CVG’s Fredrick Echols was at the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation Black History Soirée highlighting the achievements of blacks in the Illinois, including Rita Ali (the first African American female elected to office of Mayor in Peoria, IL), Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch (the first African American elected as Speaker of the House of Representatives ), Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton (the first African American to serve as Lieutenant Governor in Illinois) among others.
The event took place in front of a high capacity audience, at the Abraham Lincoln Museum in Springfield. IL. Founded in 1968, The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus is an American political organization composed of African Americans elected to the Illinois Legislature.
More on the event:
The primary mission of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus is “to assure that the interests of African American citizens are given equitable representation in the General Assembly and that legislative action is directed to address those interests.” The Caucus’s efforts have focused in the areas of housing, health & welfare, education, employment and minority business enterprise.
A little about Director of Cure Violence, Dr. Fredrick Echols, Cure Violence is a Violence interruption program for anti-violence. It aims to stop the spread of violence in communities by using the methods and strategies associated with public health and disease.
Originally developed under the name “CeaseFire” in 2000, U.S. epidemiologist Gary Slutkin launched the model in West Garfield, the most violent community in Chicago at the time. During CeaseFire’s first year, shootings dropped by 67 percent.
A three-year evaluation of the Chicago implementation by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2009 found shootings and killings were reduced by 41 percent to 73 percent, shooting hot spots were reduced in size and intensity, and retaliatory murders were eliminated. “A striking finding was how important CeaseFire loomed in their lives”, the researchers stated in the report. “Clients noted the importance of being able to reach their outreach worker at critical moments—when they were tempted to resume taking drugs, were involved in illegal activities, or when they felt that violence was imminent.” The lead evaluator commented that, “I found the statistical results to be as strong as you could hope for.”