Title: Community Safety Coordination Center and the Culture Committee

Policy Area: Community Safety, Communications, Public Health

Team Members: Office of Equity and Racial Justice (OERJ), Department of Planning & Development (DPD), Department of Housing (DOH), Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protections (BACP), CWB Advisory Council

Problem Statement

Dominant culture attacks communities of color, fails to support their needs, and fails to provide meaningful opportunities to thrive. This causes people to feel unsafe, switch to a “survival” mindset, and manifest behaviors that are detrimental to their overall wellness and the wellness of their community. Gun violence is a symptom of this larger problem. Is it possible to drive a narrative change effort that embraces the cultural assets of a community and leads to behavioral change aligned with building community wellness?


Reflection Questions

What values and principles matter most to people in certain communities?
How are these values and principles expressed through individual and collective actions/behaviors? Which actions/behaviors currently drive toward harm/lack of safety of individuals and the community?
How can we empower people to change actions/behaviors to align with individual and collective health and wellness?
What is the environment we are responsible for creating/maintaining to ensure communities have fair and just access to opportunity and resources that provide everyone the ability to thrive?

CSCC work was guided in part by the Community Safety Leadership Collective, a committee of community partners advising the City on its approach to violence reduction.

Quick Story

Reflect on our Past

The context and history of violence in Chicago is complex and when government leaders and community members came together to grapple with that history, we found inspiration for a new way of working together in the City of Chicago’s response to Covid-19.

Reclaim our Present

Building on the lessons learned from Covid-19, the CSCC launched and similarly created a shared table of government and community leaders to shift the power of whose voices were centered and how decisions were made. The group decided to focus on “culture-building” as one aspect of building a healthy and safe community.

Reimagine our Future

As the CSCC began to vision a better future that fosters a culture that supports communities of color, the group chose to launch a behavior change marketing campaign. This strategy supports the community leaders’ belief that a focus on strengthening culture is an important missing element to our current ecosystem of anti-violence strategies.