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The second annual North Lawndale and Little Village 1K Man March, “Sole to Soul Celebration of Our Mothers,” occurs the day before Mother’s Day. Marchers are invited to “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes,” on May 7, 2022.
All Chicagoans are encouraged to participate in this family-friendly event. Local schools partnered with 1K Man March to encourage youth to write essays to celebrate their moms. Two winners from each participating school will read their tributes aloud from the stage.
Beyond the march, the event offers participants information about jobs and mentoring programs. More than 20 community-based organizations will be at the event. In addition, there will be food and entertainment.
Saxophonist Sax Preacher is scheduled to perform. Poet Blaq Ice, and vocalist Cheri Soul will join other entertainers at the post-march rally.
1K Man March organizers also invited local politicians to join the event.
The idea for the march originated with male leaders in the community who wanted to unite men from North Lawndale and Little Village and promote greater civic engagement. The founder of Men Making a Difference (M.M.A.D.) inspired fellow community leaders to create the 1K Man March, according to the Founder and Executive Director of Young Men’s Educational Network (YMEN), Michael Trout.
“Rock shared his vision of getting 1,000 men to take a more active role in supporting our neighborhood youth,” Trout added. “Many of whom are led astray into gangs and delinquent behavior because of the few viable options for healthy activities and steady work.”
As a youth worker in North Lawndale for nearly three decades, Trout often wondered:
“How could our community be different if 1,000 men stepped up to the plate and showed our youth that they matter to us?”
He quickly joined Calhoun’s call to action. The head pastor at St. Agatha Catholic Church, Father Larry Dowling, was also eager to support the vision. Together, they set up a team of volunteers and launched the “test run” in November of 2020.
The first 1K Man March took place on May 1, 2021. Over 500 residents joined “together in solidarity to proclaim in word and deed that our youth matter.” In addition, volunteers helped create a safe place for community organizations, employers, and local entrepreneurs to join the event to further validate the importance of North Lawndale and Little Village youth.
“While the main focus of the event is to mobilize neighborhood men to demonstrate solidarity around key community issues, youth and family are encouraged to participate in all events. We are hopeful that this annual event will create community pride, celebrate local neighborhood assets, encourage community collaboration, celebrate people making a difference who are often overlooked, and tell the real narrative of our loving community,” explained YMEN’s founder.
Everyone in Chicago is invited to join the 2nd Annual 1K Man March in Celebration of Mothers and youth on May 7, 2022. The march will begin at noon. The post-march rally will end at 4 p.m. CT.
Route: Start at St Agatha 3147 W Douglas Boulevard, walk West on the North side of Douglas Boulevard to Hamlin (turn left), South on Hamlin to 16th Street (turn left), walk East on 16th Street to Kedzie (turn left), walk North on Kedzie back to St. Agatha.
1K Man March Sponsors: St. Anthony Hospital, M.M.A.D., UCAN, Central States SER, Cinecity (Stage donation), Phalanx Family Services, North Lawndale Employment Network (NLEN), Lawndale Christian Health Center, Tanoor, and Nonprofit Utopia.
Organizational Sponsors: YMEN, St. Agatha, Kinship, Chicago CRED, Firehouse, Celestial Ministries, Harmony Community Church, Chicago Police Department, Equiticity, Peacemakers Coalition, Working Bikes, Boxing Out Negativity, Lawndale Christian Legal Center, I.Am.Able, The Encompassing Center, New Life Community Church, North Lawndale Employment Network, Midwest Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Lawndale Christian Community Church, Winslow Redmond Technology Center, Enlace, TNS, and Frackle Media.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
Interview: Michael Trout by email; April 18, 2022
Images Courtesy of TNS Photography and 1K Man March