'Pop-Up-Parties' in Chicago aim to steer youth away from violence

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Sometimes new solutions to Chicago’s violence issue require some old school ideas.

Two Chicago women have thought of the idea called ‘Pop-Up-Parties.’ They launched the idea Monday in the Roseland neighborhood and it consists of hula-hoops, BBQ and of course, house music.

"We have the chosen a few: DJ Andra Hattchet," said Jamillah Omar. "We brought old school jump ropes to play double-dutch. We brought hula hoops to get some exercise.”

Chicago’s first Pop-Up-Party is the creation of Angie T and Jamillah Omar. it was an idea that sprang to life in the wake of a phone call Jamillah received from her daughter.

"Got a phone call in the middle of the night. Someone else has been murdered in the past year. She just graduated high School," Jamillah said. "I called Angie, and said we have to do something."

"We came up with Pop-Up-Parties," Angie said.

Pop-Up-Parties is a fun place for neighborhood kids to grab a bite, jam to some house music and play ball with a Chicago police officer.

"So what we wanted to do was bring back a little old school to the children, give them a chance to be children again," Angie said.

But most importantly, the two women wanted Chicago kids to have a chance to feel the love of a community.

"We going to give them hugs, we going to give them love. No stress, no stress today," she added. "They need to know that the adults care, and that's why we are here."

Angie and Jamillah hope this is the first of many Pop-Up-Parties. They also hope their efforts inspire others to lend a hand.

"As a community, no matter what color you are, get involved. It's back to the basics," she said. "We really need to get out here and get engaged with these children; sometimes it's just as simple as that."

The first Pop-Up-Party was privately funded, free for everyone and operated solely by the generosity of others. The space was provided by Fiane Latiker from the 'Kids Off The Block' organization.

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