ROSELAND — Kids Off The Block and DePaul University are coming together this weekend to find ways to address gun violence in Roseland.
Kids Off The Block and DePaul’s Chicago Gun Violence Research Collaborative will host a community forum on gun violence prevention methods. The groups will present research findings and host discussions 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at the Kids Off The Block headquarters, 11623 S. Michigan Ave.
The forum is the final part of the research collaborative between DePaul and Kids Off The Block. The process has focused on listening to Roseland youth and sharing their ideas for addressing gun violence, as well as how grant funding could be used to implement their ideas.
“What we want to do is work with the young people who are served by that organization, Kids Off The Block, and really engage them in a research process,” said Dan Schober, an assistant professor of public health in DePaul’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and director of the Chicago Gun Violence Research Collaborative. “And the research is intended to understand the causes of gun violence. We want to use this understanding to try to create lasting change in Roseland.”
The Chicago Gun Violence Research Collaborative started in 2017. The partnership with Kids Off The Block began in October as a way to study gun violence and connect with the people most affected by it, Schober said.
During past events, Roseland youth talked about their lives, exposure to violence and top concerns about neighborhood violence. Other community stakeholders were also interviewed to determine what resources could be pooled to address violence.
Kids Off The Block members have also participated in discussions about creating a professional development hub in Roseland, Schober said.
“We’ve really tried to listen to these young people who live in the community. … Their voices get lost in the research that gets done on them and not with them,” Schober said. “We’ve really tried to change that and really involve them in the conversation and in the research. I think anybody that wants to get the youth perspective, and hear from the young people who are affected by the problem, should come out.”
Listen to “It’s All Good: A Block Club Chicago Podcast”: