WBEZ | CeaseFire http://www.wbez.org/tags/ceasefire Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago shootings climb http://www.wbez.org/news/anti-violence-programs-shut-down-chicago-shootings-climb-113266 <p><p>Captured in a documentary that brought national attention to Chicago&#39;s&nbsp;violence, Operation CeaseFire deployed former gang members and felons to intervene in feuds that too often ended in fatal gunfire on the city&#39;s streets.</p><div><p>Now that operation has become another casualty in the financial meltdown enveloping Illinois, even as the city still struggles to stop shootings.</p><p>Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner froze money for CeaseFire, featured in the <a href="http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/interrupters/" target="_blank">2011 documentary &quot;The Interrupters,&quot;</a> as Illinois began running out of money because Democrats passed a budget that spent billions more than the state took in.</p><p>The program was cut off before receiving all of the $4.7 million it was budgeted last fiscal year, and it has gotten no state funding this year as the fight between Rauner and Democrats who lead the Legislature drags on and several programs in&nbsp;Chicagoland elsewhere in Illinois shut down.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/caught-middle" target="_blank"><strong>Hear stories of everyday people Caught in the Middle of Illinois&#39; budget impasse.</strong></a></p><p>Meanwhile,&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;has seen a roughly 20 percent increase in shootings and homicides so far this year compared with the same period in 2014. That included a July 4 weekend that left 48 people shot, including a 7-year-old boy who police say was killed by a shot intended for his father, described as a &quot;ranking gang member&quot; by officers.</p><p>None of those holiday weekend shootings occurred in two police districts covered by a Ceasefire-affiliated program that managed to fund itself for the month of July.</p><p><a href="http://crime.chicagotribune.com/chicago/shootings" target="_blank">The same area saw nearly 50 shootings in August.</a></p><p>Operation CeaseFire supporters say&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;and roughly a half-dozen other current or former CeaseFire communities need all the resources they can get.</p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_136363581679.jpg" style="float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; height: 225px; width: 300px;" title="In this Sept. 30, 2015 photo, Autry Phillips, left, director of Target Area Development in Chicago’s Auburn Gresham neighborhood, talks with area resident Justin Garner, 27, during a walk along 79th Street. Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner froze funding for the anti-violence program Operation CeaseFire because of the state budget crisis, forcing Target Area and other organizations to shut down the program at a time of year when shootings spike. (AP Photo/Sara Burnett)" /><p>&quot;Our kids in our communities are still dying,&quot; said Autry Phillips, executive director of Target Area Development, a nonprofit agency on&nbsp;Chicago&#39;s&nbsp;South Side that had to end its CeaseFire program. &quot;We&#39;re going to do what we can do, but we need funding. That&#39;s the bottom line.&quot;</p><p>Even before the freeze, Rauner proposed cutting CeaseFire funding by nearly $3 million this year.</p><p>His spokeswoman blamed Democrats who have refused pro-business changes sought by the former venture capitalist and first-time office holder, such as weakening labor unions.</p><p>&quot;The governor has asked for structural reforms to free up resources to balance the budget, help the most vulnerable and create jobs,&quot; spokeswoman Lyndsey Walters said this week. &quot;Unfortunately, the majority party continues to block the governor&#39;s reforms and refuses to pass a balanced budget.&quot;</p><p>&quot;The Interrupters&quot; aired as part of the &quot;Frontline&quot; documentary series on PBS and at film festivals across the U.S. The film featured<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXmm0MZLGxY" target="_blank"> three former gang members working to &quot;interrupt&quot;&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;violence</a>, though programs using the model have been implemented in cities nationwide and overseas.</p><p><span style="font-size:9px;"><strong><em>The following video contains explicit language.</em></strong></span></p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/SC1EOm4o_0A?rel=0" width="560"></iframe></p><p>CeaseFire uses an approach founded by an epidemiologist who argued violence should be attacked like a disease &mdash; by stopping it at its source. It&#39;s overseen by <a href="http://cureviolence.org/" target="_blank">Cure Violence</a>, an organization based at the University of Illinois at&nbsp;Chicago&#39;s&nbsp;School of Public Health. Researchers say CeaseFire has reduced gang involvement, shootings, and retaliatory killings.