It’s in an effort to educate and inspire young people.
Welcome to the men’s meeting at Grace Memorial Baptist Church.
They are actually young men, and they are younger cousins of 17-year-old McDonald, who was fatally shot 16 times by a Chicago police officer in 2014.
Their great uncle and pastor wanted to offer them a place to talk, listen and learn.
On Sunday, Pastor Marvin Hunter offers them and other young people in North Lawndale another opportunity.
Hunter will unveil the Laquan McDonald Business Tech Center in a newly build room of the church with donated computers and volunteer instructors to offer STEAM programs.
“Out of school, you still know those things but you can actually learn more doing what he’s starting now,” said Camar Russell.
“People can come here and use the computers. It helps others, it helps the community better themselves,” added Maurice Williams.
“We need to start grabbing these young people and providing those kinds of things for them,” Rev. Hunter said.
Reverend Hunter and his wife are focusing on programming for kids ages 11-18 after seen a recent crimes committed by young people.
“We want to begin when his name is mentioned, and everytime it’s mentioned and associated with something positive, something that would change the plight of humanity — something that would make the world a better place,” Rev. Hunter said.
As for the members of the men’s meeting, some are eager for to do more.
“After I graduate college [I’m] going on to be a scientist in a lab, like, because I see our world right now is real dependent on scientists. I want to be someone on the front lines to help others,” Williams said.
Their meetings end with music, since after all it is still church.
Rev. Hunter plans to start programs at the center this summer, and hopes for more funding to maintain and grow the center for the sake of this generation and the community.
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