Zakat Foundation Community Center-Chicago (ZFCCC) held neighborhood strategic planning meetings on gun violence on January 17th and 18th. These meetings took place as part of a national effort involving community centers, faith institutions and grassroots organizations to bring attention to the problem of gun violence.
Concerned individuals from throughout Chicago gathered at ZFCCC in the South Shore neighborhood, an area that has seen more than its share of gun violence, to engage in a passionate conversation regarding our children and the future of our communities. Although opinions varied on the issue of gun ownership, all agree that gun violence is an epidemic that must end.
“We used to jump when a car backfired or a firecracker popped,” one participant noted. “Now we keep about our business even when it’s a gunshot. We must regain our sensitivity.”
The following points were agreed on as a beginning.
- Employment Training
- Research successful violence prevention programs
- Provide Violence Statistics
- Strengthen Neighbor Relationships
With more than 500 murders reported in 2012, Chicago is being called the murder capital of the USA. Many of those killed are 15- to 24-year-old African Americans from the community that ZFCCC serves. More than 30,000 people are killed by firearms in the USA each year, with one third of them under the age of 20 years old.
The group plans to continue the conversation once a month at the ZFCCC Third Sunday, “Putting The ‘Neighbor’ Back In The Hood” from 1:00 to 3:00 pm at the ZFCCC. Contact [email protected] for more details.