Our new Program Director, ShotSpotter update, and more!

By Mary Zerkel and asia smith

Introducing the new Chicago Peacebuilding Program Director!

Please help us welcome asia maya smith [the lowercase is intentional] as our new Chicago Peacebuilding Program Director! 
asia comes to AFSC from working on various abolitionist campaigns in Chicago and will continue our collective work to dismantle militarism and state violence in our domestic and foreign policy while building alternatives that contribute to the well-being of communities.
She was born and raised in Southern Florida and now calls Chicago her home. She graduated with a B.A in Anthropology and Sociology from Kalamazoo College. When she moved to Chicago, asia got involved in grassroots anti-surveillance organizing and Black Queer youth work, formulating a localized community.
As a proponent for life-affirming practices, asia believes deeply in Transformative Justice and mutual aid work. When she isn’t busy engaging in organizing, asia loves trying out new food spots in Chicago and spending quality time with loved ones.
I'm so excited that asia will be continuing our work with all of you, please feel free to drop her a note or say hi when you see her at the next demonstration or organizing meeting!
love and solidarity,
Mary Zerkel
AFSC Associate Regional Director 
To read asia's full interview on AFSC's website, click here.


ShotSpotter out of Chicago come September!

Mayor Brandon Johnson has vowed that Chicago's Shotspotter contract will be canceled by September of this year. This comes after years of grassroots organizing efforts from community members.
The Shotspotter coalition had this to say "Organizing works! After years of community pressure, the City of Chicago has committed to ending its use of ShotSpotter in September 2024. Thank you to all the coalition partners, community members, the Mayor, and every person who fought for this."
To read the coalition's full statement click here.
This fight is not over! Shotspotter's technology still exists in other cities across the U.S. We want to send a clear message that surveillance does not equal safety. Housing, education, and mental health care are the keys to true community well-being and peace.
To learn more about Shotspotter, the MacArthur Justice Center released a report with key findings on the technology. Click here to read it.  


Treatment Not Trauma's Community Listening Sessions

Treatment Not Trauma wants you to provide feedback on your vision for the new public mental health services in our city!
The coalition says the following "The City of Chicago under Mayor Brandon Johnson plans to reinvest in public mental health services and reopen the public mental health centers that have been closed over the past few decades. As part of this process, plans are underway to reopen two public mental health centers that will be operated through the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) in 2024. With these plans underway, the Collaborative for Community Wellness is having a series of conversations to learn more from community members about your vision for public mental health services in Chicago." 
Join the Treatment not Trauma coalition in person or virtually to attend a community listening session. Register here: bit.ly/tnt-sessions