by Joe Scarry
“The Interrupters” is a documentary by “Hoop Dreams” creator Steve James about how people working with Ceasefire in Chicago — as well as others in programs around the country — try to “interrupt” the cycle of violence in our neighborhoods. This film is becoming both a critical success and a force for change in our communities.
Neighborhood violence, particularly incidents of violence involving youth, was identified as a prime area of concern when St. Luke’s Logan Square surveyed its membership in mid-2011. In fact, the entire city of Chicago expressed its distress over violent incidents in a series of events this past fall in the Urban Dolorosa (“Sorrowing City”) program.
A group of St. Luke’s Logan Square members first went to see “The Interrupters” in mid-October. We were all deeply moved by it, and we knew that we wanted to do more with the film. When several of us participated in an event with Community Renewal Society on Martin Luther King Day and encountered one of the “violence interrupters” featured in the film in person, we jumped at the opportunity to invite him to come screen the film with us in Logan Square.
“The Interrupters” contains unforgettable story after unforgettable story, and presents a provocative new slant on addressing violence in our communities. Gary Slutkin, Founder and Executive Director of CeaseFire, describes in the film how he came to recognize that violence needs to be addressed first and foremost as a public health issue, and the essential step is to interrupt transmission. As Slutkin explains, this involves transcending our tendency to focus just on “who started it.” His challenge to us is, “You can judge it. But that’s not what we do in science.”
Join us on Sunday, March 25 at 2:00 pm as we screen this important film about the innovative ways people in Chicago and other cities are working to stem neighborhood violence and make the lives of our youth better. The screening will be followed by refreshments and discussion, including a special appearance by violence interrupters Eddie Bocanegra!.
Please “Join” the Facebook event page and “invite friends”: http://www.facebook.com/events/247666058650604/
St. Luke’s Lutheran Church of Logan’s Square – 2649 N. Francisco Ave, Chicago, IL, 60647