Mercy Home coworkers participating in On the Table
Mercy Home coworkers participating in On the Table

Mercy Home coworkers recently participated in the Chicago Community Trust’s “On the Table” initiative, which brings people together to have discussions about topics that are important to their community.

This was Mercy Home’s fifth straight year participating in On the Table, and topics included current concerns in the public education system, racial disparity and discrimination, addressing youth violence, increasing mental health funding and resources, improving community-police relations, and why are people of color leaving Chicago?

Proposed ideas and solutions from each conversation will be typed up into memos and sent over to Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot. Different coworkers helped facilitate these discussions, including the Director of Boys Campus Programs and AfterCare Daniel Nelson, who led the topic of addressing youth violence.

“We identified violence as being something broader than just gun violence…we looked at it from the angle of ‘what is the source?’”

“We identified violence as being something broader than just gun violence,” Daniel said. “We looked at it from the angle of ‘what is the source?’ From our youth coming from domestic violence situations, to being in violent neighborhoods, to seeing violence on the news and on tv.”

Participants who discussed this topic also discussed how children oftentimes are unable to process the violence they witness or experience, the lack of conflict resolution skills children have, and negative stereotypes associated with certain Chicago communities.

“We put in a recommendation that we need more opportunities for the youth to be educated, to make them understand what makes them tick and what their strengths are,” Daniel said. “And create activities and programs that really play into what their talents are.”

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s On the Table initiative. It was truly amazing to see coworkers sharing their concern, enthusiasm, and passion for these issues in a collaborative effort to create change. We are excited to share the ideas and plans that were formed during these discussions with our new mayor.
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