2 years ago, Toni Irving sat down with Shelly Stern Grach, Director of Civic Engagement at Microsoft, and host of Civic Chat: Networking our Neighborhoods for an interview. Civic Chat is a video interview series that focuses on organizations and individuals who are making a huge difference and helping to “Network our Neighborhoods” by sharing their exceptional stories about the creativity and passion in Chicago neighborhoods. Toni Irving illustrates her “one in million” sensibility and perspective in this interview, as she explains how Get IN Chicago is changing the way Chicago’s most poverty-stricken neighborhoods function by funding different programs and working with the community, resulting in lower violence in our city.
Since this interview, Get IN Chicago’s Toni Irving has continued her quest to help at-risk youth and prevent youth violence though leading the organization’s mission to combine private resources with experts in social policy and evaluation to identify, fund, and evaluate evidence-informed approaches to violence.
Through recent years, Chicago has experienced an unprecedented upsurge in violence, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel underlines the importance of our collective quest to maintain safe and secure neighborhoods in the wake of multiple scandals and shootings involving officers – attentively being addressed by city leaders. The engagement of civic organizers is ever-so-important right now, which is why, Get IN Chicago’s long-term, systematic strategy is key.
Get IN Chicago’s strategic approach is to invest in focus communities that reflect more than double the city average for violence, are populated by significant concentrations of youth, demonstrate the capacity to successfully carry out evidence-based programs, and indicate a willingness to collaborate.
If you would like to learn more about Toni Irving and her mission at Get IN Chicago and beyond, visit her website: www.toniirving.com