Kids deserve a block party. And Englewood deserves to be in a positive spotlight, said Mike Kincaide, who organizes Peace Fest at I Grow Chicago.

Now in its second year, Peace Fest is as much a celebration as it is a community impact event, with speakers, resources, food, sports, activities and art. The free event takes place 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, at I Grow Chicago’s Peace House, 6402 S. Honore St.

“I wanted to show another side of Englewood that people didn’t see,” said Kincaide, who grew up in Englewood and whose family lives in the neighborhood. “What if, just for a day, you could see the Peace House and Englewood in a whole different light?”

While fun is on the agenda, it all goes back to I Grow Chicago’s mission to foster wellness, dignity, justice, empowerment and creativity. That means talks from motivational speaker Alonzo Kelly, hip hop artist K.W.O.E. and poet and activist Damon Williams. Kincaide recalled Kelly’s captivating speech at last year’s festival, delivered just as a rainy day parted for clear skies. Everyone stopped eating and playing to turn and listen, he said. And they embraced the message.

“Alonzo spoke about this message of everyone watching out for each other, everyone embracing, we’re all brothers and sisters and it doesn’t matter what race, what color, what creed, what neighborhood,” he said. “This is our world, this is our community, this is our neighborhood, this is our city. We are together.”

Other resources will include health screenings for breast cancer and high blood pressure, support for LGBTQ people and housing assistance. Free haircuts and school supplies will also be available.

“I wanted it to be fun, but I also wanted it to be helpful so it’s not just a fleeting thing – it’s not just a day, it’s something that’s going to affect you beyond that day,” he said.

Peace Fest isn’t a fundraiser, but a means to serve community members and visitors. All food and activities are free. But that doesn’t happen without help. A GoFundMe is currently collecting donations food and equipment purchases. The event also needs volunteers.That support will not only help to showcase Englewood and the Peace House, but also cultivate a sense of togetherness, support and growth.

“Even though we’re different, we’re all still the same: we all still want peace, we all still want to have a good time, we all share the same message,” he said. “It’s not divisive. It’s about different races, different cultures, all being in this together.”

Join us at Peace Fest

Saturday, Sept. 9
11 a.m.- 5 p.m.
6402 S. Honore St.

Support Peace Fest

Donate: http://www.gofundme.com/peacefest2017

To volunteer, contact Mike Kincaide, [email protected]