WBEZ Chicago To Chicago Youth: What would it take to roll back gun violence?

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Kristin Monroe
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kmonroe@grisko.com                                                  

WBEZ Chicago To Chicago Youth:  What would it take to roll back gun violence?

Every Other Hour project uncovers dramatic stories, looks for answers to               
Chicago’s gun violence epidemic

CHICAGO (Sept. 27, 2017) – A former gang member talks about the adrenaline rush he felt after shooting at someone for the first time at age 13. A determined 15-year-old recounts her experience saving the life of a gunshot victim. These are just some of the compelling stories from the frontlines of Chicago’s gun violence being told through WBEZ’s Every Other Hour project. In a city experiencing increased violence, this enterprising journalism project digs into the question: who picks up a gun in Chicago and why?

Every Other Hourfeatures in-depth stories of the Chicagoans most affected by violence, from victims and shooters to medical professionals and neighborhood advocates. The multi-platform project from the non-profit news organization features radio stories, articles, videos, infographics and community discussions. Many of the stories also aired nationally on NPR’s “All Things Considered” program.

In an attempt to shape the conversation about what it would take to curb violence in the city, WBEZ is hosting a free, youth-inspired event at the Renaissance Collaborative in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood on Oct. 12 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Young Chicagoans who have been affected by gun violence will share a stage with local artists to tell their stories. Jill Hopkins, host of WBEZ’s sister urban alternative music station Vocalo, and WBEZ reporter Patrick Smith will co-host the program, as young speakers take on topics ranging from police accountability to the importance of jobs and mental health resources in combating gun violence.

“Too often, media coverage of gun violence in Chicago treats the issue like a box score – tallying up the number of people shot and killed in a way that leaves people desensitized,” said Tricia Bobeda, WBEZ’s Senior Editor of Digital. “We wanted to hear and tell more real stories — stories that shake people from their entrenched assumptions.”

“This project has reinforced that young people are at the heart of the good coming out of the same communities where we see much of this violence taking place,” said Cate Cahan, Every Other Hour’s lead editor. “They have real ideas that can spark meaningful change. We wanted to provide an opportunity for engaged Chicagoans to be able to listen to and learn from them.”

Entertainment at the Renaissance Collaborative event will be provided by local performers including the Growing Concerns Poetry Collective.Following the program, audience members are encouraged to continue the conversation, form connections and share tools, resources and opportunities.

The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited. To attend, please RSVP at wbez.org/events. To learn more about Every Other Hour, visit http://interactive.wbez.org/everyotherhour/.

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About WBEZ Chicago

WBEZ 91.5 is Chicagoland’s premier media hub for high quality, fact-based journalism and engaging, entertaining audio programs and podcasts. WBEZ’s award-winning investigative journalists ask tough questions, dig deep for answers and expose truths that spark change. WBEZ Chicago is home to two daily local programs, The Morning Shift and Worldview, and a growing portfolio of popular podcasts, including Nerdette, Sound Opinions, and Making Oprah. WBEZ Chicago also co-produces the ground-breaking and nationally-acclaimed programs This American Life, Serial, and Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me!

Download the WBEZ app, available in theApp StoreandGoogle Play. Learn more about WBEZ Chicago, our award-winning programming and on-demand digital content atwbez.org, or follow us on FacebookorTwitter.