By: Jazmyne Walker
WCW Staff Writer
Throughout the entire city unoccupied buildings are being boarded-up leaving residents in the area without a clue on how these buildings will be occupied in the future. While people wait, the Guerilla Bureau Board-Up Project has been giving them something to look forward to.
The Guerrilla Board-Up Project is a mission being carried out by the Firehouse Community Arts Center (FCAC), 2111 S. Hamlin St., teaching young people in the Lawndale communities about the need of peace and non-violence in the area they reside.
FCAC sponged the idea from a community-based organization called Art Forward. They team up with local artists from Chicago. Those artists are teaching the students who are part of the FCAC programs how to create art on the wooden panels that are used to cover and close abandoned buildings.
Since they started this project, they have completed 14 buildings in the community. According to the City of Chicago, over 7,000 abandoned buildings have been noted on their abandoned building service request list and is constantly being updated by the minute. FCAC has other projects to conduct with the community but does not plans to continue anything that involves beautifying the community.
Although still a physical work in progress, the center has continued to move forward with their youth programs and projects. The Firehouse Community Arts Center (FCAC), a partnership between Lawndale Christian Community Church (LCCC) and The House Covenant Church, is seeking to uncover and develop the gifts and strengths of North Lawndale’s youth and young adult residents.
Pastor Phil Jackson, Associate Pastor of Lawndale Community Christian Church and Lead Pastor of Tha House Covenant Church (Christian-centered hip-hop church for youth) said, “we try to teach young people about being peace warriors – to be non-violent is to be most courageous – we’re teaching them what that means and how to out that languages around daily living.”
A peace warrior is a peer group of nonviolence leaders in the Lawndale community that demonstrate and practice amity so to spread these habits to others in the neighborhood.