Help Keep This Kid Alive
Organized by: Kathleen Thompson
Washington Post article about the project
March 15, 2017
I’m an old white lady, and I live in northwest Chicago, not far from Humboldt Park. That young boy in the picture is my neighbor. I took the picture when he was about ten years old. He’s sixteen now, a great kid, and I’d like him to get to be as old as I am, but we all know he’s in danger. I think there’s something we can do to help protect him. There’s a woman named Andra Medea who works with all kinds of people—police, judges, veterans, mental health workers, teachers and others. She shows them how to de-escalate potentially violent situations, and she’s been very effective at it. You can look her up on Wikipedia to get a sense of who she is. (You can look me up, too, if you want to know more about me.) She is not a touchy-feely sensitivity counselor or anything like that. She trains people to control what is happening in their bodies and minds during dangerous encounters. Now she is working with the NAACP Chicago South Side Branch to create a program that will give young people the skills they need to avoid violence between themselves and others, including their peers, teachers and police officers. I truly believe she can save lives with this program. The program depends on Medea’s training some older young people (18 to 26) to go into middle schools and high schools and teach violence de-escalation skills to students. What I’m trying to raise is money to fund the training of four of these young people, who will demonstrate the program to an upcoming conference sponsored by the South Side and West Side NAACP branches. Building on this, the program will go out for grants and other kinds of major funding, but right now it needs some seed money. That’s what I’m asking for help with. Thank you.