The SALUD Center hosted two Thanksgiving dinners!
On Thursday, November 16th, Claretian Associates and Communities Partnering 4 Peace (CP4P) hosted a Community Thanksgiving Dinner. UNITY Squad youth helped serve traditional Thanksgiving food such as turkey, ham, corn, salad, and more. CP4P had raffles and a distribution of clothing and shoes for adults and children and winter blankets. On Thanksgiving Day, CEO Angela Hurlock with family, friends, and staff volunteers, hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for the community. Family and friends enjoyed the company of each other with dinner and holiday music.
The South Chicago Neighborhood Network Trauma-Informed Symposium
The South Chicago Neighborhood Network held an annual virtual Trauma-Informed Symposium, Partnering to Heal. Each day featured a different topic, including peace within homes, organizational crisis response, and engaging adults and youth after trauma. The final day was a Community Grand Rounds, a panel from UChicago Medicine.
Through the partnership with Advocate Health, the keynote speaker was Dr. Kim Miller, Director of the Trauma and Recovery Center for Advocate. The Trauma and Recovery Center is open to anybody with a traumatic experience and does not have to be related to gun violence. The center currently works with Communities Partnering 4 Peace (CP4P), Crisis and Victim Advocate teams for the program participants who have been victims.
The symposium was attended by providers, organizations, and community members. The Claretian teams of Safe Passage and CP4P also attended the symposium because of their engagement in keeping the community safe. “The teams de-escalate incidents before they happen between not only adults but youth too. To do that the teams need to be equipped with the right tools to handle certain situations. The teams also need to know how to take care of themselves. It's important that they learn how to trauma-inform response to people,” said Program Manager Tiarra Owens
SCNN and community partners have hosted the symposium for six years. “I think it's important for us to have these conversations. This symposium, ‘Partnering to Heal,’ we paid great attention to all the work we are doing with our partners, and how everybody is doing their part in building healthy trauma-informed communities,” said Program Manager Tiarra Owens. In the future, SCNN would like to transition to an in-person symposium and host it at Chicago State University.
Through the partnership with the American Red Cross, UNITY Squad received Hands-Only CPR training. The youth learned how to perform Hands-Only CPR with CPR manikins, which are only hand motions. The youth will be wrapping up their last nutrition class with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Nutrition Extension Program and will have a potluck to celebrate.
Last year, UNITY Squad started receiving Hands-Only CPR training because of the Damar Hamlin Challenge, where he encourages everyone to learn CPR to save a life because of his own experience of being unconscious on the football field. For that reason, each cohort since last year has learned Hands-Only CPR. “Once I saw him (Damar Hamlin) hit the ground on the field, I thought ‘This can happen to anybody.’ I felt like the youth needed to know this because of their community involvement,” said Youth and Family Services Coordinator Pamesha Robinson.
The youth received six weeks of nutrition classes from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Nutrition Extension Program and will receive certificates of completion. Youth learned how to cook healthy and eat healthier. “It's not just about cooking but it's about eating healthy and living a healthy lifestyle. A lot of them are practicing what they're learning” said Pamesha. The youth participated in class by making healthy snacks and trying new foods.
Youth also attended a Smoking and Vaping Succession class hosted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Nutrition Extension Program. The class taught youth about the dangers of vaping and smoking. The instructor brought in a nonsmoking lung and smoking lung of a pig to teach the youth about the risks of smoking.
Youth Activities at the SALUD Center
The South Chicago SALUD Center Seniors attended a Thanksgiving dinner in the community room donated by the Zuniga family in honor of their daughter Mia Zuniga who has autism. This is the second year the seniors receive the donated dinner.
On Saturday, November 11th, Veterans Day, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth visited South Chicago for a ceremony to pay tribute to the Veterans of the community. The ceremony was hosted in the parking lot next to the Claretian Associates' former offices, 9108 South Brandon Ave, where the Vietnam mural and memorial are located. The event honored South Chicago Veterans and the 12 servicemen, from Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, who fought and died in the Vietnam War.
Claretian Associates has been in constant collaboration with the Veterans to update the Veteran mural on the 9108 South Brandon building. At the event, Senator Duckworth highlighted the importance of updating the mural. Other local officials in attendance were Illinois State Senator Robert Peters, 10th Ward Alderman Peter Chico, and 2nd District Cook County Commissioner Dennis Deer.
Another event was held on Sunday, November 5th to commemorate veterans. Real Estate Project Manager Marisol Miramontes coordinated with Dave Rodriguez, whose father is a deceased veteran from South Chicago, for the memorial stone to be cleaned. “Every time Dave visits Chicago, he wants to beautify the monument,” said Marisol. Dave had not been able to clean it in the past because the monument is behind a locked gate. “He did such a beautiful job. He is a professional and he used the appropriate materials to clean it. He did such a fantastic job that you can see the reflection of the fence,” said Marisol.
Claretian Associates is working with the veterans to complete the mural. They are hoping to have the political leaders that were present at the November 11th Veteran event, to fund the project.
City Club of Chicago
Claretian Associates CEO Angela Hurlock was part of a panel for Community Violence Intervention at City Club of Chicago with Soledad Adrianzén McGrath, Research Professor at Northwestern University’s Center for Neighborhood Engaged Research & Science (CORNERS), Jesus Salazar, Senior Field Manager at the Metropolitan Peace Initiatives and moderator Vaughn Bryant, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Peace Initiatives.
Angela spoke on a panel about the Metropolitan Peace Initiative decreasing violence and gun violence in the city through Communities Partnering 4 Peace (CP4P). Each speaker spoke from a different perspective such as data, grassroots, and community. Angela shared how violence intervention programs help keep the community safe.
City Club of Chicago is made up of the business community of Chicago. This discussion can shine a light on the work of community violence intervention to individuals who might not know of it. “I think that it’s very important to have these discussions so that people can know what’s happening and how they can become involved. I think there is a place for the business community as well,” said Angela. The panel discussed how businesses can engage with neighborhood organizations to work with the initiative of keeping Chicago safe.
Claretian Associates is one of 20 organizations that partner with Metropolitan Peace Initiative. “It was an honor to represent all those organizations and represent the work we do collaboratively,” said Angela.
Pre-Winter Meet and Greet
Join Claretian Associates for a Pre-Winter Meet and Greet at South Chicago Peoples Park located at 3257 East 91st Street. Meet new people and enjoy hot chocolate and snacks. For more information contact Real Estate Project Manager Marisol Miramontes at firstname.lastname@example.org