Covering youth violence – Sources

Covering Youth Violence: Telling the Whole Story,

Community-Linked Mental Health Services Program, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

The Community Linked Mental Health Services Program (CLMHSP) of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago works in conjunction with schools and other community partners in the Chicago area to develop and implement a public health approach to address the impact of violence and trauma on youth and to improve access to evidence-based mental health services for youth in underserved communities.  Among other projects and initiatives, the work of the CLMHSP includes consultation to the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative (NRI), a program launched in the fall of 2010 to build the capacity of communities to prevent violence and provide economic, social and emotional support to young people and parents to build safer communities. CLMHSP staff also participate in several advocacy and policy groups relevant to children’s mental health, including the Illinois Children’s Mental Health Partnership and the Illinois Child Trauma Coalition.
Tali Raviv, Clinical Psychologist                                    Mashana Smith, Clinical Psychologist                                            
312-227-8328                                                                        312-227-8359

Between Friends
Between Friends works to eradicate domestic violence throughout Chicagoland by providing resources to help individuals rebuild their lives and by offering education to youth and the community on ways to prevent domestic violence.  We provide a crisis hotline, counseling and support services, court advocacy, and various education programs in schools, healthcare, and other organizations in the community.
Colleen Norton
Prevention & Education Manager
773-274-5232 ext. 26

BUILD, Inc. (Logan Square, West Town, Near North/Cabrini, Hermosa, Belmont-Cragin, Humboldt Park, East Garfield Park, North Lawndale, Englewood and Brighton Park)
BUILD’s Prevention program promotes positive youth development by equipping youth with the life skills necessary to resist the lure of street gangs, violence and drugs. As these youth develop a steady support system and knowledge base, they are referred to BUILDing Futures to further prepare themselves for academic and career success. Daniel Perez, Marketing and PR manager, 773-269-6032

Chapin Hall, Chicago Youth Shooting Review project (Harrison and South Chicago Police Districts)
The project, housed at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, is a based on the Milwaukee Homicide Review Commission project, and is focused on preventing shootings among young people in Chicago.  The project comes from a public safety / public health perspective, with multi-agency shooting review sessions – referred to as “social autopsies” – as the centerpiece of the project.  The intended goals of project are: 1) developing and / or strengthening collaborations among parties who can contribute to reductions in violence (schools, courts, police, public health, child and family services, etc.); 2) identifying systems changes that could contribute to reductions in violence; and 3) conducting research using an expanded data set (currently not available to any one agency) in order to identify where public or community-based resources could further contribute to violence reduction.
Rachel Johnston, Director

Chicago Youth Programs
Currently we service kids in 3 of Chicago’s underserved communities, Washington Park, Uptown and Near North Cabrini Green.  We host violence prevention workshops led by students and staff support to advocate positivity and life skills to help the kids make better decisions when faced with peer pressure, gang involvement and conflict resolution.
Monique J Cook-Bey, Chief Program Officer
773-924-0220 ext 123

Claretian Associates
Claretian Associates is an affordable housing developer that operates two safety initiatives through the New Communities Program.  The programs, CeaseFire and CPS, Community Watcher, Safe Passage programs are the results of community organizing after several shooting in the South Chicago area.
Jacqueline Samuel, New Communities Program Director
773-734-9181 ext. 13

Juliana Stratton, Executive Director of the Cook County Judicial Advisory Council
I help to advance County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s public safety agenda.  This includes co-chairing the City-County Violence Reduction & Community Stabilization effort and other efforts relating to criminal and juvenile justice reform.

Cook County Sheriff’s Office
The Cook County Sheriff Youth Services Department provides a variety of prevention programs to youth, parents, and youth serving professionals throughout Cook County. Our focus is violence prevention. The majority of our programs are delivered to students in classroom settings. We provide summer day camp experiences for at-risk youth with an emphasis on violence prevention. We have other special projects that recognize youth for their involvement in service.
Joanne Bieschke, Director, Youth Services Department

CROSSwalk (an initiative which came from All Saints’ Episcopal Church) was a 4-mile Holy Week procession across the city that brought together over 50 ecumenical and secular partners to remember murdered youth and connect participants with opportunities to take action. Building on the momentum of CROSSwalk, we are working to organize faith communities across Chicagoland to develop a sustained faith-based effort to end violence in our communities.
Jacqueline Clark, Coordinator

Elizabeth Dozier, Principal, Fenger High School
Fenger High School has made radical progress since the Fall of 2009, including a reduction in drop-out rate from 19% to 4%, a 10+% increase in student attendance, and over 70% decrease in misconducts.  Through a series of efforts, including restorative justice, Fenger has transformed itself.


