Events planned to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

A number of events are being held this weekend to honor the civl rights leader, starting with an interfaith celebration at 10 a.m. Jan. 15. Other events are planned by Nonviolence Chicago and the Community Renewal Society on Jan. 18 and 19.

Happy New Year!

We wish you a healthy, joyous and happy new year. We are thankful to be serving the Austin community for another year. AustinTalks will soon be starting its 11th year of operation, providing news and information about the West Side.

Happy Holidays

AustinTalks wishes you and your family a happy, healthy holiday season, and a safe and prosperous 2021. Thank you for supporting AustinTalks, as we begin our 11th year of providing news and information to the Austin community.

West Side ministers call out Rev. Franklin Graham for silence on Black church desecrations

Black Lives Matters banners at two historical black churches were destroyed last weekend in the nation’s capital after a pro-Trump rally. Faith leaders – including Revs. Ira Acree and Marshall Hatch – want Rev. Graham, a Trump supporter, to condemn these actions. Clergy from Chicago will travel to Washington, D.C., next month to push for healing and reconciliation just days before Joe Biden becomes the 46th president.

Donate toys this weekend in Austin

Mothers Ona Mission28, an Austin group that provides support to survivors of violent crime, will be collecting toys for families that have been affected by violence or COVID-19. Bring unwrapped toys and gifts from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Dec. 19th to the Michele Lark High School parking lot at 5101 W. Harrison Ave. The toys and gifts can be dropped off from the safety of your car.

Celebrate the holidays with your Austin neighbors

See Christmas trees decorated in different cultures and meet others celebrating life on the West Side. The socially distanced event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 11 at 622 and 623 N. Lorel – two vacant lots that have been transformed into community gardens with the help of Block Club President Dollie Sherman. Refreshments will be served. Please, wear a mask.

Austin group part of city-wide racial healing initiative

Austin Coming Together is one of several organizations involved in a new initiative unveiled Monday by Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago’s Office of Racial Equity and Justice. The “Together We Heal” initiative calls on all residents to play their part in fostering connection, restoration and learning around the topic of racial healing. Chicagoans are encouraged to join in this challenge by hosting candid conversations, healing circles and other activities. The challenge will run from now until the end of January with a culminating, virtual healing summit that will reflect on progress made and build a path forward together.