WBEZ | Roseland http://www.wbez.org/tags/roseland Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Standing in the gap: Parents in violent communities stress about keeping kids safe http://www.wbez.org/news/standing-gap-parents-violent-communities-stress-about-keeping-kids-safe-110670 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/kids.PNG" alt="" /><p><p>Fifty school-aged children died so far this year in Chicago. And in at least <a href="https://soundcloud.com/afternoonshiftwbez/arrest-made-in-shamiya-adams-murder">one case</a>, the child was killed while playing inside a friend&rsquo;s home&mdash;a setting that most parents would think is extremely safe. But for many parents living in neighborhoods where violence is a reality, even the most benign settings can feel unsafe and out of control.</p><p>Parents worry. Most never stop worrying about their children. It&rsquo;s a parent&rsquo;s job to protect and provide for their child; to help them grow and develop as individuals. So when a parent&rsquo;s abilities are compromised by things out of their control, it can be overwhelming.</p><p>On the far South Side of Chicago, in Roseland, crime and violence add to parents&rsquo; worries. Parents bite their fingernails in the summer months, when idle time leaves young people vulnerable to dangerous community elements.</p><p><a href="http://crime.chicagotribune.com/chicago/community/roseland">Fifty-five people</a> have been shot in Roseland so far this year; in the last month, there&rsquo;s been more than three dozen batteries and assaults in the neighborhood. The majority of the violent crimes in the neighborhood take place on the street or a sidewalk, which is why many parents say they&rsquo;re leery to send their kids outside to play.</p><p>James Brown, 44, keeps a close watch over his 12-year-old son Semaj. Brown says stories about stray bullets hitting innocent kids is a known factor in the community&mdash;and that the people pulling the triggers don&rsquo;t care who or what they&rsquo;re shooting. And so, Semaj isn&rsquo;t allowed to ride his bike unless his father&rsquo;s outside.</p><p>&ldquo;I just want to be out there...&rdquo; Brown explained, &ldquo;not saying I can protect them from it, I just want to be out there.&rdquo;</p><p>Brown wants to be everywhere when it comes to his only child. And he keeps Semaj very busy.</p><p>&ldquo;Right now, we playing baseball, then after baseball we play basketball...we play football. I have to keep him occupied..hanging out on the block is not an option at all, he knows that,&rdquo; Brown reasoned.</p><p>We. We play basketball, we play football: It would be hard for Brown not to feel like a member of the team, considering he goes to every game and practice.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s hard, it&rsquo;s hard...but I can&rsquo;t give my son to the streets. I can&rsquo;t give him to to the streets. I can&rsquo;t give him to people that act like they care but really don&rsquo;t care,&rdquo; Brown said.</p><p>Brown cares; not just about his son but about all the young men in Roseland. He&rsquo;s worked as a high school football coach in the community for the last two decades.</p><p>&ldquo;I coach football to save lives. I don&rsquo;t coach to be popular to be liked, I could care less if you like me. But it&rsquo;s an option for kids...to change their life,&rdquo; Brown said. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>But Brown felt there weren&rsquo;t any good little league options for his son in Roseland. So he spent the summer driving him to and from Englewood to play on its baseball team. His youngest sister, Victoria Harper Peeples, chose to do the same with her two boys. Both parents recognize the irony in taking their kids from one violent neighborhood to another to play little league.</p><p>&ldquo;People are immune to gunshots nowadays&mdash;as opposed to run for cover, they just sit there and act as if nothing happens&hellip;&rdquo; Harper Peeples lamented.</p><p>&ldquo;Well kids know &#39;hit the deck,&rsquo; wait for the shooting is over with and then get up and walk away. They know that. That&rsquo;s what we teach them. &lsquo;Cause you can&rsquo;t keep &lsquo;em in the house, you can&rsquo;t shelter them&hellip;&rdquo; Brown added.