Your Opinion: Documentary shows how to 'interrupt' violence

Dear Editor:

Violence destroys lives and much more. In our country, an average of 16 young people are tragically killed each day. This violence is preventable as Gary Slutkin, a Chicago epidemiologist, the creator of the evidence/based effective CeaseFire program demonstrated. Slutkin, used the public health model; he took the moralizing, the good and bad out of the equation and effectively showed that it is the individual who effects change.

Seeing the effectiveness and the innovative concept of CeaseFire, Steve James, the director, producer and co-editor of “Hoop Dreams,” the acclaimed 1990s film, with Alex Lotlowitz, wrote, produced and directed the documentary “The Interrupters.” The Interrupters, one of this year‘s most critically acclaimed documentaries tells the moving and surprising story of three “violence interrupters“ in Chicago who, with bravado, humility and even humor, try to protect their communities from the violence they once employed.

On the front page of the March 2012, “Chamber Today,” Bob Scruggs, chair, wrote a column titled, “Working together for a healthy community.” His title described the need, connecting and working together. This concept is stated in all evidence- and research-based prevention programs.

This community is connecting on March 24 to see “The Interrupters,” at Missouri River Regional Library, 7 p.m. Attendees are diverse and inclusive, such as students and faculty from area high schools and colleges, the churches, police department, corrections, mayor and City Council, public health and Missouri social workers, plus other groups and individuals who care about creating a compassionate nonviolent community.

Issue-oriented letters to the editor in response to this or about other local topics are welcome. All letters should be limited to 400 words. The author's name must appear with the letter, and the name, address and phone number provided for verification. Letters that cannot be verified by telephone will not be published. Send letters for publication to


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