Illinois African American Coalition for Prevention
The Illinois African American Coalition for Prevention (ILAACP) is a statewide, membership-based charitable organization that strengthens prevention systems, policies, and programs in underserved communities through culturally-relevant research, training, and advocacy. ILAACP youth initiatives utilize a positive youth development framework to provide young people with the skills necessary to address the issues in their lives with the support of parents, mentors, and other caring adults. Our current initiatives focus on preventing childhood obesity and taking a youth-led approach to prevent bullying, teen dating violence, and other related forms of violence.
Chris Sang, Youth Initiatives Director
312-850-4444 ext. 221

Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence
The Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (ICHV) is the oldest and largest statewide organization in the U.S. working to prevent the devastation caused by firearms. Founded in 1975 by four suburban Chicago women concerned about the tragic consequences of handgun proliferation and availability, ICHV works on a variety of fronts to educate, raise public awareness, and build coalitions to enact change in laws and behavior. For 37 years, ICHV has been a leader among state gun violence prevention groups.
Mark J. Walsh, Campaign Director

Kidz Express (South Austin)
Kidz Express’ mission is to help our participants make better decisions and realize their potential when confronted with the challenges of growing up in impoverished urban environments.  The violence that plagues Chicago is well documented in the media and statistics. There have been over 500 murders in Chicago in 2012.  And over the past two years more people have been murdered in Austin than any other neighborhood in Chicago.  The recent movie “The Interrupters” showed the violence that comes from anger and conflict on the streets of Chicago and the impact of the courageous individuals from Ceasefire.  Kidz Express acts as “Pre-Emptors”, working with all of our children everyday on conflict resolution and anger management.  We teach them about the consequences of their anger and actions and work to prevent behaviors that can lead to violence.  One of our goals is to change and prevent negative behaviors before our kids need the Interrupters in their lives.  By nurturing and helping realize dreams of college and training kidz for employment, we work to substitute achievement for violence. Doug Low, Executive Director, 312-730-2670


Dr. Marie Crandall, Associate Professor of Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
I am active in violence prevention in several ways, as a hospital partner of CeaseFire, as a member of LIVID (Lowering the Incidence of Violent Injury and Death in Chicago), and as a health services researcher in trauma., 312-695-4835


UCAN is a social service organization that works with 12,000 children, youth and families in Illinois each year.  Our primary clients are wards of the state child welfare system – these are children and youth who have been removed from their homes for reasons of abuse or neglect.  We also work with the families of these children. Our mission is to build strong youth and families through compassionate healing, education and empowerment.  UCAN offers a full continuum of services including but not limited to a therapeutic youth home, a therapeutic day school, extensive community and violence prevention programs, support for pregnant or parenting teens, counseling, foster care placement, vocational training, and internships for promising former wards of the state.
Norman Livingston Kerr, Vice President, CITY Project, 773-290-5876

University of Chicago
The Chicago Youth Leadership Academy (CYLA) program each summer sponsors on the campus of the University of Chicago, a 3 week motivational college life experience, on-campus, for 30 at risk boys between the ages of 13 and 16, primarily from the Woodlawn and Englewood communities. Rudy Nimocks, Director of Community Partnerships, ,773-848-8363

Youth Service Project
Youth Service Project was started in 1975 by a concerned group of Humboldt Park parents and community members as a response to violence.  All of our programs—from Independent Living to Substance Abuse, Arts Program to our Youth Leadership Academy—are based on principals of non-violence and youth empowerment.  Our anti-bullying programs, our Comprehensive Community-Based Youth Services, and Safety NetWorks case management programs are working to reduce our youth’s exposure to violence and to provide a safe, creative, and nurturing place for the youth of the Greater Humboldt Park community area.
Katy Groves, Clinical Supervisor , 773-772-6270 x139


The Community Peacemakers

This is a partnership between the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and DePaul University. It matches DePaul Peacemakers with high school teachers and their students and focuses on a series of activities that explore the root causes of violence, peace, and actions for restorative practices in schools. These activities are facilitated by the DePaul Peacemakers in collaboration with the classroom teacher.  DePaul Peacemakers work with the CPS students and teachers to create a Restorative Practices action strategy for their specific school.The participating CPS high schools will share their Restorative Practices action strategies at the Restorative Justice Youth Summit on May 17th, 2013. Rubén Álvarez Silva, Ministry Coordinator for the DePaul Community Service Association (DCSA) & Service Days, DePaul University Ministry,,773.325.1193

