As residents of Chicago, many of us feel overwhelmed by the constant drumbeat of news and personal experiences of interpersonal and structural violence.
In 2012, we learned from Census data that the poverty rate in Chicago has continued to increase. For example, the child poverty rate in the city rose from 33.1 percent in 2010 to 35.8 percent in 2011. The extreme poverty rate rose from 10 percent to 11.2 percent (source). The poverty is concentrated in black & brown communities in Chicago which means that it is all too often ignored. Poverty is violence.
In 2012, there was a police shooting of a civilian about once a week. These were 50 shooting incidents involving 57 individuals (8 of whom were killed). The vast majority of those people shot by the police were black (about 88%). 3 of those shot were identified as Latino (source). This too is violence.
More than half of Chicago public school closings announced since 2001 occurred in the 21 majority black or Latino communities on the South, Southwest, and West sides with the highest numbers of youth homicides (source). This too is violence.
Between July 2011 and June 2012, over 700 victims of sexual violence were served by rape crisis centers in Chicago hospitals (source).
In 2012, 506 people were killed in Chicago; this represented an 11% increase over 2011 (source).
Some of us feel powerless in the onslaught of violence. But we can use our voices to speak out about how we feel about what’s happening in our city. We invite Chicagoans of all ages, all races, orientations, genders, and communities to share how you feel about what’s happening in our city with respect to violence IN ONE SENTENCE.
The voicemail for this project is now closed. Thanks to everyone who shared your messages with us.
Our goal was to provide a forum for those who want to share their voices with others. We envisioned this project as a collective uproar, a “primal” scream, and potentially an emotional catharsis for those of us who live in Chicago in this moment in history.
Below is a very short preview of some of the calls that we received.
You can listen to the final edited audio collage here.