</p><p>Clinical psychologist <a href="http://www.uchospitals.edu/physicians/physician.html?id=6146" target="_blank">Brad Stolbach</a>, with the University of Chicago, has focused his entire career on children affected by trauma and violence. For nearly 20 years, he ran the Chicago Child Trauma Center at La Rabida Children&rsquo;s Hospital on the city&rsquo;s South Side. Stolbach said the constant, real threat of violence in communities like Roseland can be extremely stressful and disruptive.</p><p>&ldquo;If that&rsquo;s your top priority, is watching out and knowing when to hit the deck, it&#39;s very hard to attend to the normal tasks of daily life,&rdquo; Stolbach explained.</p><p>Moreover, Stolbach continued, parents really struggle when they feel like their child&rsquo;s safety is out of their control.</p><p>&ldquo;It&#39;s just the way we&#39;re wired, especially moms, that protecting their children is a biological imperative. It&#39;s the number one priority in a lot of ways. And so feeling powerless to do that, can be not just frustrating but can really affect how you feel about yourself as a parent and as a person.&rdquo;</p><p>And when your kid turns out to be the perpetrator of violence...well, that&rsquo;s tough too.</p><p>Diane Latiker raised eight kids in Roseland. She described her parenting style as overprotective, relentless even.</p><p>&ldquo;I have four sons and when they were growing up, they were in gangs and I knew it. I mean, I tried my best to spearhead them other ways...I mean, I was relentless. But I had to get them away from here...literally, all four of them, to save their lives,&rdquo; Latiker recalled.</p><p>She sent the boys to live with their father in a nearby suburban Bellwood. She thought her worries were nearly over when her youngest daughter was about 13. She could almost see the finish line&mdash;her days of worrying about kids hanging out around the neighborhood were numbered. But it was around that time when Latiker realized, it wasn&rsquo;t just her kids who needed looking after.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;My mom worked; so when I came home from school, the block watched me when my mom was gone. Someone would see me out on the street and say, &lsquo;What are you doing Diane? Where you going Diane? Shouldn&rsquo;t you be in the house?&rsquo; So, you know, I never asked where their parents were or why they weren&rsquo;t doing...I just wanted to know what I could do to help fill in,&rdquo; she remembered.</p><p>Her foundation, <a href="http://www.kobchicago.org/">Kids Off the Block</a>, began with 10 of her daughter&#39;s friends. She invited them into her home and encouraged them to safely explore their interests and potential. Soon there were scores of kids in her living room and off the street. The kids no longer gather in her home, Latiker acquired a space next door. And while the network and foundation has grown, Latiker says the sense of community she remembers from her youth, or the &ldquo;neighbor - hood&rdquo; as she calls it, is still noticeably absent.</p><p>Latiker isn&rsquo;t the only person who thinks so.</p><p>Robert Douglas grew up in Roseland, on 114th and Prairie, in the late 80s and early 90s when the murder rate was double what it is today. Still, Douglas said he felt safer back then.</p><p>&ldquo;We had these backyards, right? That&rsquo;s where the neighbors got to know each other...now, they can&rsquo;t sit on the porch to get a breeze...because of the violence,&rdquo; Douglas said.</p><p>Douglas was a self-described &ldquo;gym rat&rdquo; growing up, which kept him out of trouble...for a while. But then his oldest brother was killed by gun violence.</p><p>&ldquo;My oldest brother was like...daddy. When he left, it was like...you know, hungry...where do we turn now?&rdquo; Douglas recalled.</p><p>Douglas never imagined what that kind of loss might feel like.</p><p>&ldquo;You don&rsquo;t know what it&rsquo;s like until you&rsquo;re burying someone to gun violence. You wouldn&rsquo;t...you could never imagine it,&rdquo; Douglas said.</p><p>He never imagined his response would be to turn to the streets. Douglas said the temptation was unavoidable.</p><p>&ldquo;Violence came to my front door,&rdquo; Douglas began. He rapped a few friendly but firm knocks onto the surface in front of him as he remembered his journey to a life of crime and violence. &ldquo;[Violence] said, &lsquo;Bob, what&rsquo;s up?&rsquo; And I opened the door and I went outside and I played.&rdquo;</p><p>Douglas doesn&rsquo;t want the same fate waiting for his children outside their door...no gangs, no drugs, no violence...none of it.