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Year 25: Ameena Matthews

It's hard to track down Ameena Matthews.

She's constantly on call, always ready to keep conflicts in the city's most 

(Photo courtesy of Kartemquin Films)
dangerous neighborhoods from escalating to homicide.

Matthews is a violence interrupter with CeaseFire Illinois. You may have seen her in the documentary The Interrupters

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.

She wasn't always the one breaking up the fights and trying to keep the peace — gang life was a big part of her growing up.

Her father, Jeff Fort, is one of Chicago's well-known gang leaders. And Matthews will tell you herself, she didn't think she'd live to see 25, as most of her youth was wrapped up in life on the streets.

That's where she begins the story of her 25th year. 

 

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