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c/o Project Nia & Interrupting Criminalization

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[Chicago CRED]


Location: Chicago, IL

Organization: UCAN +

Contact: info@ucanchicago.org

︎ Does not collaborate with police
︎ Offered at no cost to participants
Residents of North Lawndale and Little Village — also known as South Lawndale — have united under a banner of One Lawndale.

Violence interrupters helped ease tensions when anti-Black violence erupted in some predominantly Latino communities at the start of June.

As soon as the attacks began, violence interrupters from social service organizations — including UCAN, EnLace and Chicago CRED — used their longterm relationships to bring those at risk of engaging in violence to the bargaining table to end the conflict. The outreach workers have years-long relationships and credibility with many of the people on the street in each community.

“At the end of the day all we trying to do is guide them to the right thing. But I come from the life that they come from,” said Reggie Woods, a street outreach worker with UCAN. “So they’re not looking at me like I’m a guy who’s telling them not to do something that I ain’t did already. Or go down a street I ain’t went down already.”

Woods said the outreach workers and those involved in gangs understand the history of racial tensions between Lawndale and Little Village. They knew that at the drop of a hat, the violence seen earlier this month could have escalated, so they all agreed to seek peace and unity.

Excerpted From: How Violence Interrupters Brokered An End To Anti-Black Attacks In A Latino Neighborhood, Pascal Sabino, Block Club Chicago, June 16, 2020