Alex Kotlowitz Illustrates the Impact of Violence at the 2nd ‘YMCA Experience’ Event

March 13, 2017


The award-winning author and journalist visits the YMCA Center to share stories about Chicago youth, teens and communities impacted by violence."

On Thursday, March 9, 2017, the YMCA Center hosted Chicago author and journalist Alex Kotlowitz for the second event in our YXP: The YMCA Experience series. “I am deeply unsettled by the impact of violence on this city,” Kotlowiz said to the crowd at the YMCA Learning Institute, the lead funding for which was provided by BMO Harris Bank. “What happens to a city assaulted like this day after day, year after year? These communities live entirely in the present, trying to fend off the future.”

The author of There Are No Children Here and Never A City So Real, Kotlowitz is also one of the producers of the documentary The Interrupters featuring Eddie Bocanegra, now the Executive Director of our Youth Safety and Violence Prevention (YSVP) initiative. In addition to speaking about the impact of violence on youth, teens and communities at the YXP event, Kotlowicz answered questions from the audience about his work and research. Guests had the opportunity to explore the YMCA Center’s diverse programmatic spaces and hear from subject matter experts about how the Y is changing lives throughout Chicagoland.

In partnership with our YSVP programs, YXP: The YMCA Experience is a quarterly event series featuring experts who speak on illuminating topics relevant to Y programming, as well as tours of our new YMCA Center. The first event took place December 8, 2016 with youth justice advocate Xavier McElrath-Bey.

The next YXP event—on Thursday, June 8, 2017 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the YMCA Center—will feature Steve Edwards, Deputy Director of Programming at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics and former WBEZ radio host. Edwards will explore why violence persists in Chicago, what’s currently missing from the violence prevention conversation and how communities can do more to invest in youth and teens.