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COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS HOLD BETTER TOGETHER CAMPAIGN

8/2/2017, noon | Updated on 8/2/2017, noon
More than 2,000 people have been shot in Chicago this year, which is 206 fewer victims than in 2016, according ...
The Rainbow Covenant Economic Development Center, located in the Austin community, held a town hall meeting on July 24, 2017 to collaborate with other organizations and develop strategies to solve Chicago’s gun violence epidemic. Photo Credit: Christopher Shuttlesworth

COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS HOLD BETTER TOGETHER CAMPAIGN

By Christopher Shuttlesworth

More than 2,000 people have been shot in Chicago this year, which is 206 fewer victims than in 2016, according to the Chicago Tribune. As a result of the crisis, some community organizations are fed up with Chicago’s gun violence.

The Rainbow Covenant Economic Development Center, located in the Austin community, held a town hall meeting on July 24, 2017 to collaborate with other

organizations and develop strategies to solve Chicago’s gun violence epidemic.

Spokesperson Karen Clark, who is an Englewood resident, said one of the reasons why Chicago’s gun violence epidemic can’t drastically disappear is due to a

divide among community organizations and leaders.

“Where I live at it is five aldermen in the [Englewood] community but Englewood is number 2 for most gun violence deaths in Chicago,” Clark said.

“So, the five aldermen need to work together not only in their ward, but for the entire Englewood community.”

Clark noted that she invited all 50 city aldermen including Mayor Rahm Emanuel, but only one alderman came to support the organizations’ meeting.

She added, “We decided to do the town hall meeting so that we could become better together with the different agencies, organizations and communities

that are standing for change,” Clark said. “We were stirring up the pot to allow people to open up their minds and start to think and become more aware of the

gun violence.”

Tio Hardiman, who is the former Ceasefire CEO, said as an African American man who was raised in the heart of the ghetto, he believes that African American

men must take a non-traditional approach toward stopping gun violence in Chicago.

“It’s time for African American men to come together and confront their own people,” Hardiman said. “It’s time to address your cousins, sons and nephews in a serious way. I’m not against the police, but you can put most of the police, politicians and community groups in one room for 48 hours and they’re still

not going to find a solution to Chicago’s gun violence.”

He continued to explain that community organizations and citizens must work harder to prevent gun violence in their neighborhoods instead of just responding to the situation after it occurs.

The Rev. Rodney Brown encouraged more citizens to educate themselves on the issue of gun violence and not get caught up in the politics of the issue.

“People are trying to turn this issue into something that it’s not just for political gain and economic reasons,” Brown said. “But we need to be more aware of the citizenry about the issue and vote for people who understand them and not get caught up in the games people play because they keep hurting the community.”

Clark said the town hall meeting was the beginning of a number of meetings that the organizations are planning in order to solve Chicago’s gun violence crisis.

For further information, you can contact Karen Clark at karenclark053@gmail.com.