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Our approach to ending violence is hyper-local, trauma-informed, restorative, and rooted in principles of nonviolence.

Principles of Nonviolence: Everything we do draws from Dr. King’s principles of nonviolence, which state that violence is learned, cyclical, and systemic. So we’re here to unlearn violence, break the cycle, and change the system.


Hyper-local: The Institute for Nonviolence Chicago has positioned itself intentionally in Austin, Back of the Yards, and West Garfield Park so that we can truly be part of the communities we work with. Not only are we located inside the neighborhoods we help, but those same neighborhoods are ones a majority of our team members come from. Whether they currently live in these communities, grew up there, or have worked there for years, our team has established, trusting relationships inside the neighborhoods we support. We believe that change happens through relationships, so we continue to build trusting relationships with individuals and communities most impacted by violence.

Trauma-informed: Where there is violence, there are decades of trauma behind these cycles. This is why we are sensitive to trauma and the many ways it impacts people throughout their lives. We support people who are both directly and indirectly exposed to violence and connect them to whatever services they need to help them move through their pain.

Restorative Justice: We believe when people are in crisis, they need support. We support our communities before and after a crisis, and we stay with participants along their journey towards peace. Cognitive behavioral interventions and social-emotional learning infused in our work development programs help individuals regulate emotions and develop problem-solving and conflict resolution skills. Our participants receive intensive mentorship and nonviolence training while working towards establishing their personal safety and developing pro-social behaviors to gain employment in the legal economy.  

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