</p><p>But it hasn&#39;t been universally embraced. In 2013,&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Mayor Rahm Emanuel <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/ceasefire-program-shrinking-due-funding-woes-108673" target="_blank">opted not to renew</a> a one-year, $1 million contract for CeaseFire programs in two neighborhoods. The decision followed <a href="http://www.wbez.org/despite-agreement-top-cop-not-big-fan-chicago-anti-violence-group-100027" target="_blank">criticism by&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;police</a> that CeaseFire staff weren&#39;t sharing information or working closely enough with them. Some program members also were getting into trouble of their own.</p><p>Today, programs are operating in six&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;neighborhoods. More than double that number have shut down in the city and in other Illinois communities, including East St. Louis and Rockford, because of funding cuts, said Kathy Buettner, Cure Violence communications director.</p><p>Target Area&#39;s grant was $220,000. Combined with another eliminated grant that helped ex-offenders leaving prison, the state dollars made up 21 percent of the agency&#39;s annual budget, Phillips said.</p><p>In July, Target Area used an anonymous donation to train several hundred people on how to prevent conflicts from escalating into violence. The neighborhood into which they were sent during the July 4 weekend saw none of the dozens of shootings and killings that plagued the city over those days, Phillips said.</p><p>The following month, when funding was gone and programs had ended, there were 46 shootings in the same area.</p><p>Inside Target Area&#39;s office, a large laminated map of the neighborhood hangs on a wall, dotted with stickers of various shapes and sizes that mark the locations where violence has occurred.</p><p>The biggest, red dots indicate the sites of multiple shootings. Phillips sees each one as a failure &mdash; a person his organization couldn&#39;t help.</p><p>&quot;I hate the dots,&quot; he said.</p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 12:06:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/anti-violence-programs-shut-down-chicago-shootings-climb-113266 Morning Shift: October 7, 2015 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-07/morning-shift-october-7-2015-113219 <p><p>It&rsquo;s<a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-07/cubs-looking-launch-themselves-playoffs-113217"> do or die</a> for the Chicago Cubs tonight. To advance to a playoff series with St. Louis, the Cubs first have to beat the Pirates in Pittsburgh. The stakes are high in this one-off, wild-card game.</p><p>Plus, the team&rsquo;s first baseman, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-07/cheryl-raye-stout-goes-1-1-cubs-slugger-anthony-rizzo-113216">Anthony Rizzo</a>, tells the Morning Shift about the day-to-day focus that got him this far.</p><p>Then, Chicago&rsquo;s police superintendent is under fire for his record on crime. We step back to ask: What makes a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-07/what-makes-great-police-commissioner-113215">police chief</a> successful or unsuccessful?</p><p>Also, our weekly shot of soul with Vocalo&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-07/reclaimed-soul-rock-versions-soul-classics-113213">Ayana Contreras</a>.</p></p> Wed, 07 Oct 2015 11:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-07/morning-shift-october-7-2015-113219 CeaseFire Illinois gets new executive director http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-07/ceasefire-illinois-gets-new-executive-director-113214 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/ceasefire web.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>15 years ago on Chicago&rsquo;s west side, the anti-violence organization <a href="http://cureviolence.org/partners/illinois-partners/">CeaseFire Illinois</a> was founded. Its goal was to hit the streets to combat violence.</p><p>People known as Violence Interrupters worked in the most violent communities leading anti-violence marches and conducting conflict mediation between gangs. As a result, many of the areas they saturated experienced a decrease in crime. But things started to shift after state funding began to dwindle, forcing Cease Fire to be less of a presence.</p><p>New Executive Director Mark Payne talks about the plans to get the organization back on the frontlines of violence reduction.</p></p> Wed, 07 Oct 2015 10:47:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-07/ceasefire-illinois-gets-new-executive-director-113214 Ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-09-08/ceasefire-eastern-ukraine-110766 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP801550734731.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Pro-Russian rebels and the Ukrainian government reached a ceasefire last Friday, but shelling over the weekend in Donetsk could threaten the peace. We&#39;ll get an update from Matthew Rojansky, director of the Kennan Institute.