Hadiya PendletonChicago honor student, Hadiya Pendleton, will be buried this weekend. Hadiya was killed Jan. 29 at Harsh Park. Her death sparked outrage not only in her Chicago neighborhood, but nationwide.

Just days after performing in inaugural festivities near Washington, Hadiya was shot and killed at a playground not far from President Obama’s Kenwood home.

With Chicago’s death toll rising, community activists are yearning for President Obama to visit Chicago and speak out about the recent violence. It was announced on Thursday that Michelle Obama, along with senior adviser Valerie Jarrett and Education Secretary Arne Duncan will attend Hadiya’s funeral.

Local Chicago officials planning to attend include Gov. Pat Quinn, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. Quinn plans to speak; Preckwinkle does not. It was unclear late Thursday whether Emanuel would speak.

Hadiya’s family wants to make sure the funeral doesn’t turn into political fanfare and just focus on Hadiya’s accomplishments and life. “It’s a nice gesture and we appreciate it,” said Shatira Wilks, a cousin who serves as the family’s spokesperson. “But that is who we are.”

The Rev. Courtney Maxwell, of Greater Deliverance Temple Church of Christ, who will deliver the eulogy, also emphasized that the funeral will not be political.

“There absolutely will be no talk about the gun issue,” Maxwell said. “We want to talk about celebrating her life and not get into a political situation as it relates to guns.”

Hadiya’s parents, Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton and Nathaniel Pendleton, is appealing to the public for people to come forward if they have information about the shooting. There is a $40,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Hadiya’s killer.

  • http://gravatar.com/keimia Kam

    This is different because this is his hometown. He really should go back there, and he should’ve gone for this girl that took the time out to play for his events.

  • cupcakes and shiraz

    To my knowledge, the POTUS didn’t go to anyone’s funeral in Newtown or anyone else’s. He just went there, spoke to the townspeople, gave a speech and went back to DC (as he did with the other places). So why are people expecting him to go to Hadiya’s funeral? Have you even thought that maybe the Pendleton family didn’t want him, all those secret service men and the press in a church during their most vulnerable time when it’s not even about him- but a young girl whose life was tragically taken?

    Also- you’re acting as if Michelle Obama’s presence is some sort of a booby prize. Her roots in Chicago are much deeper than the president’s, considering that she grew up there. So I think her presence would be more relevant in a way.

    There are plenty of other points to criticize the POTUS on- this ain’t one of them.

  • Mademoiselle

    The POTUS went to the ecumenical memorial that was held for all 26 SH victims — that’s like going to all of their funerals at once. No one’s discrediting the FLOTUS’s presence, but it definitely says a lot that she would go in lieu of him. Also, do you really think Michelle is going to travel without servicemen?

  • Mademoiselle

    I doubt it too, and he was closer to Hadiya than any of the other victims.

  • cupcakes and shiraz

    The first lady doesn’t have nearly as much hefty Secret Service protection as POTUS. And last I recalled, a mass memorial service is not the same as an individual’s funeral.

    In addition, I don’t hear the Pendletons complaining Obama’s lack of presence @ their daughters’ funeral, so I don’t understand why people are here are bitching about a cause that is most likely not even theirs? People need to put more energy onto why young children are dropping like flies in Chicago (and how to stop it) rather than to aim pointless venom @ the President over such a petty matter.

More in gun violence, Hadiya Pendleton