In September of 2013, three young ladies between the ages of 13 and 15 wanted to start a program comparable to the Male Responsibility Mentorship Program, Men Of Distinction. Beginning with donated books from Southwest Youth Collaborative, which had recently closed, these young ladies set out to start their very own book club. Aside from reading and socializing, they began a weekly practice where each girl would bring in lyrics from a verse of a poem, rap or song and discuss the meaning of the words and the impact it could leave on today’s youth. In January of 2014 and partnering with their close counterparts, Men Of Distinction, they decided to do something special for their community. On Dr. Martin Luther King’s Holiday they hosted their 1st Monthly Poetry Café.
Every month they began taking on topics and causes to give voice to young people around the things that affected their everyday lives; Education, Healthy Relationships, Community Violence, Hunger, Domestic Violence, Childhood Cancer, “Bring Back Our Girls” and Smoking to name a few. They would soon discover that April, which is National Poetry Month as well as Sexual Assault Awareness Month, would prove to become one of their closest and dearest Poetry Cafés.
Over time, the youth led, youth driven events began to stretch beyond that of the stage to include a Violence Prevention Initiative in Summer of 2014 affectionately called The Flag Project, consisting of a peace march and rally in their Bronzeville neighborhood that brought out over 8,000 community members and stakeholders including the Mayor, several Alderpersons and State Legislators. Soon after the young men of MOD and the young ladies of Safe & Sound decided to merge groups and maintain the name
Safe & Sound.
We decided to take our passion for the arts and activism a step further in 2018! We created our own scholarship award and grants youth such as ourselves, sharing the same hearts and goals, with $5,000 towards their education.
The Safe & Sound Arts and Activism Scholarship will grant 10 winners with $500 each towards college or trade school expenses. 2 awards each will be granted in the categories of Dance, Singing, Spoken Word, Visual Arts and Volunteerism.
Henry Williams lost his father in a terrible automobile accident at age 9 and just two short years later lost his mother to cancer. Thankfully, he had family and neighbors who took he and his siblings in and helped to ease the burden of experiencing such loss. The Henry Williams Love Foundation was established to offer community support to children like him who have lost a parent(s) and need a bit more love. The Foundation has partnered with Safe and Sound to provide two additional scholarships for a graduating high school senior from the Metro Chicago Area who excels in either Poetry, Singing, Dance, Visual Arts, or Volunteerism and have lost a parent or parents.
If you are applying for this award you must indicate that you have lost a parent(s) by checking the box on the application.
Safe & Sound would not be able to do the things we do without the support of countless friends, family, partners and associate organizations.
The Arts and Activism Scholarship would not exist if not for the sponsors who generously offered their help and support. Not only are we grateful for their sponsorship, we are proud that they have believed in us.
Please follow their links below to find out more about the wonderful work they do!
And to our sponsors, we say...