Editor’s Note: The following article was written by a youth reporter who is a graduate of the Urban Youth International Journalism Program.

I’m from the Ida B. Wells public housing development where there are plenty of stereotypes. We are more than stereotypical, though. We are from an environment that despite its negativity, we have plenty of pride and knowledge. In general, this is a hardworking community that has much more to offer than what they outside world sees. We all aren’t gangbangers, drug users and criminals. This community is striving to move forward and past all of the obstacles in our path. We’re looking to make a change.
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Many times when a person thinks of residents of public housing communities, they think of them as down trodden, hopeless and uneducated, people who have no plans, opinions, or ideals as to how they want to live as individuals or families. The stereotypes are that residents are isolated from society.

The ABLA Local Advisory Council (LAC), along with its president, Deverra Beverly, other concerned residents of ABLA and various city agencies are working hard to erase these negative stereotypes.

Various meetings have been held to keep the residents informed. At these meetings, residents have been allowed to make major input and educated choices as to things that will make the future of the ABLA community a viable one. These things are needed as the transformation of public housing takes place in the years to come. Read more »

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