Raydell Lacey, a woman touched by gun violence, started a program in Chicago called “Not Before My Parents”, a group that brings together local children and police officers to play chess. Lacey began the program just a few days after her grandson, E.J, was shot in the head two years ago. E.J was one of the 771 Chicago residents lost to gun violence in 2016.
The goal of the program is for police officers and the local youth to be able to see each other on equal ground and build trusting relationships. She commented, “With chess, you think, you focus, you say, ‘I want to beat him, and I don’t have to beat him with these.”
Lacey drives the kids to weekly lessons and monthly matches, as well. She says the club represents E.J’s legacy.