</p><p>&ldquo;Ain&rsquo;t no way in the world I&rsquo;m gonna allow that to happen...and I&rsquo;m not moving out of Roseland. My wife want to go so bad...and she right...my children don&rsquo;t deserve it...they deserve better,&rdquo; Douglas said.</p><p>But Stolbach said it&rsquo;s important to understand that the idea of &ldquo;stopping the violence,&rdquo; is a fantasy until the reality of what causes it&mdash;poverty&mdash;is addressed.</p><p>&ldquo;If we continue to look at how horrible it is but that doesn&rsquo;t result in us trying to change what we&rsquo;re doing about it...that can be demoralizing,&quot; Stolbach explained.</p><p>But when parks and playgrounds are considered an unsafe place to play, when jobs and resources are limited, when neighbors have stopped looking out for one another, giving your kids better is hard.</p><p>And mom Harper Peeples said, it&rsquo;s already pretty tough.</p><p>&ldquo;We like superheroes for our children. Our kids look at us and be like, &lsquo;nothing goes wrong, we don&rsquo;t have any problems, we don&rsquo;t have any worries...&rsquo; But we be stressed out just trying to make sure, did I put them in the right school, did I let &lsquo;em hang with the right friends, did I put him on the right baseball team? There&rsquo;s just so many things that we have to do as parents, and we always put on the spotlight. I mean, it&rsquo;s no chance that mom or dad could make a mistake. We have to be almost like perfect individuals, at least in the sight of our children.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Katie O&rsquo;Brien is a WBEZ reporter and producer. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/katieobez">@katieobez</a>.</em></p></p> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 15:52:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/standing-gap-parents-violent-communities-stress-about-keeping-kids-safe-110670 Morning Shift: Understanding alternative birthing options http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-20/morning-shift-understanding-alternative-birthing <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Birthing - Flickr - sabianmaggy.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We delve into the various types of midwives and birthing methods available to women in Illinois. And WBEZ&#39;s Natalie Moore stops by to explain what happened at a Town Hall meeting in Chicago&#39;s Roseland neighborhood.</p><p><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-47/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-47.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-47" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Understanding alternative birthing options" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p></p> Tue, 20 Aug 2013 08:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-20/morning-shift-understanding-alternative-birthing Programs to keep kids off streets during violent summer may end http://www.wbez.org/news/programs-keep-kids-streets-during-violent-summer-may-end-108294 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Summer Stress 1_130805_kob.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Most kids can&rsquo;t wait for summer; they&rsquo;re itching to get out of school and into the world. But when that world lacks basic resources--like food, shelter and safety--summer could be the scariest time of year.</p><p>On the far south side of Chicago, there&rsquo;s a school that offers an oasis--but its funding might soon run dry.</p><p>And as a recent graduate Abryanna Morris put it, there&rsquo;s really nowhere else for kids to go.</p><p>&ldquo;Kids are involved in gangs because that&rsquo;s the only thing to turn to, at the end of the day. Because there&rsquo;s nothing at all in the Roseland community to do but to go be with a gang...there&rsquo;s nothing for us to do,&rdquo; Morris explained.</p><p>Roseland begins where the Red Line ends. Nearly 20 percent of residents are unemployed. In the last year, more than a dozen people were killed in Roseland.</p><p>Yolanda Lucas has lived in the community for 30 years. She said violence has changed the neighborhood--that it doesn&rsquo;t feel safe or secure.</p><p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s no jobs, there&rsquo;s so much tension out there on the street. Everything is a little...like, panicky. I don&rsquo;t know how to explain it, it&rsquo;s just not comfortable,&rdquo; Lucas said.