Intervention, investment key to stopping Chicago violence at the source

Leah Hope Image
Tuesday, July 7, 2020
Anti-violence groups work to heal neighborhoods, stop violence at its source
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The impact of violence on the thousands of residents who hear the gun shots, who walk past crime tape does not get the same attention.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The devastation of violence in Chicago is evident, but its impact on the thousands of residents who hear the gun shots and walk past crime tape doesn't get the same attention.

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"Their behavior affects the world, not just Englewood," said Asiaha Butler, co-founder of the Resident Association of Greater Englewood (RAGE). "It affects people in New York to see a baby dying, it affects the mothers, the uncles. It affects people who are in jail and did the same thing, and are now seeing their nephews out here doing the same things."

Butler co-founded RAGE in 2010 after a series of violent incidents.

"It's people all around, block by block, that are doing things to keep their house safe, their community safe," she said. "They are reaching out to some of these young people, they are praying for some of these young people. It's just that it's going to take deeper interventions."

Intervention and investment in small business owners in the community are key, Butler and other advocates say. Butler said those small business owners are the very people from the community who can connect with young people and offer real opportunity."

Jahmal Cole of My Block, My Hood, My City offered micro-grants to those working on peaceful events over the holiday weekend.

"Four hundred years of disinvestment can't be erased over one weekend of activism," he said. "We are not going to give up. We're going to keep moving forward."

There is hope that perhaps deeper work will eventually lead to safer communities for more residents."