So How Do We Stop the Violence?

photo by Carlos Javier Ortiz

photo by Carlos Javier Ortiz

We know the numbers. We know where they happen.

But what we know about stopping the violence?

We’ll talk about that on June 11 from 10 am to noon at 618 S. Michigan, Stage Two, Columbia College.

It’s a workshop for journalists on how we measure what works and how we know what’s missing.

We’ll hear from public health experts, who will walk us through ways of measuring what agencies say about their work. We’ll hear about what exists here in Chicago and what we need  as well as what we don’t. And we’ll hear from about a dozen agencies,who will talk about how they do their work, and how you can measure the results.

We’re partnering with the unique city-wide effort, Strengthening Chicago’s Youth (SCY) which links over 120 agencies and organizations somehow involved in dealing with youth violence. This is our third effort with SCY  to learn more about youth violence.

It’s a good time to do this.


Since the mayor is raising $50 million to give out to agencies that will help stop crime, isn’t it our jobs as journalists to see if this money will make a difference? Shouldn’t we be asking what kinds of solutions the Mayor and others are proposing.

But there’s another reason and Mick Dumke touched on this recently in another good article in the Chicago Reader about violence.

“Over the years, police, politicians, and community leaders have proposed all kinds of solutions, from banning high-powered squirt guns to bringing in the National Guard. Along with the weather—violence tends to spike during the warm months and mild stretches of winter—the size and deployment of the police force is always at the center of the discussion.

“But others argue that it’s time to focus on the circumstances that produce violent offenders in the first place: desperation, poverty, fear, addiction to drugs, addiction to guns. In many ways the issue boils down to whether we can afford to take the time to fight such long-standing ills, or whether we can afford not to.

So, isn’t time we got beyond the gore and looked at the solutions?

Talk to me – digame. Steve,, office 312 369 6400



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