WBEZ | Father Chuck Dahm http://www.wbez.org/tags/father-chuck-dahm Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Long Hot Summer: Getting kids off the corners—and back to church http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/long-hot-summer-getting-kids-corners%E2%80%94and-back-church-100596 <p><p><em>Summer after summer, Chicagoans are consumed by violence and a seemingly exponential murder rate. And, it seems, summer after summer, we talk about the need for whole families, better education, jobs and police boots on the ground&mdash;yet, the cycle continues. This year, </em>Afternoon Shift <em>hopes to move beyond the headlines in hopes of better understanding the violence&mdash;it roots and possible remedy&mdash;through frank, forward-thinking, holistic conversations in a series we&rsquo;re calling, </em>Long Hot Summer.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/stop%20the%20violence%20flickr.jpg" title="(flickr/Zol87)" /></div><p>Author and <em>Chicago Sun-Times</em> columnist <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/fountain/index.html" target="_blank">John Fountain</a> has been writing about violence in Chicago since he was a cub reporter at the <em>Chicago Tribune</em> in 1989&mdash;though he&rsquo;d been living the beat long before that. Fountain grew up on Chicago&rsquo;s West Side, in K-Town. There, he was exposed to poverty and its symptoms: drugs, broken homes, gang violence and crime. But he knew he wanted to make a difference. Part of that, he says, was his Pentecostal upbringing; Fountain&rsquo;s grandfather was the pastor of the True Vine church. Fountain went on to become a deacon in the church and maintains that faith holds the answer to so many problems.</p><p>&ldquo;When the church moves beyond its doors, it can do incredibly powerful things,&rdquo; Fountain said.</p><p>It did for Fountain: A father at 17, a college dropout at 19, a welfare case soon after, Fountain nearly lost all hope. But faith, he wrote in his <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1586480847?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=truvin-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=1586480847" target="_blank">memoir</a>, was his own true vine.&nbsp;</p><p>Fountain says the faith community remains a vital part of the black community. &ldquo;In some ways,&rdquo; he explained, &ldquo;it is an overweight, cumbersome, sleeping giant that needs to get fit&hellip;and return to the business of doing good work.&rdquo;</p><p>Fountain shared his thoughts on <em>Afternoon Shift&rsquo;s</em> most recent <em>Long Hot Summer</em> conversation. Also joining the conversation was Father Chuck Dahm, who has been at <a href="http://stpiusvparish.org/" target="_blank">St. Pius</a> in Pilsen for more than 25 years, and <a href="http://lawndalechurch.org/thafirehouse.html" target="_blank">Pastor Phil Jackson</a>, aka the &ldquo;hip hop pastor,&rdquo; who organizes various youth-centered programs in the Lawndale community.</p></p> Mon, 02 Jul 2012 15:28:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/long-hot-summer-getting-kids-corners%E2%80%94and-back-church-100596