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UC Medicine addresses violence with grassroots grants

Seven grassroots agencies will get a wealth of resources to increase their violence prevention activities thanks to the University of Chicago Medicine “rapid fire” grants. The grants are timed to thwart violence during the summer months, considered the most dangerous times in the city.

Brenda Battle, vice president of UC Medicine’s Urban Health Initiative and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer said, ‘The grant money will allow the selected community organizations to fund new counselors, new equipment, and program expansion to include more participants. The grants are designed to support programs that will help create safer spaces during the summer. “Violent incidents in our community are more prevalent during summer months.”

Gary Comer Youth Center

She added, “As a community partner, it is imperative that we work with local grassroots organizations to identify and activate solutions that will help keep children and adults safe.” Battle shared that UC Medicine’s Community Advisory Council and its Trauma Care and Violence Prevention work group worked with the hospital to craft this solution. Group representatives said it is imperative to address the violence issue at the close of the school year and throughout the summer.

UC Medicine officials urged community organizations to apply for the grants last month. The seven who are receiving funding and resources are:

Awardees include:

Breaking Bread–The organization mentors at-risk, young African -American men and hosts workshops that will focus on violence, substance abuse, self-awareness and cultural respect.

Crushers Club–Utilizing the sport of boxing and music to develop bonds among at-risk African-American men, the program discourages them from joining gangs and promotes education.

Gary Comer Youth Center – Youth at the facility will be engaged in social activities that support positive social interactions, and a teen career development program helps youth learn the necessary skills to obtain jobs.

Global Girls , Inc. – The organization provides a safe space for girls ages 8-18 to learn the arts while gaining social, emotional, leadership and communications skills.

Kids Off the Block, Inc.

Kids Off the Block, Inc. – A “holistic care center for prevention, personal growth and empowerment, “ KOB provides a safe place especially for youngsters who do not feel welcomed by traditional youth programs.”

Mothers Against Senseless Killing Foundation (MASK) – The foundation aims to prevent and disrupt violence in targeted communities by promoting good health and addressing safety issues.

Woodlawn East Community and Neighbors – The group thwarts gang-related violence by developing youth leadership skills, connecting young people to social services, and demonstrating freedom through artistic expression.

Global Girls

The rapid-cycle grants are part of UCM’s ongoing efforts to assist community organizations with evidenced-based violence prevention programs UChicago Medicine will continue its work with community partners and stakeholders to develop a more sustainable and larger -scale population-based violence prevention effort.

About the University of Chicago Medicine The University of Chicago Medicine & Biological Sciences is one of the nation’s leading academic medical institutions. It comprises the Pritzker School of Medicine, the University of Chicago Biological Sciences Division and the University of Chicago Medical Center. Twelve Nobel Prize winners in physiology or medicine have been affiliated with UChicago Medicine.

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