Sharing in Christ’s mission of reconciliation, we work as agents of reconciliation and healing with those in our community and our Church who have been impacted by violence and conflict. Our ministries reach out to the victim, the wrongdoer, and the community to create a safe space where healing can begin and where people can find the support and encouragement needed to begin reconciliation. We strive to be a resource to the community to find restorative ways to heal and rebuild after violence and conflict. We do this through a variety of programming including After School Program, Restortive Justice Circles, and community outreach.
The Urban Life Skills Program is an intensive Gang Intervention Program in the Little Village Community on Chicago’s Southwest Side. For the past two years, the program has worked with over 75 gang involved youth that are wards of the Cook County Juvenile Court. The program is closely partnered with the Cook County Juvenile Probation Department and has seen many successes.
The program is founded upon mentoring. Each one of the youth that enter the program are assigned a mentor and then brought into the full array of services provided by the program. This gang intervention model is a comprehensive model based on a variety of key components. These components include mentoring, gang intervention counseling, substance abuse classes, art therapy, job readiness training, tutoring, GED classes, court advocacy, social activities, family support, and more.
We walk youth through — and away from — the criminal justice system to become good citizens and leaders of the community. We offer zealous and competent criminal defense legal services, compassionate social health services, and faithful loving mentors who walk with our youth on their life’s path. We serve youth involved with the criminal justice system, age 24 and younger, in North Lawndale.
The mission of the Community Justice for Youth Institute is to build community capacity to resolve youth crime and conflict through restorative justice training, technical assistance, and advocacy. CJYI has expanded its program to include regular trainings in restorative justice and peace-making circles; technical assistance in the implementation of restorative practices in schools, communities, and the juvenile justice system; and advocacy around disproportionate minority contact with the juvenile justice system (DMC) and the school-to-jail pipeline.
The Resource Section of the Juvenile Justice and Child Protection Department of the Circuit Court of Cook County is the outreach arm of the court to communities, agencies, organizations and businesses that are concerned about youth, emerging adults and their families toward making a difference in their lives. Through express partnerships and the joining of forces, the needs of court wards, their families and communities, can be addressed more effectively.
The Resource Section plays a significant role in supporting the expansion of the use of restorative justice principles in programming for youth, emerging adults and their families throughout Chicago, Cook County and the State of Illinois. Expansion of the use of restorative justice practices provides the framework and foundation for community led initiatives to prevent and address issues affecting youth and emerging adults.
Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice
The purpose of Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice (IPSSJ) is to meet public safety challenges with socially just solutions. We work with community groups and peer institutions to address public safety challenges and design unique partnerships. IPSSJ seeks to shift the conversation about public safety to effective solutions that strengthen communities and encourage accountability.
Circles & Ciphers is a leadership development program for disengaged young men that uses peace making circles, and hip hop ciphers to transform legacies. Circles and Ciphers builds and mobilizes a healthy, youth-led community among prisons, courts, and gangs involved young men (predominantly African-American, ages 14-22) from Chicago. We use hip-hop infused peacemaking circles and creative arts projects on a wide variety of themes, including: masculinity; violence; school; gangs and gang histories; stereotypes; policing; relationships. Participants are empowered to derail a legacy of disengagement.
Austin Coming Together works with a network of over 60 organizations to comprehensively improve neighborhood safety in the Austin community. ACT does this by enhancing the quality and connectedness of human services in Austin, organizing community leaders to create plans that attract public and private investment to Austin, and by advocating for policies to help us achieve our goals for Austin.
Incorporated in 1998, ALSO was created to coordinate services for youth and families in the Logan Square community on Chicago’s Northwest Side. Becoming aware of the devastating impact of community violence on those families ALSO began to take action by implementing prevention programs to end street violence.
However, violence is pervasive and spans beyond the streets. In 2007, ALSO expanded its violence prevention and intervention efforts to include intimate partner violence. By working to end violence more broadly, ALSO began to see connections between violence on the streets and violence in the home.
Today, ALSO works both locally and nationally to end violence. By expanding its reach, ALSO informs its national work from a local perspective and brings knowledge and best practices from around the country to our neighborhoods in Chicago.
Target Area is a grassroots organization that works in local communities, city-wide, statewide, and internationally to assist communities in building enough power and capacity to solve stubborn problems. Our main focus is Organizing: Criminal Justice Reform, Re-Entry, and Violence Prevention. Current Program Areas include: Public Safety, Education, and Re-Entry.
Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO) has been an instrument for grassroots democracy in the North Kenwood and Oakland communities for nealry forty years. KOCO’s organizing agenda is directly informed by its constituency, the low-income and working families within the North Kenwood, Oakland, and adjacent communities. KOCO’s organizing approach engages residents in identifying the issues that they want to see addressed, and facilitating the planning, strategizing and training opportunities to aid residents in addressing issues. KOCO is a membership-driven organization.