In 2012, NBA Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas, Father Michael Peger, and community partners - Noah’s Arc Foundation and Connor Sports - brought 4-6 rival organizations and communities together under one roof to play in the first ever Chicago Peace Basketball Tournament. Amid the violence throughout the city, Isiah Thomas and other leaders continued to have hope for Chicago and wanted to be of service so they joined with Father Peger to break through and reach the kids. Isiah Thomas and Father Peger asked the youth if they would come together and show up for basketball promoting peace. True to form, the youth showed up and the Peace Games were born. Three years later the Peace Basketball tournament and program has proved to be a success for our youth. This program has brought a safe and friendly environment for the community of teens and has dramatically reduced the violence in the surrounding neighborhoods. In addition, the program encompasses youth basketball games, life skills classes, and mentoring, as well as oers young men the opportunity to take GED classes, employment training, and participate in internships. The Peace Tournament proves that when youth who are likely to become victims and agents of violent crime seek common ground, they can join forces to form a united front for peace and nonviolence, and take a courageous stand against guns and gangs that plague their neighborhoods and cities.

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