IL Newsroom Gun Violence Series

Lee V. Gaines/Illinois Newsroom

In a community with as many resources as Champaign-Urbana, why does gun violence persist?

That’s the question Donte’ Lotts, a community liaison for CU Fresh Start — an initiative created in 2015 to mitigate gun violence — asked a group of about 50 Champaign-Urbana residents, social service providers, university employees and other community leaders on Thursday night.

Courtesy IEA

Children who experience trauma often face behavioral, health and academic challenges, according to decades of research. Kristine Argue, instructional resource and professional development director for the Illinois Education Association (IEA), teaches educators across the state about the science around trauma and brain development, and she encourages administrators, teachers and school support staff to find ways to make their learning environments more welcoming for all students.

Peoria Public Radio

Conversations around gun violence often revolve around long-term solutions, like improving schools or the local economy.

But even if those things were easy — and they’re not — it would take a generation to realize the benefits.

And for the Illinoisans living and dying in these communities — mostly low-income, black communities — they don’t have time to wait.

'Down The Hill:' Violence Often Rooted In Inequality

May 17, 2018
Brandon Towns for Illinois Newsroom

For many families and young adults living in Peoria’s South Side, gun violence is too often a part of life and something they’ve been fighting against -- with few resources.

Part of the challenge, according to researchers, is getting the broader community to examine a part of itself and confront the barriers that keep families, predominantly minorities, from moving out of poverty.


Beth Martinez and her brother Ben Bloom
Courtesy Beth Martinez

The national conversation around gun violence generally centers around mass shootings, school shootings and gang activity. These problems need to be addressed, but may overshadow the largest group affected: suicide victims.


Teachers in Champaign receiving training in trauma
Lee V. Gaines/Illinois Newsroom

Last month, about a dozen people gathered in the basement of a church in Champaign, Ill. to learn about how traumatic experiences affect the lives of children and young adults, and what they can do to mitigate its effects.


Police Data Show Gun Violence A Chronic, Growing Problem Across Illinois

May 14, 2018
Pam Dempsey/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting

His name was Devon McClyde, and he was 16 years old when he was caught in the crossfire of an argument while playing basketball one evening in a local park in Danville on June 8, 2016.

He died three days later – the victim of another gun crime in Central Illinois.