Group Holds MLK Summit To Confront The Pain Of Gun Violence

Craig Dellimore
January 21, 2019 - 1:19 pm

WBBM Newsradio/Craig Dellimore

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A group that works with young men with criminal backgrounds and their families chose to honor the Martin Luther King holiday on the West Side with day-long gathering on gun violence.

It's called the Truth and Reconciliation Summit, and Lisa Daniels, founder and director of the Darren Easterling Center for Restorative Practices, said it was planned as a day of honest talk with survivors and perpetrators of gun and efforts to help heal service providers like teachers, community groups, and even police.

"As service providers we are pouring out to the people that we serve from our own level of brokenness...I personally believe, and I am sure there is research some place, that shows that we are dealing with in the area of what we call gun violence is people acting out their hurt," she said. 

Tom Hurley, an assistant superintendent with the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice, said the Truth and Reconciliation Summit was meant to be an opportunity for people who've been victims of gun crimes to talk with people who have been involved with violence and service providers.

"If we first don't have a level of value and trust for one another, we will never sit at the same table, we will never do our part and really get after this.

Lisa Daniels son was shot to death in a drug-related 2012 incident and she has worked to promote understanding among those on all sides of the tragedies. She picked the King holiday for this summit, the group's second, because she said it helps continue Dr. King's legacy.

"What a day, what an opportunity to honor the man that tried with all he could to create a legacy and here we are living out a portion of that legacy today," Daniels said.