</p><p>Lucas and her husband have five kids---her babies, twin girls, will be juniors next year at <a href="http://www.fengerhighschool.org/" target="_blank">Fenger High School</a>. They, like many kids in the neighborhood, take a strategic route to school. Along the way, there are safety officers posted in what are called &ldquo;hot zones.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;For my kids, because now they have all this block-to-block gang activity...&lsquo;I don&rsquo;t like 111th, 113th is over here, we don&rsquo;t get along with them...&rsquo;&rdquo; Lucas described. &ldquo;It used to be neighborhood by neighborhood...no, it&rsquo;s block by block: State, Michigan, Wentworth, Yale...all the blocks against each other...so that mean I gotta go around this way to get to school versus going this way,&rdquo; Lucas continued.</p><p>Some likened it to a war zone.</p><p>&ldquo;What&rsquo;s happening in Afghanistan and Iraq is happening in Roseland...there are incidents of post-traumatic stress that our young people are facing,&rdquo; <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/front-center/restoring-roseland-confronting-violence-peaceful-practices-106651" target="_blank">Robert Spicer</a>, culture and climate specialist at Fenger High School, said.</p><p>Spicer&rsquo;s job is to create a culture of peace at a school where high-risk is the norm. He said many kids aren&rsquo;t getting the mental health supports they need to deal with violence-related post-traumatic stress that&rsquo;s going on in the community.</p><p>Spicer and Fenger&rsquo;s principal, <a href="http://www.fengerhighschool.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=123989&amp;type=u" target="_blank">Elizabeth Dozier</a>, both remembered noticing early on in their tenures that things were especially heated before a long break.</p><p>&ldquo;Before Christmas and Thanksgiving breaks, spring breaks, we used to have here in our first couple years, the kids would just fight...what we realized it&rsquo;s the stress, honestly speaking, the stress of, OK so a lot of kids are going to go home, there&rsquo;s not going to be a meal, they&rsquo;re going to go into some really trying situations...we have children living in abandoned buildings; it&rsquo;s real, real deal stuff...&rdquo; Dozier recalled. &ldquo;And so they get stressed out and then that comes out in the form of aggression because they&rsquo;re teenagers.&rdquo;</p><p>And so, she reasoned, that as teenagers, that stress tends to come out in the form of aggression.</p><p>Nearly four years ago, after the particularly brutal death of Fenger honors student Derrion Albert, attention and resources flooded the school. Dozier took a $6-million federal grant and poured it into mentoring, after-school programs, counselors and security officers trained in de-escalation.</p><p>Fenger became an oasis--a safe place full of opportunities for every student.</p><p>Psychiatrist and violence-prevention expert <a href="http://www.psych.uic.edu/ijr/facultymember.asp?p=cbell" target="_blank">Carl Bell</a> said it&rsquo;s not surprising then that Fenger students would be anxious to be out for summer.</p><p>&ldquo;Let me put it to you this way: If I lived in a war zone and I was safe, away from the front lines...and you told me, &quot;OK, time for you to go back to the front lines...I&#39;d be kind of upset,&rdquo; Bell said.</p><p>Which is why Dozier and her team have developed a strategy to deal with summer breaks.</p><p>In the school&rsquo;s teachers lounge, Dozier erected a board with every student&#39;s name on it. Colors and tiers track the kids&rsquo; summer activities. She wanted every kid, especially those who are likely to find trouble, to do something, to remain connected to the school in some way. But even with a strategy in place, Dozier couldn&rsquo;t ensure their safety after leaving the confines of the school.&nbsp;</p><p>A student was shot late one Saturday night or early Sunday morning over one of the summer&rsquo;s early weekends. Dozier was notified by Chicago Public Schools the following Monday morning. She went to the hospital, thinking he might be there--but he wasn&rsquo;t. So then she went to his home...and he wasn&rsquo;t there either. As she was running around the neighborhood looking for him, she got a call from her staff at Fenger--the student was at school.</p><p>&ldquo;He got on his crutches and walked here [Fenger], he wanted to make sure he was here for the program that started on Monday...&rdquo; Dozier said. &ldquo;These programs are important to kids; and you would think a kid like that would be at home, in bed or whatever, but no, he&rsquo;s here. Him and his mom came to the school, made sure he was all set to go...and he was here,&rdquo; Dozier marveled.