“Chicago? You know that’s a dangerous city”

Chicago: the home of President Obama and known nationwide for the violence. The title of this blog is a direct quote from an older gentleman in the local coffeeshop. Similar concerns have been made to either my parents or myself over the last seven months since I received my placement. It baffles me that people from my town can move to Charleston, Atlanta, New York City, or even Washington, DC without as much as a blink of an eye or a word of protest. People must think Chicago is in some developing country based on the reactions I get from, not only strangers, but those close to me as well. In an upper-level history class in college, we discussed different European Revolutions and the patterns of all those events. Violence occurs when economic, social, and cultural issues collide. If Chicago is as violent as everyone assumes, maybe, just maybe it’s time to take a good, hard look at the causes, rather than just accepting it as another group’s problem.

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to live and work in city, which many people in my area have written off. Its daunting to think that in less than a week, the journey I  have been working towards for a year will finally begin. My to-do list for the next six days keeps growing. From figuring out how to pack a year’s worth of stuff into two suitcases to making sure I get to visit with everyone I need to see before I leave, a week I thought was going to be restful has turned out to be anything but. It’s all starting to become real; I will be living in a new city, with five other people, working at a job that is still unknown. This process has already forced me to learn that you don’t always get answers when you want them and I am diligently trying to work on accepting that fact.

My fundraising is progressing. While it was just as nerve-wracking as my previous post predicted, I am truly honored to have people in my life who want to support me. (Opportunities to give  can be seen here.)