More than 80 people were shot in Chicago over Fourth of July weekend. 15 of the victims have died. Residents in the city are fed up with the senseless violence, but many feel helpless.
But members of the BYP100 are taking a stand against the tragedy, even if it means being in the thick of it. During an interview with NPR, BYP100’s National Coordinator Charlene Carruthers explained how the organization is combating the violence, and that it’s very personal.
I live in the Bronzeville neighborhood on the south side of Chicago. I was born and raised on the south side of Chicago. And for us, whenever these numbers are reported, it’s much bigger than just numbers. They’re people. They’re families behind these numbers. They’re people of all colors behind these numbers. But we know that our community – we have – being the black community here in Chicago, it’s very personal for us. You know, we have a lot at stake. And when we think about the young people who are actually involved in violence in our communities, we also have to really look at why – like what’s the root cause of which happening here? These are young people who don’t have access to quality, consistent public education. These are often young people who don’t have access to good jobs. And if it’s not them, then folks in their families who don’t also have access to good jobs, so the problem is it’s much bigger. And for us and for me and the people that I work with, it’s another moment of this narrative about black and brown people, this so-called destroying themselves and so-called destroying the city. And it really pushes the narrative that we – that we don’t necessarily know what to do. And that’s not true.
The Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) is committed to working with young people to get them involved in addressing community issues that affect them, including violence and criminal justice.
Carruthers is correct. It is very personal. And until more people recognize that, we will continue to struggle in our fight to combat violence.
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