Chicago Park District Presents: “The Blueprint: Teen Summit & Forum”



The Chicago Park District will hold a free event for teens ages 13-19 on the city’s west side. The summit will consist of workshops, panel discussions, spoken word and dance performances, and more.

In addition to providing a plethora of resources for urban teens, “The Blueprint” will feature interactive conversations that teens face daily such as violence, economic strife and peer pressure. 

BREAKING: 3 shot outside Pittsburg high school

Three teens were shot as students were dismissed from a Pittsburgh school Wednesday afternoon.

Police, including members of the SWAT team, surrounded Brashear High School in the town’s Beecview community following the shooting.

From Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Major crimes unit Lt. Kevin Kraus said [four] people are being taken to headquarters to be questioned by homicide detectives. He did not clarify their connection to the investigation.

Community members hold funeral to “bury violence in Newark”

newark morts copy

The murder rate in Newark, N.J., has risen dramatically. The city is considered one of the most dangerous in the country, despite Mayor Cory Booker’s oversight and crime reduction measures.

Violence among youth of color is particularly prevalent, with Newark being recently rated in the top 10 murder capitals.

While the violence appears to not be ceasing, community members and activists in the city are making a powerful statement: by holding a funeral to bury violence in the city.

Graduation: Voices and Images of Chicago Youth Violence

This is an introduction to a series of ongoing posts featuring youth voices and images from Graduation, a multimedia project about Chicago youth violence. I hope to create a collection of youth voices working to create positive change, break negative stereotypes and provide insight into Chicago violence while challenging current social issues.


In 2010 I began collecting newspaper clippings about Chicago youth violence, and the growing number of youth killings haunted me. I knew I wanted to do something but I wasn’t sure what kind of impact I could make.  In 2011 reality struck closer to home when my cousin Cam was killed to gun violence.  Although Cam wasn’t a youth, seeing the grief and irreversible devastation my family experienced made my urge to make a difference stronger.

Radio piece explores invisible gang lines


If you grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, then you know about the invisible border.

It’s a well-known line that doesn’t have to be etched in white chalk, because its existence lies deep within the eyes of everyone living in gang territory.

Gangs are particularly prevalent in Chicago, and the Little Village community is no exception.

Jacqueline Serrato is an alum of the Vocalo storytelling workshops. In her piece, “Border Mentality 26th Street,” she outlines the very real “invisible line” and its affects on the lives of citizens.

Fifth man charged in mass shooting at Chicago park

A fifth man has been charged in connection to a mass shooting that injured 13 people including a 3-year-old child.

David Logan, 22, was arrested Wednesday and charged with unlawful use of a weapon and obstructing justice.

The incident took place in the Back of the Yards neighborhood on September 19 during a basketball tournament a local park.

From DNA Info:

Four other men have been charged in the shooting, which rattled the city and provided leaders another opportunity to decry gun violence in Chicago. Three-year-old Deonta Howard was shot in the face as the five men – Bryon Champ, 21;Tabari Young, 22; Brad Jett, 22; Kewane Gatewood, 20, and Logan – allegedly sprayed Cornell Square Park with an assault rifle, aiming for rival gang members. Police say Champ was the ringleader, hoping to exact revenge against Gangster Disciples who shot him in the leg earlier that day.

Gun Violence: Not Just A Black Peoples’ Problem

The conversation about violence is exacerbating; but it must be talked about until it’s no longer an issue. Do I think we can live in a world without gun violence? No. But it can be lessened. In order to decrease the frequency of gun violence in urban communities we must first give a damn. This isn’t a self-contained problem that just affects communities where it is most rampant. It’s a world-wide issue.

4 Charged in Massive Shooting That Wounded 13

Four men have been arrested and charged in connection with the mass shooting that wounded 13 at a Chicago Park Thursday evening.

According to police, Byron Champ, 21 and Tabari Young, 22 fired into a crowd as Brad Jett, 22, acted as a watchman.

From The Los Angeles Times:

Police said the motive for the mass shooting appears to be retaliation for a shooting hours earlier that grazed one of alleged gunmen, police said. Police said Kewane Gatewood, 20, is believed to have supplied the gun Young used, which McCarthy described as “military-grade.” The four are charged with attempted murder and battery with a firearm.

Read more at The Los Angeles Times

The shooting took place at Cornell Park located in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood.

3-year-old Deonta Howard was among those wounded during the shooting. He is recovering from the bullet that entered his ear and exited his cheek.

No bond has been set for the four men charged with the crime.

We will keep updating you on this developing story.

Thoughts on the shooting?

Sound off below!


J. Cole Releases Video In Memory of Slain Child

Rapper J. Cole just released the video for his hit single “Crooked Smile,” Ft. TLC and he’s dedicating it to the memory of 7-year-old Aiyana Jones.

Jones was killed when Detroit police raided her home in 2010.

From Noisey:

Directed by Sheldon Candis, the R&B group do not appear in the music video. J. Cole plays a drug dealer who has his family over to celebrate his baby sister’s birthday. During the night, DEA agents raid his house. His sister is accidentally shot and killed during the raid.

Read more at Noisey

“Crooked Smile” appears on J. Cole’s second album Born Sinner. 

Thoughts on the video?

Should artists, rappers in particular, use their work to highlight the injustices black youth face more frequently?

 Sound off below!