A solution for Chicago's murderous violence?

Have we run out of ways to stop the gang warfare and the drug trafficking that incites it. A long-time community activist, Steve Sewall, has come up with something called "transformative media" which he describes here.

He asks: Why has Chicago lost three generations to drugs and gangs?

Chicago has yet to realize that gangs and drugs, while a massive problem of criminal justice, is equally a massive problem - a fatal breakdown - of communication in communities and between young people and adults.

Chicago's criminal justice and public health systems urgently need the involvement of a third system - Chicago's public communications system, its media - whose interactive resources alone will generate the communication that's critical to a solution.

Steve runs the Chicago Civic Media Project, whose mission he described as:

  • To change the culture into which young people come of age in Chicago and elsewhere in our media-driven society,
  • To create a civic media and a civic culture that makes young people and adults (and citizens and government)responsive and accountable to each other in defining and solving youth-victimizing problems like drugs, teen pregnancy, and illiteracy,
  • To develop the technical capacities and problem solving capabilities of this civicmedia to the point where communities nationwide can see it and replicate it,To close the destructive and deadly generation gap that emerged as a national problem in the 1960's along with network television and the nation's drug problem.

Steve is one of those "outside the box" thinkers that I have known for years, someone who has the city's best interests at heart. Steve will be fashioning his ideas in the coming weeks and months, and I'd suggest you follow him.

 

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    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

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