Reduce community shootings and homicides (especially retaliatory violence).
Reduce recidivism among groups at highest risk of violence.
Strengthen positive supports for violence-involved young people.
Heal and empower the community during the aftermath of violence.
Transform relationships between law enforcement and communities they serve.
"Peace does not mean an absence of conflict; differences will always be there. Peace means solving these differences through peaceful means: through dialogue, education, knowledge, and through humane ways." --Dalai Lama XIV
Theory of Change
Violence will be reduced when individuals at the highest risk of becoming victims and/or perpetrators of violence receive appropriate and intensive interventions. Community resiliency is increased through a comprehensive approach that develops a sustainable community based safety infrastructure. The outcome is that individuals have improved life outcomes, incidents of violence are reduced and community safety increases. At the center of the tiered approach is targeting those most at-risk of violence victimization or perpetration to provide them with intervention including street outreach, case management and crisis response. Those family and friends whose risk may also elevated, receive secondary prevention services including re-entry and general case management, crisis response, legal support, workforce development, education. And, those who are at risk simply because they reside in the neighborhood, will receive primary prevention services including Safe Spaces and other youth- and community-based programming. The approach that Nonviolence Chicago takes to engaging the community in services is hyper-local, restorative, trauma-informed and rooted in principles of nonviolence.
Hyper-local approach: Nonviolence Chicago is located on the Boarder of Austin and West Garfield Park (near Cicero Avenue and Chicago), hires from and serves individuals and families in the communities we serve. Our location in the community is intentional, and allows us to serve as an anchor for both community residents and local partners. This positions us as community “insiders” who are trusted, respected, credible partners and service providers.
Restorative approach: Nonviolence Chicago applies restorative justice principles to its work with participants. Chicago’s Restorative Justice (RJ) work is led and implemented by a network of agencies – or Hubs - committed to a community-led approach to youth crime and conflict; Austin and West Garfield Park communities are position themselves to become Restorative Justice Hubs.
Trauma-informed approach: Fifty percent of children and youth experience exposure to one or more traumatic events in their lifetimes. Using a trauma-informed, culturally sensitive approach, Nonviolence Chicago will provide and broker services to community residents who are directly or indirectly exposed to violence to connect them with the necessary supports that address the emotional, behavioral, physical, educational and other impact of trauma.
Nonviolence principles: A well-defined philosophy of nonviolence is embedded across all aspects of Nonviolence Chicago’s work, and draws heavily on principles and practices from the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This philosophy is built around several specific ideas, most notably that violence is learned, cyclical, and systemic in its nature. While the cycle of violence perpetrated by a small number of individuals can damage an entire community, we believe that nonviolence is also learned, and can also become cyclical when enough people choose to peacefully resolve their conflict.