UCAN Provides Healing With Special MLK Day Programming
UCAN celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a special program hosted at their North Lawndale headquarters on Monday, January 15, 2024. The event aimed to address present-day injustices such as disinvestment in high-risk neighborhoods and the lack of resources that lead to community violence.
Attendees included local residents, members of St. Pauls United Church of Christ, community partners, volunteers, youth living in UCAN’s Residential Treatment Center, and the organization’s staff. Together, they discussed the devastating accounts of families losing loved ones to gun violence, while also hearing from staff who’ve provided victim services in the wake of a shooting.
“We showed each other that we are not hopeless in the face of adversity, that there is strength in community, and, just as Dr. King once wrote, ‘[we] refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history,’” UCAN stated on its official Instagram page.
The organization also spent the day assembling comfort kits for future victims of violence and received reiki healing by the Reiki Brigade, a group of pro bono practitioners. This healing technique aims to promote relaxation and reduce stress and anxiety through gentle touch.
UCAN is one of 13 Chicago organizations representing Communities Partnering 4 Peace (CP4P), a coalition of non-profit organizations focused on gun violence prevention across 27 Chicago neighborhoods.