“Lugalia-Hollon and Cooper call for a domestic Marshall Plan to boost employment, health, and education, and urge policymakers to focus on removing problem situations, rather than problem people.” —Booklist
“The War on Neighborhoods" reveals, in chilling detail, what our collective delusions about safety have done to vulnerable communities and how unsafe we have made the places we police most heavily. It also lays the groundwork for imagining a future in which we overcome what the authors call our ‘addiction to punishment.’” —Eula Biss, author of "On Immunity and Notes from No Man’s Land"
Ryan Lugalia-Hollon and Dan Cooper discuss their new book "The War on Neighborhoods." A Q/A and signing will follow the discussion.
At 57th Street Books
About the book: For people of color who live in segregated urban neighborhoods, surviving crime and violence is a generational reality. As violence in cities like New York and Los Angeles has fallen in recent years, in many Chicago communities, it has continued at alarming rates. Meanwhile, residents of these same communities have endured decades of some of the highest rates of arrest, incarceration, and police abuse in the nation.
"The War on Neighborhoods" argues that these trends are connected. Crime in Chicago, as in many other US cities, has been fueled by a broken approach to public safety in disadvantaged neighborhoods. For nearly forty years, public leaders have attempted to create peace through punishment, misinvesting billions of dollars toward the suppression of crime, largely into a small subset of neighborhoods on the city’s West and South Sides. Meanwhile, these neighborhoods have struggled to sustain investments into basic needs such as jobs, housing, education, and mental healthcare.
When the main investment in a community is policing and incarceration, rather than human and community development, that amounts to a “war on neighborhoods,” which ultimately furthers poverty and disadvantage. Longtime Chicago scholars Ryan Lugalia-Hollon and Daniel Cooper tell the story of one of those communities, a neighborhood on Chicago’s West Side that is emblematic of many majority-black neighborhoods in US cities. Sharing both rigorous data and powerful stories, the authors explain why punishment will never create peace and why we must rethink the ways that public dollars are invested into making places safe.
"The War on Neighborhoods" makes the case for a revolutionary reformation of our public-safety model that focuses on shoring up neighborhood institutions and addressing the effects of trauma and poverty. The authors call for a profound transformation in how we think about investing in urban communities—away from the perverse misinvestment of policing and incarceration and toward a model that invests in human and community development
About the authors: Ryan Lugalia-Hollon, Ph.D. has worked in the youth development field for over twenty years, with a focus on restorative justice, violence prevention, and trauma-informed care. In Chicago, he worked for the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, the Center for Urban Economic Development, and Northwestern University, and received his Ph.D. in Urban Planning and Policy
from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Ryan currently leads an education network in San Antonio,Texas.
Daniel Cooper, Ph.D. works across Chicago with organizations and coalitions on a range of issues that include violence prevention, justice system reform, community and economic development, youth development, housing, and health equity. He is the founding Executive Director of the Center for Equitable Cities at Adler University in Chicago. He received his Ph.D. in Community Research and Action from Vanderbilt University.