Posts tagged violence
Find the latest in Latino health—from fighting Latina breast cancer to helping Latinos pursue doctoral degrees—in the new E-newsletter from the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, the team behind SaludToday.
The E-newsletter has these stories:
- Story and Video: Giving Latinas a Chance vs. Breast Cancer (Pg 1)
- Story: How a Typewriter Helped a Latina Launch a Career in Health Promotion (Pg 2)
- Story and Video: Depression after Cancer Keeps Latinas from Follow-Up Care (Pg 3)
- Story: Apply by 3/1/12 for Éxito Program to Get Help Pursuing a Doctoral Degree (Pg 5)
- Story: San Antonio Schools Get Salad Bars (Pg 6)
- Story and Video: Latino Man Works to Interrupt Street Violence (Pg 8 )
The E-newsletter is jam-packed with even more info on the latest local and national health disparities-related news, resources and events.
Visit the IHPR here.
Editor’s Note: This post is part of an ongoing series that will highlight the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s work in Latino communities across the country.
SaludToday Guest Blogger: Josh Gryniewicz
Eddie Bocanegra is part of a unique group known as “violence interrupters” in the organization CeaseFire.
He works in areas of Chicago that some refer to as war zones because violence is such a pervasive and intractable problem. From January through July 2011, the city recorded 239 murders; 18% of victims and 29% of offenders were Latino.
CeaseFire, founded in 2000, applies public health approaches to stop shootings and killings. Founder Gary Slutkin believes that violence mimics infections like tuberculosis and AIDS and suggests that the response ought to mimic the way these diseases are treated: by preventing violence from being transmitted from person to person. His strategy approaches violence as a learned behavior that can, in fact, be unlearned, and attempts to control epidemics of violence by changing the norms of behavior. Ultimately, Slutkin believes that meaningful efforts to help violence-plagued communities – improving health, strengthening schools, attracting jobs – will fail to take root unless the violence stops.
Eddie Bocanegra, a 34-year-old Chicago native, has been a violence interrupter for two years. Violence interrupters intervene in conflicts throughout the city on an around-the-clock basis and even step in between a would-be shooter and victim to try to defuse a volatile situation. They also work with CeaseFire’s outreach workers to counsel and mentor individuals who are most at risk of committing an act of violence and rally community members to reinforce the unacceptability of violence in their neighborhoods.
Like many of those involved in CeaseFire, Eddie Bocanegra is an ex-offender. He spent 14 years in prison for a murder he committed when he was just 17. Haunted by this action, he feels his CeaseFire work is part of his penance. He hopes to keep others from making the mistakes he did.
“Half of my life, I was in prison. That’s why I do what I do now. To me, it’s a personal thing,” he says.
Eddie Bocanegra is most deeply disturbed by the effects of violence on children. He spends much of his time with younger children in an effort to both keep them off the streets and give them support. Eddie Bocanegra’s work and dedication is highlighted in a new documentary, “The Interrupters,” by acclaimed director Steve James and producer Alex Kotlowitz. The movie follows Eddie Bocanegra and two other CeaseFire outreach workers in their roles on Chicago’s streets, revealing how their unique street credibility helps them stop the violence and inspire journeys of hope and redemption.
A recent study by the Department of Justice found that in six of seven Chicago neighborhoods where CeaseFire has been on the ground, shootings and homicides or shootings and attempted shootings decreased by 16 percent to 34 percent due to the program.
In addition to his work with CeaseFire, Eddie Bocanegra has started a support group for mothers who have lost children to violence, and he teaches art in schools and summer programs. He is working toward a degree in social work.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Local Funding Partnerships is a matching grants program that connects the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with local grantmakers to fund new, community-based projects to improve health and health care for vulnerable populations.
The effort is seeking nominations from diversity-focused funders for projects to reduce violence in traditionally underserved communities that are defined by race, ethnicity, tribe, gender, sexual identity or rural/frontier location.
For more information, go here.