‘Ripple Effect’ experience brings voices of gun violence survivors to Chicago’s Lakefront Trail

It’s one other lovely day for a stroll, and should you take a stroll alongside the Lakefront, it’s possible you’ll discover some markings on the trail.

Morning Insider Lauren Victory explains the darkish that means behind new vivid purple footprints on the Lakefront Trail.

“Here in Chicago, we’re used to hearing about gun violence in the news,” says the narrator within the metropolis of Chicago’s new audio experience called “The Ripple Effect.” 

It’s true, most of us transfer on the following story after listening to a couple of taking pictures, however what about households left behind – moms like Valerie Burgest? Her son, Craig Williams, was shot and killed practically 9 years in the past.

“He was my light; he was my air,” she says within the Ripple Effect recording. “Some days are better than others, but I will never recover.”

Burgest’s voice is the primary one you will hear, adopted by testimony from different gun violence survivors, group activists, and medical consultants. All communicate in regards to the completely different ripple results of gun violence from its harm to psychological well being to its influence on teachers and work efficiency. 

“Craig was my only child. So, I no longer have a child. That’s gonna be my forever,” Burgest mentioned to CBS 2 in regards to the lasting impact gun violence has on her. 

Her story and others might be accessed by means of the QR code on indicators just lately put in in Douglass Park and alongside the Lakefront Trail from thirty first Street Beach to Oakwood Beach and Belmont Harbor to Fullerton Beach.

Along the Ripple Effect trails, you will additionally discover 747 pairs of purple footsteps that symbolize every individual killed in Chicago shootings in 2021 alone. They’re spaced out for 1.5 miles – the size a bullet can journey.

It’s a tragic actuality, however organizers behind the project from the City’s Community Safety Coordination Center additionally needed to embody some optimism. So, each quarter mile you will discover a description of options at work, too. 

“In particular, Pastor Chris Harris is a good friend of mine. He does a lot of help, a lot of assistance around trauma-informed services,” explains Manny Whitfield, who introduced many of the organizations combating gun violence to desk for the project. Whitfield is the director of group engagement for the Community Safety Coordination Center.

CBS 2 requested Whitfield why would a metropolis that makes money off tourism put such a surprising show in such a extremely trafficked space?

“To hide from it would do us no justice. It’s imperative that we be transparent. We understand that we’re in a state of crisis,” he mentioned.

It’s a disaster that Trevon Bosley has been combating since he lost his brother to Chicago gun violence.

“These are not just numbers, these are actual people’s lives,” Bosley mentioned within the recording.

In an electronic mail to CBS 2, he explains his hope for the marketing campaign:

“For those who aren’t affected by gun violence I hope they understand that gun violence can happen to anyone at any time even while doing the right things in life. For the people experiencing gun violence I hope it helps them understand that their are people still fighting this problem  ,there are people researching the best ways to change things and that a better tomorrow is on the way. And for everyone that sees it understand the effects of gun violence don’t just stop at the initial shooting they last a lifetime.”

The three Ripple Effect trails will solely watch for the month of June, also referred to as Gun Violence Awareness Month. On Friday, June 3, you may discover individuals carrying orange. That’s for National Gun Violence Awareness Day in honor of Hadiya Pendleton, a younger Chicagoan shot and killed on the playground in 2013.  

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