CHICAGO — Branching out from the Peace Campus in Englewood, excited volunteers lent a hand to paint, plant, and pick up trash on dozens of blocks and vacant lots. 

The effort was for the 9th annual Greater Englewood Unity Day

Michelle Rashad is the executive director of Imagine Englewood If, a grassroots organization that has served the Greater Englewood community since 1997.

“We deserve a clean community, right? Our children deserve a clean community, right?” Rashad asked.  

Imagine Englewood If is part of the ‘We Grow Chicago’ collaborative, dedicated to helping neighborhood families thrive.

“We are a youth development organization that provides year-round youth opportunities for children 6-18 years old, after school, summer camps, mentoring groups, leadership programs, right here on the Peace Campus by ‘We Grow Chicago.’ 

Rashad says unity and collaboration are the neighborhood’s superpowers. 

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle spoke to the crowd during the event.

“When a neighborhood is cleaned up, people not only feel better about it, they also feel safer,” Preckwinkle said.

Volunteer Brittani Emmons was among the 200 signees, excited to make an impact. 

“I think Englewood is a beautiful community,” Emmons said. “I think there’s an amazing opportunity here. This is an opportunity for us to show what Englewood is and how beautiful and powerful it can be.”

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