Mediators hope to reduce Memorial Day weekend violence in Chicago

Hundreds of mediators and street intervention workers will be on the streets of Chicago for the holiday weekend in what an organizer described as one of the largest violence prevention efforts in city history.

A coalition of organizations is sending 370 community-based mediators to 72 locations across 12 neighborhoods in hopes of tamping down Memorial Day weekend gun violence.

Vaughan Bryant, executive director of Communities Partnering 4 Peace, said the groups are targeting “hot spots” as shootings so far this year are on the increase over 2019.

“We know where the tensions are high, and we know that direct interventions from trusted friends and neighbors can help deescalate conflicts,” Bryant said. “These young men and women are using their experience and their relationships to make their communities safer and we should all be grateful.”

The mediators also have been trained to provide information about the coronavirus pandemic, organizers said.

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