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-ceasefire-in-eastern-ukraine/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-ceasefire-in-eastern-ukraine.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-ceasefire-in-eastern-ukraine" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 08 Sep 2014 11:07:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-09-08/ceasefire-eastern-ukraine-110766 Unwelcome summer break for Chicago violence prevention program http://www.wbez.org/news/unwelcome-summer-break-chicago-violence-prevention-program-107959 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Ceasefire_sh.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Every June, Ceasefire sites across Chicago get an email saying that their program will shut down starting July 1st, and until further notice.</p><p>That&rsquo;s because it&rsquo;s the beginning of the state&rsquo;s fiscal year, and there is a gap before when the state sends out money and the organization can process it.</p><p>Many social service programs face a similar funding gap.&nbsp; But Josh Gryniewicz of Ceasefire says that it&rsquo;s particularly challenging for Ceasefire. Summer months are violent and it&rsquo;s when the program&rsquo;s staff, who intervene conflicts, are most needed.</p><p>&ldquo;It just an unfortunate perfect storm,&rdquo; said Gryniewicz.</p><p>In the past, workers have been on hiatus anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months.<br />But Gryniewicz expects this year to be the shortest gap yet. That&rsquo;s because all the ceasefire sites got their budgets in ahead of time and the program is getting help streamlining the budget process.</p><p>A handful of Ceasefire sites with additional funding are still in operation.The program is looking for individual donations to keep other programs open.</p><p><em>Shannon Heffernan is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/shannon_h">@shannon_h</a></em></p></p> Fri, 05 Jul 2013 12:10:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/unwelcome-summer-break-chicago-violence-prevention-program-107959 Head of CeaseFire Illinois charged with battery http://www.wbez.org/news/head-ceasefire-illinois-charged-battery-107468 <p><p>HILLSIDE, Ill. &mdash; Suburban Chicago police say the head of an anti-violence organization is facing a misdemeanor domestic battery charge.</p><p>Hillside Police Chief Joseph Lukaszek says Tio Hardiman was arrested Friday after his wife came to the police station and &quot;presented injuries.&quot;</p><p>Hardiman is the executive director of Ceasefire Illinois, a violence prevention group that interacts with Chicago gang members.</p><p>Lukaszek says Hardiman was arrested at home and will remain in custody until Saturday&#39;s bond hearing in Maywood.</p><p>A spokesman said the organization was &quot;troubled&quot; with the charge and was &quot;looking into appropriate actions.&quot;</p><p>CeaseFire got $1 million from Chicago to help reduce crime in two neighborhoods. A health department spokesman said the city&#39;s waiting to determine if the arrest will have any impact on the partnership.</p></p> Fri, 31 May 2013 13:52:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/head-ceasefire-illinois-charged-battery-107468 Year 25: Ameena Matthews http://www.wbez.org/series/year-25/year-25-ameena-matthews-105541 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F79283061" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>It&#39;s hard to track down Ameena Matthews.</p><p>She&#39;s constantly on call, always ready to keep conflicts in the city&#39;s most&nbsp;<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/ameena.jpeg" style="float: right;" title="(Photo courtesy of Kartemquin Films)" />dangerous neighborhoods from escalating to homicide.</p><p>Matthews is a violence interrupter with <a href="http://cureviolence.org/">CeaseFire Illinois</a>. You may have seen her in the documentary <a href="http://interrupters.kartemquin.com/">The Interrupters</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>During a time where it seems everyone and anyone is talking about gun violence, we thought it fitting to see what Matthews has to say and what she was up to at 25.</p><p>She wasn&#39;t always the one breaking up the fights and trying to keep the peace &mdash; gang life was a big part of her growing up.</p><p>Her father, Jeff Fort, is one of Chicago&#39;s well-known gang leaders. And Matthews will tell you herself, she didn&#39;t think she&#39;d live to see 25, as most of her youth was wrapped up in life on the streets.</p><p>That&#39;s where she begins the story of her 25th year.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 14 Feb 2013 15:39:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/year-25/year-25-ameena-matthews-105541 CeaseFire hosts pre-New Year’s Eve Peace Summit http://www.wbez.org/story/ceasefire-hosts-pre-new-year%E2%80%99s-eve-peace-summit-95195 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-December/2011-12-29/RS4848_AP060201020389-scr.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Three hundred African-American and Latino young men are set to gather Friday for a pre-New Year’s Eve peace summit.