Updates & Opportunities from the Justice Advisory Council

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Justice Advisory Council | June 29, 2023

In this issue: Gun Violence Awareness Month 

Gun Violence Awareness Month 2023

Gun Violence Awareness Month

As we come to the end of Gun Violence Awareness Month, we reflect on the challenges we face and the progress we are making to prevent and reduce gun violence. In the communities in Cook County that experience high rates of gun violence, the impacts of the crisis are felt deeply by families and the entire community. There is much work to be done to address the impacts of historic disinvestment and ensure all communities in Cook County are safe and thriving. Yet there are so many reasons to be hopeful.  

There is unprecedented funding, research and collaboration to support violence prevention work. Since 2022, $110 million in funding has been awarded through the Cook County Gun Violence Prevention and Reduction Grant initiative. The initiative supports 150 community-based service providers working on the ground in communities. Each day, the dedicated people of these organizations are providing critical resources and opportunities and building meaningful connections with those most at risk of being lost to gun violence. By continuously showing up to build these connections, they are breaking cycles of trauma and violence and planting seeds of peace in our communities.

The videos below offer perspectives from four service providers supported by the Gun Violence Prevention and Reduction Grant initiative as well as young people engaged in their programming. I invite you to join me in listening, supporting and celebrating this work now, and beyond Gun Violence Awareness Month.

-Avik Das

Executive Director

 Service Providers in Action

JAC 2022 Gun Violence Prevention Grant Header
Firehouse Community Arts Center


Meet the Firehouse Community Arts Center, an organization using a hyperlocal approach to interrupt cycles of violence in North Lawndale and engage young people through the arts.

The Firehouse Community Arts Center - YouTube

Learn about Southside Blooms' unique approach to violence prevention which combines youth employment, sustainability and neighborhood revitalization.

Southside Blooms Flowers that Empower - YouTube

Southside Blooms
BUILD inc  Chicago

BUILD is a longstanding hub of support for youth and families on the Westside of Chicago. See their incredible new facility in Austin and learn about how Cook County is helping BUILD expand enrichment opportunities and clinical services for young people.

 BUILD - YouTube

Access to well-paying jobs is key to community safety. Learn how Manufacturing Renaissance prepares and connects young people in Cook County to in-demand jobs in the manufacturing industry.

Manufacturing Renaissance - YouTube

Manufacturing Renaissance

Wear Orange Day

Wear Orange Day 2023

The JAC joined Cook County Health to honor Wear Orange Day and celebrate the expansion of Healing Hurt People Chicago, a hospital based, trauma informed violence prevention program that helps people heal emotionally and physically from injuries by community violence.