</p><p>But many of those programs may soon be unavailable. Fenger&#39;s federal grant runs out at the end of August.</p><p>Ideally, Bell said, the playing field would be level and all kids would have the same opportunities. But given the reality in Roseland, he said it&rsquo;s better to have had something--even if only temporarily.</p><p>&ldquo;If there&#39;s a shipwreck and there&#39;s 20 people in the water but only 10 spots on the boat...don&#39;t just leave me in the water: take me on the boat, dry me off, feed me, let me be dry for a couple hours then push me back in the water and get somebody else on the boat. I&rsquo;d rather be on the boat for a minute or two than not be in the boat at all,&rdquo; Bell reasoned.</p><p>He said that getting something gives a person a sense that there is something good out there.</p><p>&ldquo;We&#39;re sorry they can&#39;t stay but knowing that there is a moral order that eventually prevails...an ideal where people are treated fairly is important,&rdquo; Bell said.</p><p>And, Bell emphasized, it is important to continue floating life rafts Roseland&#39;s way to help young people&rsquo;s resiliency.</p><p><a href="http://www.sgayouth.org/" target="_blank">SGA Youth and Family Services</a> has implemented over 300 out-of-school-time activities at Fenger over these past few years. SGA&rsquo;s vice president of programs Ron Migalski, said programs like Safe Passages, are part of their proactive approach.</p><p>&ldquo;We will have well over a dozen staff who are going to be strategically positioned between these elementary schools and &lsquo;hot zones,&rsquo;if you will, where high crime areas are. So, if we have staff put in place from a proactive standpoint, we can overcome some of these impending crises that can develop&rdquo; Migalski said.</p><p>SGA said it is committed to creating a cradle-to-career pipeline in Roseland. A couple of years ago, it received the only federally awarded Promise Neighborhoods planning grant in the state.</p><p><a href="http://www2.ed.gov/programs/promiseneighborhoods/index.html" target="_blank">Promise Neighborhoods</a> is a federal program meant to fund community initiatives to keep kids safe and in school. And Migalski said he is hopeful that SGA will be able to continue its work.</p><p>The Promise Neighborhood Implementation Grant is approximately $30 million over six years.</p><p>&ldquo;We&#39;re optimistic and hopeful. We have the support of nearly the entire community, residents, political leaders at the city, state and federal level. We can clearly justify the need why Roseland over any other,&rdquo; Migalski explained.</p><p>And Dozier said shootings like the one that happened this summer further underscore the need.</p><p>&ldquo;(Her student) was getting off a bus at 114th around, like 9 o&rsquo;clock at night, 9:30 at night and someone, two people came up to him, tried to rob him, take his cell phone and his wallet. And he started to run away and they started to shoot and they wound up shooting him in his foot. Is that wrong place, wrong time, can kids be out late? I don&rsquo;t know anymore...I just don&rsquo;t know,&rdquo; Dozier trailed off.</p><p><em>Katie O&rsquo;Brien is a WBEZ producer and reporter. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/katieobez" target="_blank">@katieobez</a></em></p><p><strong>Crime around Fenger from Chicago Data Portal</strong></p><div><p style="margin-bottom:3px"><a href="https://data.cityofchicago.org/Public-Safety/Crime-around-Fenger-High-School/ub6r-nhvr" style="font-size:12px;font-weight:bold;text-decoration:none;color:#333333;font-family:arial;" target="_blank">Crime around Fenger High School</a></p><iframe frameborder="0" height="646px" scrolling="no" src="https://data.cityofchicago.org/w/ub6r-nhvr/3q3f-6823?cur=oArufQrgQjz&amp;from=qsbvIrRLQIC" title="Crime around Fenger High School" width="760px">&amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;a data-cke-saved-href=&amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;https://data.cityofchicago.org/Public-Safety/Crime-around-Fenger-High-School/ub6r-nhvr&amp;amp;amp;amp;quot; href=&amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;https://data.cityofchicago.org/Public-Safety/Crime-around-Fenger-High-School/ub6r-nhvr&amp;amp;amp;amp;quot; title=&amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;Crime around Fenger High