*Pastor Corey Brooks of New Beginnings Church Chicago and Project H.O.O.D. (Helping Others Obtain Destiny) have embarked on an epic cross-country walk from New York City to Los Angeles on June 5.

The group plans to make stops along the way in various urban and rural communities. Project H.O.O.D.’s “Walk Across America to End Violence” is the second phase of the movement’s ongoing fundraising efforts to develop a state-of-the-art community and economic development center on Chicago’s South Side.

Project H.O.O.D. gained nationwide attention when Pastor Brooks took vigil atop of an abandoned motel for 94 grueling Chicago winter days. This was done in an effort to bring awareness to the endemic violence in Chicago’s Woodlawn and Englewood communities and raise $450,000 to purchase the land and demolish a community eyesore that had long been associated with drugs and prostitution. Fortunately, this phase of fundraising culminated with an impassioned – and unexpected –donation of $100,000 from media mogul Tyler Perry, who learned of Pastor Brooks’ plight while listening to the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show.

Project H.O.O.D’s Walk Across America to End Violence aims to raise $15 million to complete the building project designed to give children and families on the South Side of Chicago the resources and tools they need to become extraordinary leaders in their own communities.

“It’s going to take more than just this ‘walk’ to stop the senseless violence.  That’s why we’re engaging grassroots organizations, spiritual leaders and community leaders from far and wide,” said Brooks.  “This is an issue that crosses racial lines and spiritual denominations.  It’s going to take all of us, coming together, to achieve our goal – eradicating violence in our urban communities.”