The Urban Resilience Network: “TURN” to the Faith Leaders and Faith Community to Address Violence and Trauma
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This chapter describes the activities I have initiated to support the Bronzeville neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. The overarching aim of my work is to help my neighbors save themselves from the violence and associated trauma in our community. Over a decade ago, I developed a program called “Prayer around the Schools,” where students, church members, and others pray for an hour at different schools. I then went on to establish “Bright Star Community Outreach” (BSCO), a local, nonprofit arm of my church. BSCO now serves more than 5000 people in the community and partners with more than 50 organizations to help reduce violence in Bronzeville, for example, by ensuring that children are safe when they walk to school and by providing after-school care. During a pastoral mission to Israel in 2012, I visited a posttraumatic stress counseling center in Tel Aviv, the NATAL center. With the help of my contacts there, I developed a program that supports members of my community who have experienced trauma. The latest development in my efforts to help my neighborhood is The Urban Resilience Network (TURN). TURN helps people deal with violence and trauma. We are currently raising awareness of TURN’s programs and are optimistic that its education and counseling activities will make a real difference in our community.