School&amp;amp;amp;amp;quot; target=&amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;_blank&amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;Crime around Fenger High School&amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;</iframe><p><a href="http://www.socrata.com/" target="_blank">Powered by Socrata</a></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 06 Aug 2013 08:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/programs-keep-kids-streets-during-violent-summer-may-end-108294 Changing Roseland http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2013-06/changing-roseland-107691 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/26--1955--South_0.jpg" title="1955--Michigan Avenue at 112th Place--view north (CTA photo)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/26--2013--Michigan%20%40%20112th%20Place.JPG" title="2013--the same location" /></div></div><p>This section of Michigan Avenue runs along the top of a ridge, and was originally a trail used by the native peoples. In the early 20th Century, the State Street streetcar line was extended via Michigan to 119th Street, and a shopping strip developed. That&#39;s a postwar PCC streetcar in the 1955 photo.</p><p>Gately&#39;s Peoples Store, long a fixture on the Michigan Avenue, closed&nbsp;during the&nbsp;1980s. The streetcars have been replaced by buses, too.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 18 Jun 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2013-06/changing-roseland-107691 Restoring Roseland: Confronting violence with peaceful practices http://www.wbez.org/series/front-center/restoring-roseland-confronting-violence-peaceful-practices-106651 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/130412_Restorative Justice 1_ko.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>More than 500 homicides were reported in the city of Chicago last year: 361 of the victims were African-American males; 220 were between the ages of 15 and 24.</p><p>In the fall of 2009, Christian Fenger High School became national news after violence took one of its own. A short while later, the school implemented a program that aims to squash America&rsquo;s culture of violence. It&rsquo;s called restorative justice, and for Fenger, it came after a particularly gruesome death.</p><p>One September afternoon, a fight stemming from an earlier gang-related shooting erupted just blocks from the school. Amateur video of the mob-like brawl showed dozens of people hurling punches, kicks, bottles and bricks at one another. Sophomore Derrion Albert was killed. He was the third Chicago Public School student killed, just a few weeks into the school year.</p><p>Senior Gerald Banks was a class behind Albert. He remembered always being on edge his freshman year. Banks recalled news cameras parked outside of the school every morning and fights every day.</p><p>&ldquo;Everybody had their backs turned, making sure nobody was going to swing,&rdquo; Banks remembered.</p><p>Fenger&#39;s Culture and climate specialist Robert Spicer arrived at the school just two weeks before Albert&rsquo;s death. He referred to Albert&rsquo;s death as rock bottom, noting that the school had well over 375 arrests that year.</p><p>&ldquo;A lot of these young people out here shooting and do all that stuff, they don&rsquo;t want to do this,&quot; Spicer explained.&nbsp;&quot;They don&rsquo;t want to carry a gun. But they feel forced to&mdash;because they feel like nobody out here is going to protect them so they have to protect themselves. So the only way they can be heard and respected is if they carry a gun. That&rsquo;s terrible.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>Fenger needed a new approach&mdash;which is exactly what Spicer was brought there to do; and so he started implementing restorative justice.</p><p>Restorative justice is a philosophy that centers around relationships and trust. It seeks to address the needs of the victim, the wrongdoer and the community. It&rsquo;s also about healing: dressing the wounds many of these children leave raw and bare. The ones that eat at them until they&rsquo;re overcome.&nbsp;</p><p>He saw an opportunity for Fenger to be the game changers to, as he put it, &ldquo;show our society that it&rsquo;s possible to go into an urban environment, introduce these practices and be able to bring civility and sanity back into that school, any school.