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Thursday, July 23, 2020

New Event Series Pays Tribute to Black Children Killed By Violence in Chicago

Nonprofit organizations Gyrls in the H.O.O.D. Foundation, This is Life to co-host ‘Gone Too Soon’ on July 25th

Gyrls in the Hood Foundation

Chicago, IL — Between the two week-span from the end of June to the beginning of July, more than 10 local children lost their lives to violence. On the heels of their first successful event in late June, two local nonprofit organizations, Gyrls In The H.O.O.D Foundation and This is Life, will co-host their next event, “Gone, Too Soon,” to pay tribute to the Black children killed by violence in Chicago.

The event, scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 25 at Englewood Salvation Army (945 W. 69th St.), will include a candlelight vigil with expressions from community residents through poetry, songs, remarks, and more. The family of the slain will be in attendance and will be invited to share their expressions.

The organization’s first event, held on Friday, June 26, was a tribute to the black girls and women lost to state violence, community violence, and domestic violence. The event featured a presentation by Shante Needham, the sister of Sandra Bland, who died while in police custody. Another presenter was the actor Genesis Denise Hale from Showtime drama The Chi.

Attendees brought sealed letters to the event asking for charges to be brought against the Louisville Police Department officers who shot her dead in her Louisville, Kentucky home in March. The Gyrls In The H.O.O.D Foundation will mail the letters to the Attorney General.

According to Gyrls in the H.O.O.D. Foundation founder Chez Smith, the new event series was designed to create a safe space for community residents to express their feelings.

“It’s important for the community to mourn the losses of our children,” Smith said. “So often we go from headline to headline without processing. Gone, Too Soon will provide a living environment in which to release the pain.”

The event will also include onsite mental health professionals, who will be available to help people deal with their grief going forward.

Gyrls in the H.O.O.D Foundation was founded in 2016 to provide teen girls in Chicago with a non-judgmental, safe space to discuss sexual education. Learn more about Gyrls in the H.O.O.D. Foundation at GyrlsintheHood.com.

This Is Life provides at-risk youth with a platform to express their individual talents as a deterrent to participating in violent activities. For more information, go to www.thisislifechi.org.


Chez Smith