Cycle of Risk: the Intersection of Poverty, Violence, and Trauma
Cycle of Risk:
THE INTERSECTION OF POVERTY, VIOLENCE, AND TRAUMA
We must prevent the violence before it starts, intervene where it’s happening, and disrupt the cycle.
Illinois Poverty Report 2017
Over 10 years ago, Heartland Alliance identified poverty and economic insecurity as being at the root of many of the struggles faced by the organization’s program participants.
We realized that no one was talking about poverty in a comprehensive way.
We also identified a knowledge gap regarding some very basic poverty facts —What is poverty? How many people are poor? Who is poor?The Social IMPACT Research Center began working on a project intended to fill this knowledge gap and address the piecemeal approach to tackling poverty-related issues.
The crux of this effort became the annual Report on Illinois Poverty.
This year’s report theme explores the relationship between poverty, violence, and trauma and, through its findings, argues that addressing Illinois’s violence crisis must involve investing in reducing poverty and treating trauma.
Through this report, we have uncovered various findings that demonstrate that both poverty and violence often derive from the same causes. These findings also show that the un-addressed trauma that exists in impacted communities, directly feeds into further poverty and violence.
This crisis is complex and long-standing and it is often tempting to look for quick fixes to address violence—especially because the stakes are often life or death. But quick fixes often ignore the long-standing drivers of poverty and violence.
This report features images of artwork by Ervin A. Johnson, Heartland Alliance’s artist in residence. Heartland Alliance is fortunate to be part of a unique collaboration with the Photography Department at Columbia College Chicago under the auspices of the Diane Dammeyer Fellowship in Photographic Arts and Social Issues. This post-graduate fellowship creates a space for a socially engaged artist to produce a compelling and dynamic body of work highlighting human rights and social issues. The goal of the fellowship is to utilize photographic practice as a point of departure for dialogue and engagement, elevating awareness of social, economic, and cultural issues by connecting subject, audience, and community to inspire positive social change.
The portraits are part of his most recent body of work, #InHonor, in which Ervin pays homage to the lives lost to police brutality and racism. The work speaks to the racial violence and discrimination currently occurring across America, but it also seeks to validate and celebrate black lives. In this way, the work speaks not only to the preservation of the individual but in a deeper way of humanity. To see more pieces from this series, visit www.inhonorofus.com.
Heartland Alliance, one of the world’s leading anti-poverty organizations, works in communities in the U.S. and abroad to serve those who are homeless, living in poverty, or seeking safety. It provides a comprehensive array of services in the areas of safety, health, housing, education, economic opportunity, and justice – and leads state and national policy efforts which target lasting change for individuals and build towards a society of equity and opportunity for all.
Social IMPACT Research Center
The Social IMPACT Research Center is a program of Heartland Alliance. IMPACT conducts research that helps leaders create change. We collaborate with clients to measure and grow their social impact. Our user-friendly work enables nonprofits, foundations, and governments to advance real-world solutions to poverty.