SWOP’s anti-violence team, CP4P, is known for going out into the community and engaging with community members who are at the highest risk of being perpetrators and victims of gun violence. This boots on the ground approach works to develop authentic and trustworthy relationships with the goal of de-escalating tensions and supporting families of victims and perpetrators to prevent the next shooting. Part of the CP4P strategy is to engage with the community through hosting a safe haven event called Light in the Night.
Through their relationship building with youth and local organizations, CP4P guides families to participate in open gyms at St. Clare of Montefalco. Upon seeing the engagement that these open gyms have and having participated in initiatives like “Hoops in the Hood”, CP4P decided to host their own eight-week basketball tournament. This tournament will take place every Saturday, allowing the young people who have registered to come in and play in 3 on 3 and 5 on 5 playstyles against one another . The twist for this tournament is that each tournament day will be held in a different place in the community, thus allowing different community areas to engage with one another and create safe spaces for people who would usually feel uncomfortable with going somewhere so far outside of their community.
The first day of the tournament took place on June 23rd, on 52nd and Homan where the community came out in full force. With organizations like Inner –City Muslim Action Network (IMAN) and Increase the Peace (ITP) assisting with providing resources and extra hands, CP4P focused on, running the tournament, engaging the community members who were interested in what was going on and canvassing to ensure the safety of everyone present. The next tournament day will be held July 1st at St. Clare of Montefalco gym on 55th and Talman from 4pm – 7pm on. Although the main event is the basketball tournament, CP4P encourages all community members to come out and take part in the other activities that are also being offered or just sit back and enjoy the tournament with free food, drinks and music.
For updates on locations for each of the following tournaments, check out SWOP’s upcoming events on their website: https://www.swopchicago.org/calendar