Tag Archives: gun violence

John the Barber: beats odds to cut hair again, even from a wheelchair

By Hannah Gebresilassie

Getting shot six times and becoming paralyzed from the chest-down didn’t stop John “So Icey John” Sharp from becoming one of the best barbers in town.

“I got shot up being at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Sharp, 28, says, adding he wont let the circumstances prevent him from continuing his life.

Today, Sharp cuts hair from his wheelchair at Englewood’s Pro-Line Barber and Beauty. In the last seven months, he’s developed a strong client base, which he’s proud of.

“As long as I’m here, I made it,” says Sharp.

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KAOS youth club uses sports, mentoring as alternative to Chicago’s chaotic streets

By Hannah Gebresilassie

Ty Young is giving back to the streets that put a bullet in his son.

While Young, a pharmacy tech, couldn’t keep his son from being shot in 2013, he could do something about the South Side youth culture that created the perilous landscape in the first place.

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Spike Lee brings “Chi-raq” discussion to Evanston

By Tim Rosenberger and Valerie Lapointe

Director Spike Lee did not shy away from addressing the controversy surrounding his film “Chi-Raq” at a recent screening of the film at Northwestern University. That was a good thing because his audience was vocal about the movie’s take on racism, representation of women and gun violence during the post-screening Q&A. Continue reading

Third graders get real about race and guns in school program

By Jasmine Cen

With so much on the news about violence and crime in Chicago, it’s difficult to shield young people from hearing about it. But psychologists say parents and teachers should not ignore the issues, and children need to talk about what’s happening in their communities, even at a young age.

That’s the spirit behind a program at Village Leadership Academy, where six and seven-year-old students are delving into the city’s most intractable problems.


Students at the Academy recently had their third presentation of several year-long projects on topics like littering, school safety signs and unsafe driving.

This year, some of the third-grade students did research on one of Chicago’s toughest issues: gun violence.

Photo on top: The students give a presentation about their research on gun violence in their neighborhoods. (By Jasmine Cen/ Medill)

An unconventional approach to Chicago’s misunderstood gun violence

By Marisa Endicott

January saw its highest death toll from gun violence since 2000 in Chicago this year. There have been over 416 shootings in 2016 to date, 32 of them over this past weekend.

The numbers highlight the deep roots of gun violence in Chicago and the city’s inability to combat the problem.

While overall crime has decreased more than 37 percent since 2011, according to the Chicago Police Department at year’s end, shootings rose in 2015, and certain Chicago neighborhoods bear the brunt of gun violence.

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