Englewood residents selected to represent Chicago at UN Peace Co - FOX 32 News Chicago

Englewood residents selected to represent Chicago at UN Peace Conference

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Chicago does not have the highest murder rate in America statistically, but the violence here has become part of our reputation around the globe.

That's not a good thing. The world sees our city at a tipping point and even the United Nations is taking notice. The bloodshed in some Chicago neighborhoods is like a stain on our fair city: dark and deadly, especially when it gets hot.

There's one block, though, in Chicago’s west Englewood neighborhood that is having a remarkably peaceful summer.

Neighbors that FOX 32 talked to think it has a lot to do with a new community partner. So, a lot of folks are coming to check out what they're doing, but one recent visitor had a hidden agenda.

“They came to us and said what you guys are doing here in Chicago is amazing, can we come and spend some time with you? But we didn’t realize that they were kind of scouting us and learning more about us, because they wanted us to come to the United Nations,” said Tameka Lawson, a delegate to the UN Peace Conference.

Another delegate, Shango Johnson, said, “They seen that it is more, more sunshine in Englewood than it is storms, there’s more dreams than it is nightmares.”

Johnson and Lawson are from Chicago. When they join delegates from around the globe at the United Nations this September, they want to represent the greatness of Englewood -- where young men in particular may be at risk, but ready for a chance.

“And so every day when I come out here and I see 11-12 young men flyin to get to 64th & Honore to come work, for four hours (at 8 dollars an hour) a day,” Johnson said.

“Its economic development, it’s giving these young men and women the opportunity to actually work, it's helping them to calm down, calm down their bodies,” Lawson said.

Rehabbing a home to be a neighborhood peace house and turning a vacant lot into a community garden, the two activists said that they are partners in Chicago and promise to carry a message to the global gathering.

“They tell me jobs, cause I have a pocketful, a list of over 20, 30-some guys who say, with jobs they would stop doing what they do, flush that right down the toilet,” Johnson added.

“We’re hoping our boys find peace. And so when we're sitting at the table with the other delegates in New York -- and when I just said that, the other delegates! -- we're gonna be UN delegates?! -- we're coming from a place of love,” Lawson said.

Both Johnson and Lawson will be the only delegates from Chicago.

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