Community Renewal Society

Alex Wiesendanger is the Lead Organizer for the Community Renewal Society, a 130-year-old social justice organization that combats racism and poverty. In this role, he leads an organizing staff and works with more than 70 congregations across the Chicago-metropolitan area to identify the issues most affecting their communities and build campaigns to win change. In recent years, CRS has won victories for children of incarcerated parents, nursing home care for low-income, African-American seniors, and affordable housing. Alex has also helped shape and spearhead CRS’s FORCE (Fighting to Overcome Records and Create Equality) project, which organizes people with felony records, and the High HOPES (Healing Over the Punishment of Expulsions and Suspensions) Campaign which organized students, parents, educators, and community leaders to win changes to reduce violence and “zero tolerance” disciplinary practices in Chicago Public Schools., (312) 427-4830


In My Shoes

The In My Shoes Program is a Chicago violence prevention program at the Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital that speaks to youth about the consequences of gang and drug involvement, one of the main consequences being ending up with a permanent disability. Rising numbers of injuries due to violence on the west side of Chicago and throughout the country prompted Schwab staff to move beyond a treatment orientation and to push towards involvement in prevention-focused efforts. The In My Shoes program was created in 1997 as a way to facilitate the positive development of patients and prevent more violence-related injuries.

In My Shoes Violence Prevention Program, 773-522-2010 x 5155,

Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation


The effort started in 2000 when a few friends – priests of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood – sat down and shared their stories of ministry, of the suffering they had witnessed and experienced, and of their work for reconciliation. They shared stories of many years of jail ministry, of community renewal, of inner city parish work, of retreat ministry for reconciliation. Out of those shared experiences was born the dream of the Ministry of Reconciliation – what would it look like to have a ministry whose purpose was to work for healing and reconciliation in the midst of the violence and alienation of our world?

These friends – David Kelly, Denny Kinderman, Joe Nassal, and Bill Nordenbrock – decided it was a good time to commit to building that dream. Over the next two years they reflected, planned, and shared their ideas with other Precious Blood communities. The ministry would reach out to a community affected by violence in the city, and reach out in mission to the wider Church, working for healing and reconciliation in both. They chose the Back of the Yards/ New City neighborhood of Chicago as the place to live and work – a community that struggles with issues of poverty, gangs, and racial divisions. Sister Mary Louise Degenhart, a sister of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, joined the ministry in the spring of 2003.

Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation moved into a small office at St. Michael’s parish in December 2002. There PBMR began working with the Making Choices Groupand the Hope and Healing Group. In the fall of 2003, Steve DeLaney began working part time with the Making Choices Program, and then came on full time a year later. In September 2004, PBMR moved a few blocks east into the former school of St. John of God at 51st and Elizabeth Streets. The building houses a collaborative effort including Catholic Charities, Youth Outreach Services, and Second Chance Alternative High School.

This space has become known as the Precious Blood Center, and has become a place of safety and welcome for many people and groups to gather, to pray, and to tell their stories.

The Rev. David Kelly,, 773-562-8861


Adler Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice

The purpose of the Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice (IPSSJ) is to meet public safety challenges with socially just solutions. We work with community groups, peer institutions, and systems partners to address public safety challenges. By forging creative collaborations, we can devise empirically sound methods beyond mere suppression to create environments where a more lasting and meaningful sense of peace and wellness can prevail.We believe that by working together, bringing all concerned into the mix, we can improve urban safety outcomes by enhancing human potential and community wellness.Rather than rely completely on safety strategies that isolate and confine, we strive to develop transformative alternatives that restore people, families, and neighborhoods to their optimal functionality.

By mobilizing the wisdom and assets of stakeholders at all levels, IPSSJ seeks to shift the tide in public safety thinking and to create momentum for 21st century solutions that strengthen communities, protect families, and bring people closer together. We aim to create communities where all people can reach their full potential.

Addressing Trauma

 To build public safety systems that heal and address trauma rather than recreate it.

 Safety is ultimately about relationships. It is about the ways we treat ourselves, each other, and the communities we encounter. Yet this basic truth is often not honored through our public safety laws, policies, or practices. Typically, public safety professionals are trained to isolate and confine, no matter what the scenario is or what a situation may require. Many have little to no preparation in improving the quality of relationships in the neighborhoods, towns, or cities where they work.

