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Rogers Park group calls on gang members to cease fire from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Rogers Park group calls for gang ceasefire during day
Rogers Park group calls for gang ceasefire during day 02:03

CHICAGO (CBS) -- People living in the middle of a gang war in Rogers Park are employing an unusual strategy to try to stop it.

As CBS 2's Marybel González reported Wednesday night, a youth organization group are asking gang members to pledge to have a ceasefire between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. daily.

The group is taking its message of peace directly to the gangs in the push to curb gun violence in the neighborhood.

"We have little kids, elderly, working-class people that are being affected by this," said Tatiana Atkins, cofounder of the youth organization group Native Sons.

Native Sons formed following the shooting death of 5-year-old Devin McGregor last summer in the 7600 block of North Paulina Street, in the North of Howard section of Rogers Park.

The boy was an innocent victim of gunfire.

Through dance, sports programs, and music, Native Sons wants to engage kids – especially as school is out. The organization even has a studio, recording, and producing program.

"A lot of kids are just out in the park with nothing really to do. They get bored," said Native Sons member Johan Starkey, "and then we need to have something to do just be like in that spirit to keep going."

"They don't see enough positive role models in the neighborhood to like give them a different outlook on life so they can make a change," said Native Sons member Jamal Washington.

But it doesn't stop there. The group has created what they call the People's Ordinance, where they're asking rival gang members and others to cease fire during the day.

"It's like a treaty almost, like where they also agree that we don't want 5-year-olds being killed; we don't want 78-year-olds being shot," Atkins said. "We've talked to rival gang members, and they seem to gravitate towards what we're trying to do."

It's one small step, they say, to create big change.

"I've noticed that it's a lot that are just like, 'Why not just don't shoot, period?' It's like, we've tried that," Atkins said. "'Why not just listen to the gun laws?' We've tried that."

"It's not like we can tell them to stop all in all," said Washington. "It's baby steps."

Even though the school year kicks off soon, the group is hoping to keep their momentum going. They will continue to offer their workshops in the evenings after school.

Anyone who wants to reach out to Native Sons and join the group or attend its workshops can email the organization here.

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