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Nuf Said: Will Violence Finally Stop?

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Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in the Urban Youth International Journalism Program in partnership with Imagine Englewood If, a youth services organization based in that South Side neighborhood:

The young journalists at an event for the youth media project Nuf Said on Oct. 27 talked about violence and how they could get shot any day. In a video screened at the event in Pilsen, a girl named Cookie told her story: how people get killed in our communities, and how they can’t build new houses without the windows getting blown out or busted. In the video, “Cookie’s Story,” produced by Community TV Network, she tells us how she saw someone die when she was only seven years old. At the end of the video, her friend started rapping about violence to teach people about violence and that they should stop the killing.

Youth from Community TV Network led the discussion after the video, and asked the participants if they have had similar experiences to Cookie’s story. Everyone agreed that they had, describing different problems in the communities, including violence, disrespect from police and politicians, poor schools and even litter.

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Youths Testify for Alternative Schools

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“Without funding schools like Bronzeville that are central to the development of the city’s youth, we’ll fail. There won’t be a future without us,” said Keidra Williams, a junior at the Bronzeville Academic Center, to State of Illinois officials during a public hearing on January 9 at the Chicago Urban League.

Bronzeville junior high school student Keidra Williams, (right) talking to Illiniois legislators about the importance of funding alternative high schools for students who dropped out of public schools, during the public hearing on the national youth joblessness and high school drop out rate at the Chicago Urban League on January 9, 2009.
Photo by Mary C. Johns

Williams was one of several students to testify on national youth joblessness and the high school dropout crisis. A student at Bronzeville, an alternative high school at 220 W. 45th Place, Williams added that schools like hers “need more funding to promote achievement of its students.”
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