While confinement may sometimes be necessary, it is only one of many possible options. At IPSSJ we help train public safety professionals – from police officers, to school security guards, to judges – in a broad array of strategies for handling conflict and preventing harm. These strategies draw from the fields of trauma-informed care, community justice, restorative justice, urban planning and community mental health.

Elena Quintana, Ph.D. Executive Director, 312-662-4021,

Now is the Time

Now Is The Time is a citywide initiative inspiring young people to make positive change in their communities and stop youth violence and intolerance. The Chicago Public Library, Facing History and Ourselves and Steppenwolf Theatre Company join forces to start this conversation in Chicago’s many neighborhoods, along with a coalition of theaters involved in Now Is The Time to ACT. In addition to creating dynamictheatrical programs around the theme of youth violence, NITT ACT has

created Teens at the Table, a youth council with members from each participating theater company. Twenty teens from across the city have joined this advisory council and are holding community-based,

youth-led meetings. Lindsay Moscato, Project Coordinator – Now Is The Time:

Stop youth violence and intolerance in Chicago., 716-310-5093,


Enlace Chicago has the most comprehensive violence prevention initiative in the Chicago Metropolitan area, providing services ranging from school-based prevention work to advocacy for reform in juvenile justice policy. Our six major programs include Safety Networks, Ceasefire, Mentorship and Advocacy Program, Community Watch, the Violence Prevention Collaborative, and the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative. We have organized the staff and resources across the six programs to create a spectrum of services that we provide to the Little Village Community.

Luis Carrizales, violence prevention coordinator,

Mujeres Latinas En Accion

Mujeres Latinas en Acción empowers Latinas through providing services which reflect their values and culture and being an advocate on the issues that make difference in their lives. The organizations has programs that deal with domestic violence and sexual assault and which help nurture healthy childhoods. Maritza Rocha, Director of Youth Programs,

Photos by Carlos Javier Ortiz

CASEL, a nonprofit in Chicago, is the nation’s leading organization advancing the teaching of academic, social and emotional skills. Through research, practice and policy, we collaborate to ensure that all students in preschool through 12th grade have the opportunity to master these skills and become knowledgeable, responsible, caring and contributing members of society. CASEL acknowledges that students must learn to read, write and do math, and that equally important to their success is mastering skills like self-control, working well with others and problem solving. All of these social and emotional skills can be taught and measured, and research shows that students and adults with these skills have better relationships and do better in school, work and life. Media contact: Adrian Uribarri, manager for communications, at 312-906-7582 and‬

  1. 1.     Beyond the Ball(Little Village, North Lawndale)Beyond the Ball is an organization that uses the power of sport to change lives, give hope, reclaim space and develop a culture of opportunities for youth and families in Chicago. We develop youth through a number of programs that help change the negative norms present in neighborhoods and replace them with a positive culture. We also create opportunities for residents to build community through projects that reflect the personal and social responsibility learned in our programs. So while we invest in youth to grow community leaders for the future, we are simultaneously making an impact right now.
    Rob Castañeda, Executive Director
  1. 1.     Brady PAC-IL
    The Brady PAC-IL promotes a common sense gun legislation agenda and the candidates and elected officials who support this agenda. We work with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence in its issue education and victim outreach efforts.
    Jodi Doane, Administrator
    1. 1.     Chicago Youth Boxing Club
      Chicago Youth Boxing Club is a nonprofit youth development organization located in Little Village. We offer kids a safe and healthy alternative to gang violence, while also offering work-readiness training and health/nutrition information. Our program serves youth ages 8 and older.
      Karen May, President                           Carlos Javier Ortiz                 
      1. 1.     Child Health Data Lab
        CHDL performs epidemiological research to identify risks to healthy youth development and program evaluation to strengthen youth-serving organizations. We collaborate with state and city agencies and youth-serving organizations to define public policy solutions that support healthy development for children and youth in Chicago and Illinois, with a broader goal of improving child and adolescent well-being. At Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, we work closely with the Injury Prevention and Research Center and the Office of Child Advocacy. CHDL houses the Illinois Violent Death Reporting System, which is based on the National Violent Death Reporting System overseen by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  It brings together data from vital records, police reports, crime labs and medical examiner/coroner files to tell the fullest possible picture of the circumstances surrounding violent deaths.  These data can then be used to develop homicide and suicide prevention policies and activities.
        Suzanne McLone, Epidemiologist




  • sunmars

    February 15, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    This is my first time i visit here. I found so many informative stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! Keep up the good work.

Add a Comment

* means field is required.

Name *

Mail *