“From Apathy To Action” is their tagline. Their movement is to approach community ills and violence with active solutions. The slice of hope buried in their pupils barely seep through the thick of fear and worry. And their hearts, their hearts fight to be positive and move beyond the violence and sorrow that plagues their daily existence.
I am referring to youth that have come together to form Chi Anti Vi, a youth-driven initiative under the Community Violence Prevention Collaborative (CVPC) umbrella and parented by Quad Communities Development Corporation (QCDC).
This group of high school students, initially brought together in partnership with The University of Chicago, has now formulated into a peer focus group that pushes forth action to reduce street violence and decrease its effects on youngsters in the Kenwood, Grand Boulevard, and Oakland communities.
Within the first four months of 2014, 95 Chicago murders were reported according to Chicago Police. As I write this article, reports of a14-year-old girl who was murdered by a fellow classmate splashes across the TV screen as we learn more information about the individuals responsible for the weapon and acts that stole her life.
These are the stories that we want to decrease and eventually become non-existent.
Chi Anti Vi is working to research and report community information involving violence in order to keep people alert and aware of the happenings in their neighborhood and surrounding areas. The hope is to also increase and highlight actions taken to combat violence.
Through community meetings held in Bronzeville, CVPC, QCDC, and Chi Anti-Vi will engage teens, parents, professionals, business owners and seniors to talk solutions and create plans of action. Through this open forum voices have a chance to fully speak up and become leaders in this fight against violence.
There are youth who believe that gang violence cannot be eliminated. Chi Anti Vi works to change that perception.
What will it take for people to understand that acting in temporary anger and rage, can have a lifetime effect, not only on those you kill and/or harm, but their families and people who loved them? In addition, your act can quickly shift the course of your life.
Bottom line: No one wins.
The tune that plays every time violence or bullets strike another child, another loved one, will continue to blare out until change is ubiquitous.
Mark you calendars: May 6th parents are invited to the first candid forum designed to connect with youth and work together for better days ahead. The conversation takes place at H-DOGS, 4655 S. King Dr.
Learn more: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 773.268.7232
July 26th, The Bronzeville Resource fair will bring all sectors of the community together for a resource-based community summit.