"I feel like I am at a ‘No More’ moment in my life,” says Lamar Whitfield, founder and CEO of the No More Foundation, “and so I decided that now was the time for me to use my voice.”
Whitfield and about 14 others took to the street on July 11, along the 5700 block of South Shore Drive. Chanting “Out of the House, Into the Streets,” they pumped their fists as they urged cars, trucks and buses to beep their horns.
A Hyde Park High School graduate and Woodlawn resident, Whitfield started the Foundation about a month ago.
“I started the No More Foundation to assist men, primarily minority men, with mental health and homelessness,” says Whitfield.
“The violence that we had over the 4th of July weekend, it really, really bothered me. Having three smaller kids, and an older one, um, that I felt like, that my voice needed to be heard.
“If we don’t come out and say, ‘Stop the Violence, Out of the House and Into the Streets,’ it won’t be heard. We can’t just contribute money and send an email. We have to actually be physically seen and heard.”
As he tells his story, a car drives by and honks. Whitfield stands up and shouts, “Out of the House, Into the Streets. Thank you,” through the bullhorn he holds.
In the background Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” is streaming from a portable sound system. Foundation supporters hand out tee-shirts emblazoned with #NoMore and offer free deli-sandwiches and water to people walking by.
“I am chanting … ‘Out of the House, Into the Streets,’ because I feel like we need everyone’s support,” says Whitfield
“I’ve worked 20, 20 plus years in customer service,” he continues.
“My previous job being [at] the Field Museum of Chicago, where I worked in the guest relations department, I had the opportunity to meet people from all over the world. I’ve … expressed my passion [to them], about wanting to help, not knowing what I was supposed to do.
“Through the George Floyd murder I found out that I’ve been walking in my footsteps of lately.
“We’ve all had a ‘No More’ moment in our lives. And I think now is just a pivotal time to actually express that we are having that ‘No More’ moment.
“The No More Foundation stands for all of us. I am just focusing on men, because I think that men have a harder time mentally getting where they need to be.
“My foundation want[s] to help them out mentally, because I believe once they do it mentally, then everything else will follow.”
Whitfield has big dreams for his foundation. He speaks about getting a stable headquarters. He has plans to contact Chicago Public Schools about using empty school buildings as community mental health facilities.
“My biggest goal,” he says, “is to make sure that people know the foundation is within reach.”
You can read more about the foundation on its Facebook Page and website - http://nomorefoundation.org/