Campference hopes to bring kids outside and help break a cycle of violence


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) – Dozens of kids in Champaign took to the street to play basketball Tuesday. But, it was about more than who could make the most 3 pointers or dunk the ball.

It stems from the past year we’ve had and trying to get kids back out and together.

But, organizers said it’s also about helping end gun violence.

Willie Comer is the pastor for Berean Covenenat Church in Champaign. They helped organize the event.

It was week-long Campference and for the past 2 days they were in Garden Hills. There they had a basketball tournament, learned how to skateboard, and even got some tips and advice from U of I athletes.

Comer said they wanted to get kids out of their homes and break what he says is a cycle of violence.

“We’ve had no programming. We’ve had nothing happening in our streets except violence, and that’s really not what Champaign is about. Champaign is about kids having a place to play and a place to hang out,” Comer said. “Unfortunately, our streets have been clear because of fear. Kids are afraid to go out and parents are afraid to let their kids out. So, what we wanted to do was break that cycle.”

He said this is a step in helping bring peace to the community. He said if they show kids love in the community, it can help change the atmosphere of violence surrounding the area.

If you missed the event Monday and Tuesday, don’t worry! They will be in Urbana Wednesday and Thursday at Salt and Light from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

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