News about 53rd St. in Hyde Park, Chicago

Harper Theater hosts “Catalyst for Change” presentations to reduce gun violence on May 19, 7-9 p.m.

On May 19 from 7-9 p.m., Hyde Park’s Harper Theater, 5238 S. Harper Avenue, will host “Catalyst for Change,” a group presentation by three local organizations working to reduce the gun violence in Chicago. The organizations—CeaseFire Illinois, UCAN, and Youth Guidance—aim to inspire potential volunteers to share their time, talents, and financial support.

Admission to the presentation is free, with a cash bar and light refreshments provided. All proceeds will benefit the attending organizations. RSVP to the event at reducegunviolencechicago@gmail.com.

“I’m upset and tired of hearing that over 1,000 Chicagoans have been shot so far this year, and I’m happy to provide the venue for this important event,” said Tony Fox, operator of the Harper Theater. “I hope lots of people attend, and I plan on personally volunteering with one or more of the groups.”

CeaseFire Illinois is the Illinois branch of the Cure Violence Association and utilizes a public health model to address violence, including working to interrupt potentially violent conflicts, prioritizing and treating the highest risk populations, and mobilizing the local community to change current behaviors.

UCAN empowers Chicago youth to create opportunities that ensure safer futures through Peace Hub, which aims to reduce exposure to violence, address trauma, and improve outcomes through access to services. The Peace Hub serves more than 100 local youth, resulting in a substantial decrease in arrest rates and a 47% increase in community engagement.

Youth Guidance creates school-based programs that allow at-risk children to overcome obstacles, focus on their education and, ultimately, succeed in school and in life. Their “Becoming A Man” program touches the lives of more than 2,500 young men in nearly 50 Chicago schools, and has led to a reduction of violent crime arrests by 45% and improved high school graduation rates.