While youth activism for gun control has recently captured national attention, young people in Chicago have long been engaged in efforts to demand action.  A number of organizations, including Get IN Chicago grantees Healing Hurt People-Chicago, Chicago Urban League, and Westside Health Authority, are working hard to ensure that the voices of youth affected by daily violence are included in conversations sparked by the March for Our Lives.

Dantrell Blake, a graduate of the Healing Hurt People-Chicago program and panelist at our How Hospitals Can Reduce Violence event, attended the March in Washington DC with staff members from Cook County Health and Hospital Systems.  He had a chance to discuss why he decided to take part and how he saw the rally fit into efforts in Chicago on Vox’s Today, Explained podcast.

“Mass shootings happen every day in Chicago, if you want to put it like that,” said Blake on the podcast.  He added that he wasn’t mad that Parkland was getting attention but hoped that people continued talking about gun control long after the march’s end.  “Let’s not be halfway with this – don’t be a part of this rally today, and then after, nothing else… It shouldn’t have had to take a whole new mindset from youth to do something like this. It’s time for adults to jump in our lane and make something happen.”

A delegation from Cook County Health and Hospital Systems, including Rev. Carol Reese, Dr. Jay Shannon, Deshon Hannah, Dantrell Blake, Andy Wheeler, Alex Normington, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Paul Beddoe and Delwin Gadlen, marched on the Capitol to call for federal gun legislation. (Credit: Cook County Health and Hospital Systems)

As a panelist at our How Hospitals Can Reduce Violence event, Dantrell Blake discussed how Healing Hurt People’s program impacts young people in positive ways.

Members of the Good Neighbor Campaign Austin, supported by Get IN Chicago’s CCRE initiative, at the March for Our Lives in DC (credit: Westside Health Authority)

Chicago Urban League youth head to DC last week (credit: Chicago Urban League)



Additional March for Our Lives coverage featuring Get IN Chicago grantees: