Recently, the Black McDonald’s Operators Association presented “My City’s Fly” peace rally and block party on the West Side of Chicago. The block party is an anti-violence initiative basically created to kick the Chicago summer off in peace.
“For 2015, the BMOA has made anti-violence a strategic pillar for the work we do in in the communities we serve,” said Derrick Taylor, McDonald’s owner and BMOA president. “Our restaurants serve great food and we have great customers but there are also issues important to our neighborhoods like the safety of our children that we want to speak on. As neighbors and small business owners we want to call for a peaceful summer for all Chicago land youth and My City’s Fly is a fun and creative way to start that conversation.”
In March 2015, the BMOA launched a new anti-violence initiative called “My City’s Fly,” which encouraged teens and young people to start a conversation around stopping the violence in their neighborhood through the use of art and fashion. Students were tasked with creating an original T-shirt design that promoted peace in the community for a chance to win an educational scholarship. On May 29, the top three pieces of art by CPS students were chosen as finalists:
1st Place – “ChiTown Now” by Kamari Robertson, Gwendolyn Brooks High School
2nd Place – “EVOLVE” by Jaleel Hampton, Morgan Park High School
3rd Place – “One Team, One Dream” by Jarell Cryor, Dunbar High School
The event was also co-sponsored by Power 92 and Villa. The day was jam-packed with festivities. DLow the BopKing of Chicago got the youth involved immediately with an energetic performance and spoke to the children about putting down the guns and having fun during the summer and being anti-Chiraq. There was even a mini dance off on stage between the children of the neighborhood. The energy was high and the atmosphere was full of love and encouragement.
BMOA deserves kudos for doing something so positive and beneficial in our communities. The children and adults had an amazing time, and it helped confirm one thing. My city really is fly.
Eddy Lamarre aka Precise is a hip-hop artist-writer-actor from Chicago. The Chicago Reader recognized “Ladies Love Mixtapes” his latest release as one of the best projects of 2014. Listen/Buy Ladies Love Mixtapes at: https://precise.bandcamp.com/album/ladies-love-mixtapes-the-ep