Berto Aguayo grew up in Back of the Yards, a neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. He’d always heard that to “make it” meant to “make it out of the hood.” To Berto, that didn’t sit right. He wanted to help bring his neighborhood the peace and resources its residents deserved.
After graduating from college, Berto returned to Back of the Yards to begin his Increase the Peace initiative—an organization that promotes peace through leadership development, community organizing, and advocates for solutions that tackle the leading factors of violence.
Berto continues to live out this work through violence interruption, maintaining a positive physical presence on the streets to engage the communities through positive loitering, marches, peace rallies, overnight campouts, and car parades. Hear him explain more below.