août 11, 2023 Live from the road

Chicago

Reported by Salil Wilson 4.0 mi

Our very busy second day in Chicago began outside the WGN TV studios.

Javier the cameraman made a wish for peace. He will be participating in the upcoming Chicago Marathon.

Our good friend Larry Potash has been anchoring WGN Morning News since 1995. Larry welcomed the team to Chicago and asked Harita how long she'd been participating in the Peace Run, 27 years apparently!

We then headed out to visit our first ceremony about 4 miles away.

The WGN news chopper (Skycam9) followed our progress.

This lovely woman spontaneously ran with us!

We visited one of our Peace Trees along the way.

Making new friends!

Our next event took place at the Major Adams Community Committee Headquarters. Major Adams, a previous Torch-Bearer Award recipient, has been an extraordinarily influential person in Chicago. We were deeply honored to meet with and present our Torch-Bearer award to one of Chicago's true heroes, Jesse White. Mr. White is an American educator, politician and former athlete from the State of Illinois. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the 37th Secretary of State of Illinois from 1999 to 2023.

Mr. White has had 18,000 young people come through his youth program entitled the "Jesse White Tumblers" and each one has benefitted enormously. He is a man with a huge heart and we are delighted to be able to spend time with him.

We were also delighted to present the Torch-Bearer award to Reverend Johnny Harris who has dedicated his life to serving his community.

Next we were onto the Carole Robertson Center for Learning.

Not peace!

Now thats peace!

"I love peace!"

These day care centers are an essential part of the fabric of the community. They enable parents to go to work to support their family.

Ganapati stands next to the Peace Tree located at the Carole Robertson Center for Learning.

We were grateful to have the Exodus Drum and Bugel Corps join our team for the day! Here they are leading us in to our next event at Monticello Garden, a beautiful community space for the neighborhood.

Members of the local police precinct very kindly dropped by to hold the torch and make a wish for peace.

They also took part in our presentation, guessing our countries and finding them on the map, which was really fun for all of us!

The police very kindly joined in our World Harmony Run song complete with all the actions.

Kevin, pictured here, spends a great amount of time lovingly growing, planting and taking care of the Peace Trees. Thank you Kevin! This tree is  to the local community.

Thank you very much for having us.

Our next port of call, the Sidney Epstein Youth Center, had closed off the street for all kinds of fun and games.

There are two Peace Trees at the Sidney Epstein Youth Centre!

Mural in the community garden.

There was a bouncing castle which the women's team enjoyed enormously.

The Exodus Drum and Bugle Corps performed. They stayed with us the whole day.

We had some super fun relays around the block.

Then we all worked together to create artwork dedicated to peace.

Medhavati, the organizer of many of our events today, offers her gratitude.

Next we headed over to a memorial for a Melissa Ortega a young girl whose life was tragically taken by a stray bullet.

There was a Sri Chinmoy Peace Tree dedicated to Melissa just near the mural. All the places we went today had Peace Trees and you can find out more by visiting Sri Chinmoy Peace Trees (peace-trees.com)

We then met with Maria (left) and Irma Morales (right), community activists, in the Little Village neighborhood.

Chicago Alderman,  Michael D. Rodriguez, shared his good wishes to the team.

Purnakama led us all in singing the World Harmony Run song.

To all those who welcomed us thank you so much for a wonderful day.

Torch carried by
Alakananda Lebedev (United States), Arpan DeAngelo (United States), Atul Arora (India), Bhadrika Beumer (Netherlands), Brahmata Michael (Canada), Devendra Cheatham (United States), Harita Davies (New Zealand), Jamini Young (United States), Mayankinee Landy (United States), Natabara Rollosson (United States), Nayaja Perugini (Italy), Pavaka Ritchot (Canada), Pradhan Balter (United States), Purnakama Rajna (Canada), Salil Wilson (Australia), Santiva Morrison (United States), Sevak James (United States), Sukantika Donavan (United States), Virangini Afzal (United States).  
Photographers
Alakananda Lebedev, Brahmata Michael, Devendra Cheatham, Harita Davies, Pavaka Ritchot, Salil Wilson
The torch has travelled 4.0 mi in Chicago.

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