Working towards a socially just world can begin in one neighborhood and that’s exactly what Sisters in Cinema, a Chicago-based 501(c)3 is setting to accomplish in their Sister Outsider program, beginning on Saturday, June 17, 2023.
Sister Outsider is a walking program that promotes the usage of outdoor space to young Black girls, women and gender nonconforming individuals. The program leads participants on a conversational walk through the commercial thoroughfare of South Shore’s 75th Street and the residential beauty of 76th Street.
Each walk begins with a brief low-impact movement session led by a locally based fitness creative, followed by small walking groups. Along the 1.5 mile round-trip trek, Sisters in Cinema celebrates the cultural history of South Shore while exploring the intersections of art and social justice with a number of community members who are hired to serve as docents and share in the neighborhood’s history.
“As a longtime resident of South Shore, it has always been my aim to be of service to my community and to tap into the neighborhood’s potential. The Sister Outsider program addresses South Shore’s potential, by creating a program for the community and by providing opportunities for employment, engagement and education. In addition, the program promotes increased socio-emotional wellness and physical health,” said Dr. Yvonne Welbon, Founder & CEO of Sisters in Cinema.
Not only will the program promote outdoor physical activity and wellness, it also makes room for communal reflection, reverence, rejuvenation and peace in the South Shore neighborhood while being in community with the intention of violence interruption on 75th Street.
Studies show that exposure to violent crimes can damage people’s health and development, push communities into vicious circles of decay, and overall leave a uniquely powerful role in defining neighborhoods. This has been proven to be true in the South Shore community. Currently 60% of 75th street contains boarded up buildings and empty lots. It’s also vacant of businesses, walkers and overall community life – which is why a program like Sister Outsider is so vital to the South Shore community.
Sister Outsider is scheduled to meet every third Saturday of the month at 10:00AM CST this summer. Upcoming dates include: June 17th, July 15th and August 19th.
Sister Outsider is made possible through funding from the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) & the Office of Equity & Racial Justice (OERJ) as well as DCASE’s Together We Heal Creative Place Program (CPP) which recognizes the importance of the arts in promoting health, healing and safety for communities. The Sister Outsider program is in partnership with Chicago-based organization Sista Afya Community Mental Wellness and fitness & health creative Seobia Rivers.
Those interested in participating in the walk can RSVP at bit.ly/2023sisteroutsider.
In addition, Sisters in Cinema is also positively impacting the South Shore community with the construction of their Media Arts Center, scheduled to open in Fall 2023. Sister Outsider is part of a robust slate of programming at Sisters in Cinema that will find a home at the Media Arts Center. To learn more about Sister Outsider, Sisters in Cinema, and its Media Arts Center in South Shore, visit the organization’s website: www.sistersincinema.com.