Hundreds of Evanstonians are expected to turn out Sunday, September 9, to participate in an innovative “Walk and Talk for Peace” – a two-mile walk through the city that pairs participants so they can get to know each other while they stroll. The ultimate goal is to foster peace, respect and understanding in the community by introducing neighbors to one another.
Organized by Peaceable Cities: Evanston, a local not-for-profit group, the event is described by organizers as “speed-dating for peace.”
“Every 10 minutes, participants find a new walking partner and spend the next part of the walk getting to know each other,” said Joey Rodger, who’s coordinating this year’s event. “It’s a terrific opportunity for people who live, work, study or worship in Evanston to connect and experience the diversity that makes our community so strong.”
Last year’s inaugural Walk and Talk for Peace, which Rodger also coordinated, drew nearly 500 Evanstonians of all colors and ages.
This year’s Walk and Talk starts at 3 p.m. at , 303 Dodge Ave. in Evanston and travel north to Family Focus/ community centers, and Faith Temple Church of God in Christ, at Dewey and Foster avenues. The event, which is free of charge, will kick off with brief remarks from the mayor of Evanston, the chief of police and other guests.
Peaceable Cities: Evanston’s aim is to end violence in Evanston through a number of programs, including the Walk and Talk. Peaceable Cities: Evanston’s goal is a violence-free Evanston by 2020.
Dozens of community partners are supporting the walk. According to Rodger, a Quaker and member of the Evanston Police Department’s chaplain team, the Walk and Talk for Peacecan “help create a new ‘we’: an Evanston we all belong to, contribute to, and care about. A city where what happens to one person happens to us all. A city committed to becoming a small place on the planet where everyone can expect to give and receive respect and kindness.”