in Englewood.
I SEE BEAUTY IN COMMUNITY, for each has its own hearbeat. I appreciate the many different subcultures Chicago has to offer—from Chinatown to Englewood, each community is unique and an equal part of Chicago. Yes, it is said that Chicago is segregated. However, the truth is that we are rich in diverse histories, and the values of all are what make our city great.
IT'S ALSO BEEN SAID that change is necessary—change in Chicago and change in communities like Englewood. Be a part of that change, rather than an observer waiting for it. Join us on April 23rd and visit Englewood—by supporting Englewood and appreciating its culture, Chicago benefits and thrives.
WE CAN TRAVEL THE world without leaving Chicago. Explore Englewood to see a people who weren't born with privilege, but rather were hardened by pain. They are strong and determined, and, yes, they are different from those who live, work, and play in the Loop—just like a person who grew up on a farm stands out in New York City. Yes, they have flaws, as do most, but they have hearts of champions. You have to love hard to live there. But you don’t have to live there to see their people and environment through a lens of love and appreciate their resolve, their hope, their faith, and their pride.
THERE IS BEAUTY IN Englewood—it may be a diamond in the rough, but Englewood residents haven’t lost sight of the diamond. There are organized efforts to shape that diamond, and it may take a lifetime of work to make it happen … but with awareness and your support, it can and will happen.
I ENCOURAGE YOU TO Englewood on April 23rd and show your support by purchasing a 3M T-shirt or hoodie. Post a picture of yourself wearing it in Englewood and ask your friends and family to spread the word and join the cause. While you’re here, enjoy a great lunch at the Dream Cafe or Kusanye Cafe and share a post about your experience. Meet new people and discover your commonalities and appreciate your differences.
STEP INTO ENGLEWOOD ON April 23rd. Step outside your comfort zone and experience different cultures and world views. Come with an open mind, and you’ll leave with a new perspective.