Target: Tameka Lawson, Executive Director, I Grow Chicago
Goal: Praise woman for finding new ways to bring peace to troubled district of Chicago
Englewood is a neighborhood on the Southwest side of Chicago with a poverty rate of 44% and a crime rate counted as one of the highest in America. Cameras are posted throughout the streets to discourage criminal activity. Within a one month period, there were 34 violent robberies, 27 cases of battery, 17 counts of assault, 3 homicides and 2 reported instances of sexual assault. Facing this daily challenge of survival, a non-profit organization is striving to provide an arena for local residents and their children to develop themselves peacefully and creatively.
When Tameka Lawson, Executive Director of I Grow Chicago, found herself becoming worn down in the daily struggle so often found on the South side of Chicago, she discovered yoga. This discipline of deep breathing and stretching helped her manage and combat the stresses of her environment. Then Tameka realized how much the community needed this type of healing ritual.
Through her non-profit, Tameka holds yoga classes free of charge, on a local, blocked off street. Men, women and children can be witnessed gathering on yoga mats to focus on peace in the midst of boarded up homes and violence. By offering these sessions regularly, Tameka feels she is bringing an opportunity to experience the calming effect of mediation and encourage the focus and determination of the participants to be on peace, rather than stress. Faced with brutality, this area needs new choices of exploration and solutions to the troubles they face. Thank Tameka for her ingenuity in finding a way to bring healing thoughts and encouragement to a neighborhood riddled with difficulties.
Dear Ms. Lawson,
Your work with I Grow Chicago and your brilliant idea of bringing yoga to the community of Englewood is a fresh and welcome approach to combating the struggles so many within the area experience. Thank you for offering this opportunity of peaceful mediation. I have every confidence that the work you are doing will strengthen the spirits of the attendees and give them a chance to relieve the daily pressures felt within the neighborhood. The outreach you are achieving truly deserves commendation.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Onef9day via Wikipedia Commons