&rdquo;</p><p>Part of this process takes place in the peace room, just down the hall from the Fenger&rsquo;s main office. There, on the floor, in the middle of the room, is a black and white mat. On it rests &rdquo;talking pieces&rdquo; objects of significance to Spicer and the seniors who serve as peer jurors and help lead peace circles. The pieces are things like stuffed animals, a rain stick, a tree stump...when a member of the circle holds the talking piece, it&rsquo;s their time to talk.</p><p>The peace room is where stakeholders in a conflict can come together to have a summit of sorts. Last week, a group of freshman girls gathered there after gossip got a little too close to a fight. With a potential 10-day suspension on the horizon, Spicer rerouted the girls to a peace circle.</p><p>Spicer told them that the circle was their time to be real. Their time to say what was on their minds. Because, as he put it, no one else was going to give them the time&mdash;not the dean and certainly not the real world.</p><p>&ldquo;You know this is not a game,&quot; Spicer warned.&nbsp;&quot;You know what&rsquo;s waiting for you if you decide to take your attitude and go out here and do stupid, silly stuff&mdash;they ready to send you right up out of here. And that world out there, as cold as it is...it&rsquo;s even colder without an education.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>That&rsquo;s the meat and potatoes right there: The object of the game is to get kids back in class. Because a kid with an education is much more likely to survive.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;People who drop out from high school are much more likely to become gang-involved than those (who) do not. And we know that a very, very important predictor of graduating high school is being able to ready by third grade,&rdquo; <a href="http://www.law.yale.edu/faculty/TMeares.htm" target="_blank">Tracey Meares</a>, the Walton Hale Hamilton Professor of Law at Yale Law School, explained.</p><p>Meares&rsquo; research focuses on crime prevention strategies. She spent a great deal of time looking at the city of Chicago, particularly areas of high crime and poverty.</p><p>Meares subscribes to the idea that violence should be treated like a public health issue, more specifically, like a blood-born pathogen. Therefore the best violence-reduction strategy, as Meares described it, is to identify the people who are central to the network of crime, who occupy important places in densely connected networks, and to intervene to try to get them to stop engaging in violence.</p><p>Almost four years into Fenger&rsquo;s philosophical switch, the rate of freshman on track to graduate rose to between 75 and 85 percent, from around 40. Arrests at school were down. So why not put a peace room in every school?</p><p><a href="http://umojacorporation.org/leadership/staff/ilana-zafran/" target="_blank">Ilana Zafran</a> helps implement restorative justice programs in partner schools around Chicago. She said the biggest problem is patience. People want immediate results but changing a culture and restorative justice takestime.</p><p>The other criticism, Zafran explained, is that people want those who have wronged them to be held accountable. Or more intimately, when confronted, to admit their error and apologize. But, she said, sometimes people aren&rsquo;t ready to admit wrongdoing. And that can be hard.</p><p>Back at Fenger, after the talking piece had been round the circle a few times, one of the freshman girls echoed Meares&rsquo; earlier point.</p><p>She explained that while she might be &ldquo;the coolest, funniest short person you know,&rdquo; if someone had a problem with her, she&rsquo;d just avoid them. Because, she shared, her friend&rsquo;s cousin was shot and killed over some &lsquo;he-said-she-said stuff&rsquo;&mdash;and if her friend had been there, she&rsquo;d be gone too. And she wasn&rsquo;t about to lose her life over something as small as all that. She wanted to be sure the group knew, for her, the situation was over. And asked them to let it go.</p><p>The hope is that young people can learn to let go. That they can squash things before they escalate, before someone raises a hand or a gun. Or that they share senior Ana Muniz&rsquo;s philosophy on fighting.</p><p>&ldquo;You need two people to fight&mdash;I&rsquo;m not available. I&rsquo;m never available. If you want to talk,&rdquo; Muniz clarified, &ldquo;I&rsquo;m available to talk.