Zeynab Ali talks about her experience growing up in the largest refugee camp in the world, stressing the importance of listening to people’s stories, speaking up against injustice and including the youth in solving the issues we face.
Russell “Rusty” Green hauls buckets of tools from in front of a home just north of West Roosevelt Drive, where he’s just finished a concrete stoop. Green’s fingertips, stained with a thin, permanent-looking layer of white dust, match his grizzled beard. “We’re losing our future,” Rusty says, as he leans against his cream-colored pickup truck. “See, the youth are our future, right? And this is how we live forever, this is how our name stays in the book of life forever — through our kids, grandkids and so on, and so forth.
Sharlen Moore talks about the importance of listening to our neighbors, challenging ourselves, investing in and supporting each other in order to improve our communities.
Jose Vasquez, a former gang member, talks about the emptiness he felt as a young person, his personal journey of change and why he has dedicated his life to working with youth who are experiencing many of the same challenges he did.
Marcell Turner walks briskly down a stretch of 37th Street, just north of Vliet in Washington Park. Turner, who sports a University of Wisconsin jacket and backwards hat, has roots in the neighborhood. “Look at our streets — it’s dirty, raggedy, trashy — look how people are treated,” he says. “I just want peace in the world. I want everybody to feel free in the world; I don’t want nobody to feel like they gotta be controlled by someone.”