Saturday, August 11, 2018

Pullman playground and gang truce....

I'm sorry to have not shared yesterday's playground building in Pullman - although I did note this over at The Sixth Ward earlier this past week. I also didn't know the story behind this though judging by the headline is more interesting than building this new playground.

I will share a tweet from the reporter of this story for the Tribune, Tessa Weinberg
But the playground’s foundation was really laid nearly a year ago when Sherman Scullark, a member of the Risky Road gang faction, rang Detective Vivian Williams’ doorbell.

Williams, who has lived in the neighborhood for 32 years — and has spent 23 of them working as a Chicago police officer — was shocked when Scullark came to her.

“I could see in his face that he needed to talk about something. And when I opened the door he said, 'Officer Williams, I'm just tired. I'm tired,’ ” Williams said.

Scullark was tired of the violence. The conflict between Risky Road and the Maniac Fours faction had been going on since Scullark was a young boy.

And it marred the community. Kids didn’t play outside. They knew not to go to the basketball courts or the gas station — both hotspots for shootings when rival gang members found each other across the 107th Street dividing line.

So Scullark asked Williams, who’s known as the neighborhood mom, to set up a meeting between the rival gangs. Williams agreed but needed approval from the district commander.

The next day, Williams got it. But Scullark beat her to it. He had already orchestrated a truce agreement.

He had approached his rivals on their block and let them know he wasn’t carrying a firearm. Then he told them how he felt. It turned out some of them felt the same.

They agreed to put down the guns, and the neighborhood has been more peaceful ever since.

“I said, 'You didn't even give me 24 hours?’ ” Williams said. “He said, ‘Now can you introduce me to Arne Duncan?’ ”

Duncan, the former education secretary under Barack Obama and former Chicago Public Schools CEO, is the driving force behind the organization Chicago Creating Real Economic Destiny, known as Chicago CRED.
Read the whole thing!

And here's a flyer for that recent event that I hadn't posted here.