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Chicago is currently facing a devastating surge in lethal violence in addition to staggering rates of poverty across Illinois. Policymakers and community leaders are struggling with finding short- and long-term solutions to stem the violence and allow neighborhoods to heal. In the meantime, communities are fearing for their own safety and grieving over lost parents, children, friends, and leaders every day. The stakes forgetting the solutions right could not be higher. Poverty and violence often intersect, feed one another, and share root causes. Neighborhoods with high levels of violence are also characterized by high levels of poverty, lack of adequate public services and educational opportunity, poorer health outcomes, asset and income inequality, and more. The underlying socioeconomic conditions in these neighborhoods perpetuate both violence and poverty. Furthermore, trauma can result from both violence and poverty. Unaddressed trauma worsens quality of life, makes it hard to rise out of poverty by posing barriers to success at school and work, and raises the likelihood of aggressive behavior. In this way, untreated trauma—coupled with easy gun availability and other factors—feeds the cycle of poverty and violence.
Creating Opportunity for Immigrant Women and Girls in the Chicago Region: Recommendations for the Chicago Foundation for Women's Civic PlanFebruary 24, 2015
Division sought to understand what economic, health, and violence-related issues are most pressing for immigrant women in the Chicago region, their families, and their communities. These findings are the result of a research and information gathering process with Chicago-area immigrant women, social service providers who work with immigrant communities, a literature review on related topics, and a scan of change efforts in other states and localities related to issues impacting immigrant women and their families. This report documents the key issues facing immigrant women in the Chicago region and prioritizes those concerns into actionable micro- and systems-level recommended change efforts. The Chicago Foundation for Women is building the concerns of immigrant women into their Civic Plan, and other community organizations and advocates can learn from the voices of impacted women themselves to ensure their efforts are aligned with the true needs and desires of the community.
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