</p><p>CeaseFire, the anti-violence group, will host the summit on Chicago’s West Side.</p><p>Illinois Director Tio Hardiman said there’s a lot of conflict currently infecting the streets. The desire is to have the session quell tension before 2012 rings in.</p><p>“We’re doing our best to promote a peaceful New Year’s Eve – and talk to these young guys about not shooting their guns on New Year’s Eve and settling up their differences with other guys. Some of these conflicts are dealing with females as well,” Hardiman said.</p><p>Organizers want the youth to talk about why so many young men are quick to draw their guns. They also expect participants to role-play how to avoid violence.</p><p>Youth often make headlines when there’s violence. Two teens died Tuesday night after gunfire broke out at a Church’s Chicken in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood. Hardiman said despite conventional wisdom, the root of most youth violence is not gang-related.</p><p>“A lot of the violence in Chicago is interpersonal violence and then it spirals into gang-related violence,” Hardiman said. Cliques, or neighborhood crews, inhabit the city.</p><p>Hardiman said the peace summit will also address racial hostility among black and Latino teens who live in the adjacent North Lawndale and Little Village neighborhoods.</p></p> Thu, 29 Dec 2011 21:02:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/ceasefire-hosts-pre-new-year%E2%80%99s-eve-peace-summit-95195 CeaseFire employs public health methodology to fight urban violence http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-24/ceasefire-employs-public-health-methodology-fight-urban-violence-90962 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-August/2011-08-24/gary_slutkin_and_tio_hardiman.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><strong>Listen to this story:<br> <audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483661-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/wv20110824interruptors.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></strong></p><p>The new documentary film <em><a href="http://interrupters.kartemquin.com/" target="_blank">The Interrupters</a> </em>chronicles the groundbreaking and now well-known program called <a href="http://ceasefirechicago.org/" target="_blank">CeaseFire</a>. Founded 15 years ago in Chicago, CeaseFire takes a public health approach to violence, employing former gang members to stop violence before it begins in some of the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods. It’s had remarkable success and has been implemented in cities around the world.</p><p>CeaseFire’s founder, <a href="http://www.cade.uic.edu/sphapps/faculty_profile/facultyprofile.asp?i=gslutkin" target="_blank">Dr. Gary Slutkin</a>, is a local physician and epidemiologist. Dr. Slutkin spent years in Africa with the World Health Organization fighting cholera, tuberculosis and AIDS. It’s through his work fighting communicable diseases in Africa that he came to view violence as a public health problem. We talk with Dr. Slutkin about how his work fighting the spread of disease helped shape the model for CeaseFire.</p></p> Wed, 24 Aug 2011 15:12:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-24/ceasefire-employs-public-health-methodology-fight-urban-violence-90962 Film profiles interrupters of street violence http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-01/film-profiles-interrupters-street-violence-89894 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-August/2011-08-01/Interruptors.jpeg" alt="" /><p><p>Quelling violence on the streets is not just about guns; even petty arguments can push people over the edge. So, some local people, such as <a href="http://www.ceasefirechicago.org/" target="_blank">CeaseFire's</a> violence interruptors, insert themselves into the midst of altercations to prevent dangerous reactions. Filmmaker <a href="http://www.kartemquin.com/about/steve-james" target="_blank">Steve James</a> and writer <a href="http://www.alexkotlowitz.com/" target="_blank">Alex Kotlowitz</a> profiled three such persons in their new film <a href="http://interrupters.kartemquin.com/" target="_blank"><em>The Interrupters</em></a>. The film follows Ameena Matthews, Cobe Williams and Eddie Bocanegra at work.</p><p><em>The Interrupters</em> begins screening next week at the <a href="http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/interrupters" target="_blank">Gene Siskel Film Center,</a> and Steve James and Alex Kotlowitz will be at some of the screenings.</p><p><em>Eight Forty-Eight's</em> Alison Cuddy <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-28/ceasefires-ameena-matthews-works-youth-interrupt-violence-84343" target="_blank">spoke with interrupter Ameena Matthews</a> earlier this spring.</p><p><em>Music Button: Grace Jones, "This Is Dub", from the CD Hurricane, (Pias America)</em></p></p> Mon, 01 Aug 2011 14:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-01/film-profiles-interrupters-street-violence-89894