- Award Entered:
Sport for Conflict Resolution Award
- Parent Organisation:
- Project Host Nation:
- Overview of Project:
Little Village is an immigrant community on the Westside of Chicago that boasts over 100,000 residents. The community has the lowest median age in the city of Chicago at 20.9. Little Village also has the least amount of park space per capita in the city. These circumstances combined leave thousands of Little Village youth looking to the streets for recreation. As a result, street gangs have become a dominate force in the neighborhood. Located in the heart of the community is the second largest park space which is part of an elementary school campus for over 2,200 students. This space is underutilized because it sits on the dividing line of two of the largest rival street gangs in Chicago. During the summer months when gang activity is at its highest, Beyond the Ball offers a variety of sports programming in this space which is called Project Play. Project Play uses sport to empower community members to reclaim this park space from street gangs and play peacefully together. By offering sports programs for community youth, we are able to assemble 300-500 community residents in this park space each night. By uniting community residents, Project Play demonstrates the power of sport to create safe spaces.