The Chicago White Sox have partnered with Chicago CRED (Creating Real Economic Diversity), a group dedicated to achieving a transformative reduction in Chicago gun violence, and KaBOOM!, the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids the childhood they deserve through great, safe places to play, to build a new playground
The Chicago White Sox have partnered with Chicago CRED (Creating Real Economic Diversity), a group dedicated to achieving a transformative reduction in Chicago gun violence, and KaBOOM!, the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids the childhood they deserve through great, safe places to play, to build a new playground for children in Chicago's Pullman neighborhood.
A group of young men in one of Chicago's most underserved neighborhoods proposed the idea of the playground in exchange for putting down their guns and working with the group to reduce violence.
"When I asked the young men what they wanted from us in return for laying down their guns, they said they wanted a park for their kids. It was incredibly powerful," said Arne Duncan, Chicago CRED managing partner and former U.S. education secretary. "It also is symbolically important as it is a park that has been neglected. Built in partnership with KaBOOM!, this playground will honor the leadership and commitment to peace that these young men have made."
The project launches today with design day, during which children from the neighborhood have the opportunity to draw their dream playgrounds. Elements from the children's drawings will be incorporated into the final design for the new community playground to be built in August at 10440-10444 S. Corliss. Design day also is the first meeting of the playground planning committee that will work for the next eight weeks to plan and prepare for the construction of the new playground.
"Play is an important part of reducing the effects of stress that many kids and families are challenged by as a result of neighborhood trauma," said Roxane Rucker, vice president of community impact at KaBOOM!. "We are grateful to be working with Chicago CRED and the White Sox to create more opportunities for communities to experience the healing power of play and reach the kids who have limitless potential but are too often overlooked."
"When we first heard about the background of this opportunity, we were humbled by the incredible simplicity of the request and the same basic drive to create a better place for kids that we all share," said Christine O'Reilly, White Sox vice president of community relations. "On behalf of the entire White Sox organization, we are honored to be a part of this project to help build the dream playground for the youth in Pullman, while also contributing to innovative solutions that help bring community members together and invest in Chicago communities that need it most. We are grateful to Chicago CRED and KaBOOM! for allowing us to be a part of such a meaningful project in Chicago."
The playground will be the third built by the Chicago White Sox in partnership with KaBOOM!, as well as one of more than 17,000 playspaces KaBOOM! has built or improved across the country in an effort to provide a great place to play within walking distance of every kid in America. Additional information regarding build day will be available at a later date.