The economic costs of violence in Chicago: $2.5 billion each year
Syron Smith during a meeting with teens that he mentors.
Last year, Chicago had 506 homicides, the most since 2008. Per capita, that's worse than both New York City and Los Angeles. In January, 42 people were killed, setting a pace that would surpass 2012. In fact, gun violence is actually down across the city overall since the early '90s. But certain neighborhoods on the South and West sides of the city have been decimated by violence -- neighborhoods like Englewood. And it's not just the people who are suffering.
The economy of Englewood has also been devastated. At one time, 63rd Street, a major east-west thoroughfare across the heart of Englewood, was a vibrant economic strip anchored by major department stores like Sears. Today, most major retailers, including the big grocery chains, have abandoned the area. Vacant lots, empty buildings and boarded-up businesses now dot the landscape where thriving enterprises once operated.
It's not just 63rd Street. The same is true of just about any other commercial street in Englewood and many of the residential areas in the South Side as well. One reason is that Englewood has one of the highest homicide rates in the city. It also has one of the highest unemployment rates. Forty percent of the people who live there are unemployed. And for those who do work in Englewood, dealing with violence has now become part of the job.
"One thing that happens when violence is driving people and business out of the city is that it obviously reduces the tax base, which denigrates the ability of the city government to address the violence problem, which generates more violence, which drives out more tax base," Ludwig says.
"So that's a very unfortunate cycle. What you wind up with in some of these very disadvantaged neighborhoods is even bigger concentrations of poverty, and all of that further fuels the risk of violence in the neighborhoods," he says. Ludwig estimates that the total social cost of violence in Chicago is $2.5 billion each year.
Syron Smith is an exception to that rule. The 37-year-old office manager owns a home near Englewood with his wife, Jamika, and their 15-month old daughter, Mariah. Smith may be middle-class now, but he grew up in high rise housing projects -- mostly black, mostly poor -- and definitely violent. "I was born in '75, so I remember at 6 years old , which was '81, asking my mom, 'Why were blacks killing each other?'" says Smith.
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Advice to President Barack Obama for
His State of the Union Address
from a Relative of Victims of Violence
Kimberly Johnson is a suppporter of The Black Star Project
Calling All Fathers, Stepfathers, Foster Fathers, Grandfathers, Godfathers, Uncles, Brothers and Male Caregivers!
The Black Star Project's
Million Fathers Club
to see the best
Men's College Basketball (FREE)
Saturday, February 16, 2013
6920 North Mannheim Road
Game starts at 12:00 noon
Call Ivory at 773.285.9600 to pick up tickets
Please call 773.285.9600 to RSVP or for more information about this game. Men and women of all races, ethnicities and faith backgrounds may and should attend this event with their children.
Join Black Star Members for a Free Special Showing of SNITCH
on Thursday, February 21, 2013
This is a "members only" event
In the fast-paced action thriller, Dwayne Johnson stars as a father whose teenage son is wrongly accused of a drug distribution crime and is looking at a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 10 years. Desperate and determined to rescue his son at all costs, he makes a deal with the U.S. attorney to work as an undercover informant and infiltrate a drug cartel on a dangerous mission -- risking everything, including his family and his own life.
Please call Ivory at 773.285.9600 to RSVP or form more information. Members only. Become a member!
Click Here to see a trailer of SNITCH
In New Jersey, there is a Dollar Store owned by African Americans ready to expand across the country and into your community?
Elizabeth, New Jersey - There's a new dollar store in town, and its owner may be seen yanking up her gates every morning to prepare for a grateful flow of local customers.
For Black History Month,
Saint Sabina Brings in the Top Theorist and Practicioners in the Country to Address Issues in Our Communities
Please call Saint Sabina for more information at 773.483.4300.
Fathers and Families
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
The Black Star Project
3509 South King Drive
$3.00 per player (scholarships available)
Chess has been proven to enhance:
Please call 773.285.9600 for more information.
There are those who cry, complain and lament the destruction of Black boys in the American education system and, on the other hand, there are those who do something about it.
In February 2013, 50 Saturday Universities will open around the country that will focus on best practices for teaching Black boys and young men. We need you to open a Saturday University in your school, church, community or city for Black Boys and young men?
Here is why you need a Saturday University for Black Boys.
Low educational achievement among Black boys and young men feeds high educational failure, high unemployment, high incarceration, a propensity towards violence and high mortality in Black boys and young men. Please call 773.285.9600 to get a free organizing guide and technical assistance to start a Saturday University in your school, church, community or city.