As gun violence continues to plague Chicago’s south and west sides, Illinois Gubernatorial candidate and violence interrupter Tio “Mr. CeaseFire” Hardiman is joined by social activist and journalist Gregg L. Greer in finding solutions for Chicago’s rampant political
corruption, police brutality, and murderous environment.
The two are featured in ‘The Chicago Way,’ a new documentary showing how violence affects the victim’s families and how neighborhoods are standing up and speaking out against violence. The film will be presented during the Black Harvest Film Festival at the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 164 N State St., tonight, August 28, 2017, at 8p.m., and Wednesday, August 30th at 8p.m. Hardiman is one of the films producers.
Since creating the award-winning CeaseFire initiative in 2004, Hardiman, a Democrat, has been dedicated to combating problems of violence and corruption in nation’s third largest city. And while there has been a spike in gun violence over the past few years, CeaseFire has been scientifically proven to reduce shootings and killings.
Hardiman and Greer teamed up with film director Don Washington to present ‘The Chicago Way.’ The documentary gives a glimpse of what it is like to take part in anti-violence efforts in Chicago, and it highlights the heartache of parents that have lost their children to gun violence.
“I am fed up with this nonsensical violence and the lack of effort being taken by our city officials to reduce it,” said Hardiman.
This platform launched Hardiman into Illinois’ 2018 Gubernatorial race, a race he believes should prioritize issues of violence, racism, and discrimination that disproportionately affect the black and brown communities of Chicago.
“Visualize for a moment that unforgettable image of small red dots spreading across a computer-generated map of Chicago,” Hardiman says. “The map is symbolizing the spread of the most terrible epidemic — with each tiny red dot representing a murder case in Chicago. With disturbing speed‚ the three or four single dots multiply and spread until the whole map emits a red glow composed of a hundreds of tiny dots.”
Producing this film, Hardiman and Greer adds, is a fight for lasting change in Chicago. Their strategy towards anti-violence is comprehensive and motivated by a social change theory. As crime agitators, Hardiman and Greer target all community members as potential bystanders. They engage them through awareness and education, and they practice proactive behaviors that establish intolerance of violence as the norm, as well as proven reactive interventions in high-risk situations — that result in the ultimate reduction of violence.
Tickets for the Monday and Wednesday showings are still on sale, priced at $11 for general admission and $6 for theater members. Director Don Washington is scheduled to appear for audience discussion at both screenings led by radio personality Matt McGill.