The murder rate in Chicago is up 50% from this time last year, reaching 250 deaths before June’s close. Bodies, families, and spirits are broken. Those that live, live in shock. What now? Sojourners has begun a series on this latest wave of violence, asking contributors who are “on the ground in Chicago working for change” to discuss real, creative solutions to the epidemic.
Lifting up the work that people of faith are doing around this issue is important to us at PCG, and so we invite you to read through the most recent contribution from Rev. DeShazier of University Church in Chicago, Nursing Trauma: How One Church is Going After Chicago’s Violence Epidemic. Rev. DeShazier argues that access is at the heart of addressing the violence epidemic — not just reducing access to guns or drugs but also helping people to access their trauma:
“This angry and dark world is traumatic for children, and they will grow up angry and dark unless we help them process what they have seen.”
Rev. DeShazier, known to many as “J.Kwest,” is also an award-winning musician and song-writer. He works to expose trauma by unlocking the voices of those living it—in his case, engaging young people in song writing. Please read his thoughts, calling us all to Do Something!