Strides for Peace Announces Special Partnership with Negaunee Music Institute at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Strides for Peace is pleased to announce a new partnership for their 5th annual Race Against Gun Violence on June 7, 2018 in Upper Hutchinson Field, Grant Park.

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Negaunee Music Institute is facilitating a live performance at the race as a testament to the common goal of ending gun violence and promoting peace in Chicago.

Expanding its ongoing work with incarcerated youth and teen parents in the Chicago area, the Institute produces songwriting projects that provide participants with opportunities for creative expression, healing, empowerment and community- building. New in the 2017/18 season, the Institute brought songwriting to St. Sabina Church where parents who have lost children to gun violence and participate in the church’s Purpose Over Pain program wrote songs of tribute. One of those songs will be performed at the top of the race and features musicians from the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.

These projects and the performance demonstrate music’s power to bring people from diverse communities together, which is integral to the ongoing work of Strides for Peace and the Negaunee Music Institute at the CSO.

“The Institute’s work with Strides for Peace builds on the partnership we formed as a result of our first ”Concert for Peace” led by Yo-Yo Ma at St. Sabina Church in June 2017,” stated Jonathan McCormick, Director of Education and The Negaunee Music Institute. In addition to Yo-Yo Ma’s performance at St. Sabina Church on Chicago’s south side in 2017, he also held an impromptu mini-concert in Strides for Peace’s “Peace Mobile” outside the church on the day of the concert.

“Strides for Peace believes that all of Chicago has a stake in ending gun violence and that collaborations like this help drive change in small and big ways,” explained Mary Stonor Saunders, Executive Director of Strides for Peace. “Just think – mothers who bear the grief of a lost child working with some of the most accomplished musicians in the country, coming together to perform at an athletic event that includes people from every zip code, level of fitness and age, all in support of community organizations working to stop gun violence. That’s powerful!”

The Race Against Gun Violence features several components to bring diverse stakeholders together to raise funds for and awareness about what is being done to reduce gun violence and build Chicago’s future. It is an opportunity to change the narrative about Chicago, call concerned citizens to action and show the world Chicago can come together to solve the problem of gun violence.

About the Race: The Race Against Gun Violence, Chicago’s largest athletic event supporting nonprofit organizations working to reduce gun violence in our community. There is a race for every level of fitness and age, including USTAF Certified 8k and 5k race along the lakefront, and a 2 mile walk and a Tots for Peace Sprint.
Proceeds and 100% of fundraising from the event benefit participating Chicago nonprofit organizations engaged in the life-saving work of reducing gun violence. Currently, 39 charities, are participating, representing a spectrum of strategies, from larger organizations like the Heartland Alliance to smaller grassroots community groups like Paving the Way. All are eligible to receive a range of benefits at no cost including use of the fundraising and registration platform, on-site booth, 10 free community registrations, inclusion on marketing and event materials. Individuals may choose to which nonprofit they would like to support.

RAGV is truly a special platform for those who want to bring out the best in their city, which is why on February 28th, the Chicago City Council passed a Resolution in support of the race and the critical need to bring Chicago together to celebrate the life-saving work taking place every day.

About Strides for Peace: Founded in 2014 by Margaret Bazckowski, Strides for Peace is a registered 501(c)3, whose mission is to raise and deploy capital to a variety of local programs and organizations that strive for the common goal of reducing gun violence in Chicago.

About the Negaunee Music Institute: Across Chicago and around the world, the Negaunee Music Institute connects individuals and communities to the extraordinary musical resources of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Under the visionary leadership of CSO Zell Music Director Riccardo Muti and Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant Yo-Yo Ma, the Institute creates opportunities for people of all ages with diverse backgrounds to participate actively in the life of the Orchestra.

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