Monday, June 16, 2008

Two more takes on youth violence

Photo by Alex Fledderjohn

A big event took place at United Center this weekend as the Near West Side Community Development Corporation kicked off its Safe Summer Basketball League. A table next to the stage was covered with 30 pairs of gym shoes, representing the youth lost to violence this school year in Chicago. Earnest Gates delivered a heartfelt speech about this loss to society, and how youth can choose the "shoes of success" instead.

The league's games will be played on Thursday afternoons at Crane High School, where 18-year-old Ruben Ivy was killed on March 7. Check out the speech below.

Another take comes from Community Beat contributor Maureen Kelleher and Gabrielle Lyon in a story from Catalyst-Chicago about Jason Gill, a boy whose curiosity and drive wasn't enough to escape gang violence in his Back of the Yards neighborhood.

"Putting people on the street who know the neighborhood and are trained to interrupt violence works," wrote Kelleher and Lyon. "How many more times will we leave young men like Jason Gill to play the odds before we have the strength to do what we know is right?"

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