The Trauma That Lingers

    Violence marks us with a fever. A fever that marks: The shooters or victims, who think they need to retaliate. Those, who think they need to defend  or protect themselves by carrying a gun. Those, who flee their streets, their communities, their cities wanting to protect themselves or their families or their businesses […]

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Let’s Count Our Heroes

    You’ve probably heard the lament that nobody is working in Chicago’s communities to deal with the violence. But that’s not the case. Not at all. Heaps of organizations and individuals dedicate their time and hearts to making a difference. The problem is, we don’t always hear about them. So, we’d like to begin […]

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A block party. A normal life. A story not told

By Steve Franklin  The story begins: “It was a perfect Saturday for a block party. Not too hot, but just enough sunshine making its way through the burgeoning ash trees along South Wolcott Avenue in West Englewood. “The men on the block had gotten up early to mow the grass and pick up litter. By […]

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Attention, please. This is a city. Not a war zone.

By Steve Franklin The words we use to describe violence frame how we think about it in Chicago. How? Words create mindsets. They can dehumanize. They can increase the sense of despair, rejection, anger, isolation and withdrawl. Words can enforce the stereotyping that swallows whole neighborhoods under a vast canopy of violence.   Natalie Moore, […]

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Cleaning up the blood

The blood had gushed everywhere, so the paramedic had his hands full cleaning up the ambulance. And he was in a hurry because he said he might have busy night on the streets. Another shooting victim. Another night like the rest. What’s driving the violence, I wondered. It’s guns and business on the streets – […]

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The people want peace…… el pueblo quiere la paz

You stop violence when the community steps forward. And when you heal the community,  you leave no room for violence. That’s the mantra. But how do you get it to work? This video from The Resurrection Project’s You Tube channel gives us a good example of how to do this.(Click on the video above) It […]

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Crime’s Mirage – Getting the Facts

  Violence haunts us. But sometimes it is the image and not the reality that haunts us more. The Pilsen Portal, a local news website, recently took on the challenge of separating truth from image in an excellent example of community reporting. It asked whether their community is as crime-ridden as some say. Here is […]

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The Indelible Stain of Violence

What are these youngster telling us? Haven’t we heard them talk before about their pain? Yes and no. What we sometimes forget is the toll of the violence. The urge for retribution. The indelible stain that marches alongside you at night. The way you shut down your heart and mind and check only if the […]

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Our Chicago: talking solutions

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The Other Numbers About Juvenile Violence

We reach for the stats on murders, and other crimes that stain Chicago. And we use them to tell us what’s happening. Is crime up, or down, or stuck in Chicago? But other numbers matter as well. What percent of the youths coming out of detention centers wind up back in trouble? What percent of […]

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