Love, Protect, Resist
Photo by Andrew Gill/WBEZ
According to the Chicago Tribune, 552 people have been killed in the city of Chicago in 2018. Gun violence has resulted in, at least, 428 of those deaths, which are concentrated largely within Black communities on the south and west sides. These statistics do not take into account the thousands of people who have been injured, but not killed, by gun violence. In the face of this horrifying reality, Ujimaa Medics, this week’s featured grantee, is taking a stand.
Ujimaa Medics (UMedics) was founded in 2014 to address the lethal combination of gun violence, long ambulance response times, and lack of accessible trauma centers that plagues the South Side. In their own words, UMedics seeks, “to address racial health disparities that are the result of centuries of oppression, terrorism, state-sanctioned violence, and generational trauma that Black people in the US are still coping with.” Toward this end, UMedics educates community members about bystander first - aid to respond to urban crisis situations. Their trainings include basic medical procedures to help stabilize the injured before the ambulance arrives, crowd-management techniques, and tips on effectively talking with paramedics and police once they arrive on the scene.
Since UMedics inception, they have held more than 100 workshops and trained 1,000+ individuals. Their incredible work has resulted in five gunshot victims receiving onsite first-aid. UMedics also prepares people to respond to asthma attacks and has plans to expand their work to include mental health and diabetes workshops. And, to affect broader systems change, their base-building focuses on health care advocacy and direct action for health justice in marginalized Black communities. Once again, in their own words:
We believe that by equipping community members with life-saving skills, accurate health information, confidence, and using every workshop to lift up the healing traditions of African-descendants and the indigenous people of this land called North America, we are creating conditions for moving our people toward self-determined health.
An end-of-the-year gift to Crossroads Fund will enable us to continue supporting Ujimaa Medics and others who courageously and creatively strive to save, lift up, and empower their communities. Please consider donating today to keep Crossroads Fund at the forefront in the fight for racial, social and economic justice!