April 3 2018 Councillor Dr. Candice Pitts embarked on her travel to the United States to foster relations with the city of Chicago’s Cure Violence. Councillor Pitts was greeted by Community Planner Marcus McAllister and Deputy Director of Cure Violence, Ricardo “Cobe” Williams and invited to their session to personally witness how the structure operates. At the meeting she was met by former gang members and affiliates who have since transformed their lives for the better and have been on a path of using the Cure Violence organization to help prevent the spread of violence and decrease the number of murders in the neighborhoods. Each member reported back on cases with the potential to escalate in their neighborhoods so the organization can see where attention can be given to diffuse this calmly. Upcoming plans were also made to reorient the lives of the organization’s members.
Thursday and Friday of Councillor Pitts’ trip was spent at the Annual College Language Association Conference. The Association itself was founded in 1937 by a group of Black scholars and educators and is currently comprised of college teachers of English and foreign languages which serves the economic, scholarly and professional interests of its members and the collegiate communities they represent. The theme of this year’s conference was “Native Sons/Daughters and Immigrants in the Black Metropolis.” After listening to presenters from countries of the globe Councillor concluded “What I find particularly pertinent to our city, however, was the conversation I engaged in about the ways in which our urban spaces help shape and define our lives. We are collectively concerned about the spike in crime and violence, and I do believe that we need to develop safety measures that will evolve with the developments and new problems and challenges attendant with our expansive urban spaces.” With that being said we expect impactful ideas from a seemingly inspired Councillor Pitts in the near future.