youngleader

Chicago continues to make national headlines because of its overwhelming violence. However, there are dozens of people in the city who are fighting to take back their communities.

During a recent investigative report in Chicago, rolling out got a chance to speak with Jedidiah Brown, the head of Young Leaders Alliance.

Chicago is getting national attention from the media due to its violence. Has the national media told an accurate story of what’s really going on Chicago?

What is shown in the media is not all the real story. There are a lot of beautiful people in Chicago. There is violence, but there is also a lack of community. There is no trust, relationships, opportunities and concern. America has started to move for the profit margin instead of the heart condition. Our organization seeks to restore that and the village back into the community.

Chicago has a strong gang culture. How does your organization seek to help teens stay on the right track when the gangs and drug dealers are so prevalent?

Peer pressure is real. We try to be a different type of influence. The community doesn’t foster their development to become who they are destined to be. We develop a relationship and identity their struggles and focus on that to get them the right resources for that to be attained.

How can the perception of Chicago change?

The community must stand up and take back our identity and stop accepting what is being said in the media. We must make sure the entire story is being told. There is a lot of good going on in Chicago. We are challenging our elected officials to bring resources and an agenda to solve the issues in our community. We want to get the everyday citizen back to influence their community. We want to transform the reality of our city to get back to honor, respect and loving God.

A.R. Shaw

A.R. Shaw is an author and journalist who documents music, politics, and entertainment. He has covered The Obama White House, the summer Olympics in London, and currently serves as Lifestyle Editor for Rolling Out magazine. Follow his journey on Twitter @arshaw and Instagram @arshaw23.