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>Muniz, who was raised in Mexico, said she already took the lessons she&rsquo;s learned to her family back home. She convened peace circles at her younger sister&rsquo;s school. The hope is that peace circles continue to expand and that what&rsquo;s happening at Fenger will continue to create ripples of peace.</p><p dir="ltr" id="internal-source-marker_0.5029294477684348"><em>Katie O&rsquo;Brien is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/katieobez" target="_blank">@katieobez</a></em></p></p> Mon, 15 Apr 2013 11:18:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/front-center/restoring-roseland-confronting-violence-peaceful-practices-106651 Rally cry for Roseland http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-10/rally-cry-roseland-103428 <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/oldfashionedbox%20Louisa%20Chu.jpg" title="(WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><p>In November 1972, a man named Buritt Bulloch and his wife Mamie decided to open a business in that far South Side neighborhood known as Roseland. He said, &quot;I had heard that Roseland was a good place for family-run businesses.&quot;</p><p>For decades it had been, a thriving area of working-class prosperity, its stretch of Michigan Avenue was second only to downtown State Street as a shopping mecca: Gately&#39;s Peoples Store, Neisner&rsquo;s, Green&rsquo;s Five and Dime.</p><p>Want some furniture? Get it at Bimrose, Hatten&rsquo;s, Bass, Jordan&rsquo;s.</p><p>A movie? Head on over to the State, Parkway or Roseland theaters&hellip;</p><p>Bakeries? How about Ergo&#39;s or Liberty.</p><p>Taverns? Plenty&hellip;The Venice Inn, Parisi&#39;s, Knotty Pine, Pete &amp; Mames, The Macombo&hellip;</p><p>People in Roseland worked hard and wanted the best for their kids: Two of those kids made it very big.</p><p>Dennis DeYoung formed the band that would be Styx, and sell some 40 million albums, in a band that began in Roseland garage.</p><p>My guest later in the show, Robert Zemeckis, director of such films as <em>Back to the Future</em>, <em>Forrest Gump</em>, <em>Cast Away</em> and F<em>light</em>, opening next Friday, shot home movies as a kid in Roseland.</p><p>But things change; and by the time Bullouch and his wife moved into Roseland in 1972, it was on the downward spiral that now finds it one of the city&rsquo;s beaten up sections, punctuated by violence, peppered with abandoned homes&hellip;slim on opportunity.</p><p>But as in many other of the city&rsquo;s downtrodden areas&mdash;Austin, Englewood come quickly to mind&mdash;there are good and honest and hard-working people in Roseland. And there are always signs of hope.</p><p>Bulloch&rsquo;s business is still there, at 11248 S. Michigan Ave. Bulloch&#39;s business was and is making doughnuts and there are those who will tell you that Old Fashioned Doughnuts makes the best.</p><p>Naturally, Bulloch likes to hear such praise.</p><p>He says: &quot;I have a lot of loyal customers. A lot of people who moved away still come back here for their doughnuts.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p>From the beginning Bulloch also operated a grill, serving hot dogs, hamburgers and other food; he also has shakes and ice cream.</p><p>Why? &quot;Some people, they don&#39;t have as big a taste for doughnuts when it&#39;s 95 degrees.&quot;</p><p>Bulloch is a native of northern Mississippi. He learned to make doughnuts during the many years he worked here for the Amy Joy Company. He saved his money. He opened his shop. Unlike many small business owners, Bulloch is not resentful of the larger chains that cut into their territory.</p><p>He says: &quot;Oh, that Dunkin&#39; Donuts was around here long before I opened. They make a pretty good doughnut. And even that Krispy Kreme, they started a long time ago in the South.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p>Krispy Kreme has all but destroyed Bulloch&#39;s once-thriving business with local schools, which used to buy dozens of his doughnuts for fund raisers.</p><p>&quot;But that&#39;s okay,&quot; Bulloch says. &quot;They don&#39;t make a bad doughnut but some people think they are sort of on the small side.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p>Bulloch&#39;s doughnuts are comparatively huge and as good as you will find anywhere. That&#39;s the reason he sells 200 dozen a day.&nbsp;</p><p>His secret?&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;Just hard work, I guess,&quot; he says.</p></p> Thu, 25 Oct 2012 16:18:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-10/rally-cry-roseland-103428