PeacePlayers & DS, MLK Event

April 24, 2024 - In a groundbreaking collaboration, PeacePlayers Chicago and Distinctive Schools joined forces to present "Our Voice Matters," a special Martin Luther King Jr. Celebratory Event.  

PeacePlayers, a global organization fostering peace and leadership through the power of basketball, and Distinctive Schools, a network of high-performing charter public schools, hosted this special event to honor Martin Luther King Jr.'s enduring legacy. 

Both organizations firmly believe in the power of youth coming together, a principle rooted in PeacePlayers' conviction that if youth can play together, they can live together; Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision for a united and harmonious society, "We rally the next generation to champion their uniqueness, strive for greatness, and uphold values of unity, compassion, and fairness. Our call is a beacon, urging youth to embrace individuality, pursue excellence, and dedicate themselves to the enduring principles of community, love, and justice,” shared  PeacePlayers Chicago Director, Sanura Young, “Together, let's ignite a movement that empowers and inspires all we come in contact with here in Chicago."

Students from Distinctive Schools and their families participated in this event at The Pullman Center, in one of the largest celebrations of Martin Luther King’s legacy in the City of Chicago. The event featured a diverse range of activities, including student basketball drills and games rooted in PeacePlayers' core values: Seeing People as People, Culture of Collaboration, and Inside out Transformation. Attendees engaged in basketball, artmaking, and parent workshops.

"Distinctive Schools was proud to join forces with PeacePlayers to honor Martin Luther King Jr.'s teachings. This event reflects our commitment to empowering all learners and fostering a sense of community through education and leadership development,” Scott Frauenheim, CEO of Distinctive Schools shared, “We’re grateful for the partnership and the platform to discuss the impact of sports, leadership, and education in building bridges across diverse communities.”

Student volunteers from CICS Longwood included a group of students who are leaders in the school community, part of a group called Panthers for Peace, which was founded to ignite a movement in the school community and throughout Chicago. "In partnering with PeacePlayers, our students exemplify the power of youth leadership, and the possibilities in fostering peace, love, and positivity within our communities. Through dialogue, understanding, and action, they bring hope to Chicago, proving that young voices of compassion and unity can prevail. Peace Panthers are committed to the work that lies ahead as they continue to rise as student leaders and change the narrative for all,” shared Victoria Jones, Coordinator of Peace Panthers. 

"Our Voice Matters" aims to ignite the flame of inspiration in the hearts of the youth, encouraging them to embrace their unique qualities, pursue excellence, and contribute positively to the world. The event embodied the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr.'s teachings, serving as a reminder that every voice holds significance in the collective journey toward justice, equality, and a brighter future.

About PeacePlayers:
PeacePlayers is a global organization that uses the sport of basketball to unite and educate young people in divided communities. Through a unique and proven model of sustained engagement, PeacePlayers brings together youth from different backgrounds to develop friendship, leadership, and a commitment to peace.

About Distinctive Schools:
Distinctive Schools is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting high-performing charter public schools. With a focus on providing quality education and fostering leadership skills, Distinctive Schools aims to empower scholars to become lifelong learners and leaders.