Ripple Effect

How Gun Violence Touches Us All

The impact of gun violence is not isolated to the path of the bullet. It stretches beyond the victim, the shooter, their families, rippling across the mental and physical health of entire communities.

Only when we understand the broader causes and effects of gun violence in our communities can we see the path forward.

Listen as we change the future of gun violence in Chicago.

Audio Transcript and Featured Speakers

Presented by

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THE EFFECT ON SURVIVORS

LISTEN TO THEIR STORIES

Hear from the Bosley family, survivors of gun violence in Chicago, as they walk along The Ripple Effect south trail.

The Aragon Family tell their story as survivors of gun violence while following The Ripple Effect north trail.

Listen to Lourdes and Jennifer, mother and daughter survivors of gun violence, while they walk The Ripple Effect west trail.

HEAR FROM THE EXPERTS

Listen to soundbites from violence prevention leaders, survivors, city commissioners, and academics on how gun violence impacts our communities and where we can see a path forward.

The Distance A Bullet Can Travel

Walking path image

A bullet can travel up to 1.5 miles: the educational marketing campaign was created highlight the secondary impacts of gun violence on our city. The campaign comprised of the installation of three walking trails 1.5 miles long to symbolize the length a bullet can travel on the north, south and west sides of the city. As participants walked, they listened along to the 37-minute audio companion telling the stores of those most affected in the wake of gun violence. See below for information on where the trails were located and learn about the root causes of gun violence and understand the solutions.

31st Street Beach

E 31st St. Chicago, IL 60616

This trail leads from 31st Street Beach to Oakwood Beach along the Lakefront Trail.

South Side Walking Map

Douglass Park

2800 W Roosevelt Road

This trail leads through Douglas Park and along Boulevard sidewalks. 

South Side Walking Map

Fullerton Beach

Lakefront Trail, Fullerton, 2400 N

This trail leads north from Fullerton Beach to Belmont Harbor along the Lake Front Trail.

North Side Walking Map

Ripple Effect Year of Healing Youth Walk

We hosted a Year of Healing youth event at the 31st Street Beach Ripple Effect Trail. Candace Moore, Chief Equity Officer for the Mayor's Office , and TikTok Historian Shermann “Dilla” Thomas facilitated the gathering and provided a space for young people to come together, walk the trail, reflect on the ways gun violence has impacted our communities, and discuss how we can see a path forward.

THE RIPPLES

THE PATH FORWARD STARTS WITH UNDERSTANDING

The root causes and ripple effects of gun violence are multi-faceted. So are the solutions.

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The Lives Lost In 2021

Each pair of painted footsteps along the path stands for one of the 747 people who lost their lives to gun violence last year.

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SOME SCARS ARE INVISIBLE

In 2021, 4,420 people were victims of shootings in Chicago. These shootings leave a mark often unseen on the mental health of survivors, families, and communities. Their trauma must be addressed.


50,000 MORE PEOPLE

Under Mayor Lightfoot, the City’s mental health budget increased 7-fold, including $89 million in investments and serving 50,000 additional residents.

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HOW CAN A TREE STOP A BULLET?

Vacant lots fuel violence and isolate communities. Green spaces can bring them together again. Research shows that community-led initiatives to clean and green vacant lots led to a 40% reduction in violent crime


75,000 TREES

to be planted over the next five years under the $46 million tree equity initiative Our Roots Chicago.

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CONSTANT FEAR CAN CAUSE
CHRONIC ILLNESS

Living in a community affected by gun violence can cause extreme stress. This stress adds up leading to worse health outcomes. Expanding health care access is a necessity but creating safe community spaces for people to gather can also help by alleviating that stress and providing opportunities for physical activity.


PLAYSTREETS CHICAGO

is a collaborative initiative that turns streets into pop-up recreation spaces for kids to be active, to learn, and for neighbors to come together.

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CAN A LIVING WAGE STOP
DEADLY ALTERNATIVES

Disinvestment and structural racism put job and educational opportunities out of reach for many, creating the conditions for violence. Innovative programs combine job training and job opportunities with cognitive behavioral therapy for high-risk people. These programs are proven to be successful in interrupting the cycle of violence.


24,000+

employment and internship opportunities are offered by One Summer Chicago to 16-24-year-olds to promote job readiness and career exploration.

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VIOLENCE CAUSES FEAR
FEAR CAUSES VIOLENCE

The 48 hours after a violent incident are key. Having a support system in that timeframe can stop violent retaliation. Street outreach workers on the front lines help establish peace agreements and intervene before violence occurs.


$52 MILLION

funded annually by the City of Chicago for violence reduction strategies, 20x more than in previous years.

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THERE IS A PATHWAY
TO A SAFER CHICAGO

The ripple effect of gun violence crosses our entire city. Together we can change the trajectory. In 2021 the city established the Community Safety Coordination Center. Together with citizens and community leaders, the CSCC works to address the root causes of community violence.

FOLLOW US ON OUR JOURNEY

"We will not rest until we make Chicago the safest big city in America."

MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT

How To Make A Difference

Support Chicago's Youth


Participate in a mental health skills training