Camp Duncan Brings Social Engagement and Smiles to Chicago’s Youth
By Gresë Sermaxhaj, Communications Associate
The girl in this picture is Malia Causey, a nine-year-old from the Austin community in Chicago who lost her brother, Malik, to gun violence in 2016.
Her life has not been the same since the loss of Malik, who was 14 at the time of his death.
For Malia and other kids in similar situations, social activities and meaningful engagements with their peers are warmly welcomed.
“Ms. Davis, can we please ask the Goldin Institute and Talk2mefoundation to bring me back? This was really fun.”
Those are the words that Malia says to Nicole “Coco” Davis, 2021 Chicago Peace Fellow and CEO/President of Talk2mefoundation, who recently took young Chicagoans on a trip in the great outdoors at Camp Duncan.
“I like it here; no one will ever get shot or killed.” Malia says further.
Malia’s wishes lie in the heart of Talk2mefoundation. This non-profit organization supports kids whose parents and caregivers are incarcerated and need healing and peace through belonging to a community.
Speaking briefly to Goldin Institute about the importance of this youth camp, Nicole emphasizes the need for such support in the first place.
“They say money cannot buy you happiness, but the Goldin Institute brought 25 smiles for youths at Camp Duncan.” — Coco Davis
Thanks to the generous support of her peers in the Chicago Peace Fellows Mutual Aid Collaborative, she made it possible for these young people to socialize, learn, exercise, and dance together.
“Shout out to the Goldin Institute and the Mutual Aid Collaborative for making it possible for me to grant the wishes of 25 youths by giving them a chance to experience life outside of their normal living.”
“I have so many sponsors to thank it’s unreal” she wrote in this Instagram description, where you can also see the smiley faces of participants after a dancing challenge.
When becoming a Chicago Peace Fellow, Coco highlighted wanting to be part of the solution. She joined the Chicago Peace Fellows program to become a vital contributor to bringing healing and peace to communities in Chicago.
As one can see, Coco is an active voice and advocate for social justice; she keeps ties with with the Mutual Aid Collaborative made up of 74 Alumni of the Chicago Peace Fellows program as a valuable part of her community-driven approach to needed change. But the work continues beyond there.
Talk2mefoundation still needs support to continue its vital work in the community. Coco passionately advocates decriminalization and knows it takes a community to make a difference. That is why she’s calling on everyone who believes in second chances and fundamental human rights to support her organization’s work.
Every little bit counts, whether through a donation, volunteering, or simply spreading the word.
The connection between Goldin Institute and its fellows goes beyond the length of the program. When Fellows graduate from the Fellows Program they become part of the Mutual Aid Collaborative and the Global Alumni network that connects Chicago leaders like Coco with peers from over 40 countries across the globe.
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