About Parents for Peace & Justice
Through athletic programs, supportive therapy, community outreach and victim advocacy, we help prevent violence and care for those who have been affected by it.
Who We Are
We're on the front-lines of the violence epidemic. We fight for peace by providing anti-violence programs & therapy for those in need & demanding justice for victims of violence.
We’re based in Humboldt Park but we’re advocates for anyone affected by violence in Chicago. We’re committed to uniting communities divided by violence. We partner with professionals, businesses, donors, volunteers & philanthropists to structure and launch programs designed to create peace and bring justice to our communities.
We're a tax exempt organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (EIN 82-1795580). Donations are fully tax-deductible.
What We Do
1. We Offer Programs That Prevent Violence
Our programs center on the community and partners working together to stop violence, promote peace and support those in need. Whether it’s a jobs, sports, arts or therapeutic program, we believe the most powerful agent for peace is when people connect and learn from each other.
Teaching life through sports—that’s the basis of our partnership with Pro Sports Experience. Pro Sports Experience provides accessible, community-based sports programs for our kids ages 6-15 years old.
Joined by partners that include the Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers and NFL Alumni, programs are led by pro educators and coaches, NFL Alumni and professional sports heroes. While kids learn to run, throw, catch and compete like an NFL player, even more, they learn essential life skills that remain with them forever.
When a participant learns the value of composure, humility, grace, team work and absolute integrity through sports, we have contributed to something that profoundly impacts a person, family and community for a life time. Leadership Bowl One was a great example of this mission. Pro Sports Experience is owned by Tom Finks.
Youth Violence-Protection Programs
We provide adaptive, customized programs based on the needs of each community. In our hearts, we know programs matter. We see the positive effects they have on individuals and communities, but there’s also compelling statistical evidence that show programs have a profound, lasting impact. The University of Chicago Urban Labs reports that violent crime arrests drop 33% for program participants.
Tom Dart, Cook County Sheriff, is also a big advocate for youth programs. As he says, “It’s always been puzzling to me because there’s so many people that run around and act as if there’s a great mystery. There isn’t. When kids are engaged in after school programs or engaged with programs throughout the year -- they do not get involved with crime. It’s just the truth. When they aren’t, it leaves them little opportunity outside whatever else is going on in the street--which is gang activity. That’s what they gravitate to, so it’s always been frustrating to me because this is not hard.”
2. We Help People Affected By Violence & Murder
When someone is murdered, that pain and trauma ripples through families and communities for decades. After the news crews leave, the outside world “moves on” and leaves families and communities behind, often crippled in their grief. We show them they are not alone, and we connect them with resources that help them heal.
Therapy & Counseling
Thanks to the generous support of Professor Tracey Kim Snow and her team, we are able to offer professional counseling to mothers, fathers and family members who have absorbed the devastation of losing a loved-one to violence.
Peer Support Groups
When you’re grieving, sometimes the best person to talk to is someone who has been in your shoes. One of Parents for Peace and Justice’s core founders, Elizabeth Ramirez, lost her son to violence in 2011 and his murder case has yet to be solved. Elizabeth understands the indescribable pain of losing a child, which can be compounded when a person’s murder case remains unsolved. Elizabeth holds family group support sessions and is personally available to talk in times of need. These support groups often include guest speakers who teach tools for coping with grief, such as meditation, art therapy and yoga.
When a person is in need, we activate our support network and reach out to them personally.
3. We Seek Justice for Victims of Violence
It’s devastating to lose to a loved one for any reason. That pain can become even more agonizing when you lose someone through violence, especially when their murder case remains unsolved. We shine light on these cases to demand justice and try to find answers for families.
Vigils and Peace Marches
Parents for Peace and Justice is a first or early responder following acts of violence. We host vigils to honor people lost to violence. We use these events to give support to the families, assure the victims are never forgotten, and demand that justice is served.
We Give Victims and Their Families a Voice
Through media relations initiatives, we draw attention to unsolved murder cases.