November 1, 2018
Promising Solutions to Reducing Gun Violence – Moderated by Julia Stasch – Asiaha Butler, Eddie Bocanegra & John Hardy
Asiaha Butler is a longtime resident of Greater Englewood and is determined to uplift, inspire and change the perception of her neighborhood, which is often seen as a death trap. Butler has served in various roles on boards and councils in Englewood including: Chair of the Education Taskforce of Teamwork Englewood, community representative on the LSC for Robeson High School, member of the Englewood Community Cultural Planning Council, Co-Chair of the Englewood Community Action Council, and founding member of the Greater Englewood Community Development Corp.
Through her leadership she was able to work with educators, concerned citizens, and parents to develop a comprehensive educational plan for schools in the community as well as engage residents in plans grounded in community planning and development. In November of 2010, Butler mobilized residents and co-founded the Resident Association of Greater Englewood (R.A.G.E.), of which she currently serves as president. The mission of R.A.G.E is to mobilize people and resources to force a change in the community. The primary focus areas for R.A.G.E. are education, youth development, economic development and civic empowerment. Butler is also the chair of the Englewood Quality of Life Housing and Public Spaces Task Force and R.A.G.E. serves as the lead organization for the Englewood Public Safety Task Force.
Eddie Bocanegra joined Heartland Alliance in June 2017 as Senior Director of READI Chicago. In this role, he oversees the management and implementation of the evidence-based and trauma-informed program to reduce gun violence and promote safety and opportunity.
As a pioneer in the field, Bocanegra brings years of experience in community-based organizations and programs created to address trauma and build resiliency among those most impacted by violence. Most recently, he served as Executive Director for the YMCA of Chicago and was responsible for programs that focused on trauma inform approaches such as Urban Warriors and Bridging the Divide.
Prior to the YMCA, he was the congregational organizer for Community Renewal Society where he led FORCE (Fighting to Overcome Records and Create Equality), a coalition that advocates for increased opportunities for the formerly incarcerated. He also worked as a violence interrupter for Chicago’s Ceasefire and was featured in the award-winning documentary The Interrupters.
Julia Stasch is President of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, one of the nation’s largest philanthropies with assets of approximately $7 billion, and offices in Chicago, Mexico City, New Delhi, and Abuja, Nigeria. With a broad background of leadership in the business, governmental, and philanthropic sectors, she has served as the Foundation’s President since July 2014.
Stasch joined the Foundation in 2001 as Vice President for US Programs, responsible for major work in the United States, including strategies related to justice, housing, education, community and economic development, and social and economic policy.
Stasch is a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago, the Economic Club, and The Chicago Network, and she previously served on the board of the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Stasch is a summa cum laude graduate of Loyola University, and holds a master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
John Hardy is a Senior Program Manager for Cure Violence. Hardy is responsible for management of 11 distinct work units within the University of Illinois at Chicago, encompassing hospital and community-based programs. Before being promoted to this leadership role, Mr. Hardy spent five years as a Hospital Case Manager, working with patients injured by violence and treated at John H. Stroger Hospital, Cook County’s public trauma center, providing supportive aftercare to patients shot, stabbed, or beaten to alleviate the impacts of traumatic injury and guide at-risk individuals to a healthier trajectory. Hardy represents UIC and Cure Violence in the Metropolitan Peace Academy, an academic institution aimed at professionalizing the field of street outreach.