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The crime statistics are staggering. More than 3,000 people have been shot in Chicago, this year. But numbers alone do not paint the full picture of what is happening in our city.

In this 3-part WGN News Special Report, Gaynor Hall looks at the root causes of violence from housing segregation to employment and education.

Part 1:

“If a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, Chicago is only as strong as its most under-resourced community,” said Jahmal Cole, founder of My Block, My Hood, My City.
In Part 1 of this series, we take a look at the issue of housing segregation in Chicago and how it contributes to violence.


Part 2:

“Life is sweet on 75th street,” said Stephanie Hart, owner of Brown Sugar Bakery.
In Part 2, we look at efforts to increase economic opportunity.  Small businesses can play a big role in getting dollars circulating in struggling communities.


Part 3:

“As long as we provide the provisions to make sure children are safe, we can explore and we can do anything,” said DeCarla Burton, founder of Jump Smart Early Learning Academy.

In Part 3, WGN’s Gaynor Hall concludes our series on inequality in Chicago with a look at education.






Photojournalist Michael D’Angelo, producers Pam Grimes, and Afua Owusu contributed to this report


More information:

Jump Smart Early Learning Academy

Thirty Million Words

Brown Sugar Bakery

Black Chicago Eats

Chicago Tribune: ‘The South Side’ tackles Chicago segregation, highlights black neighborhoods

My Block My Hood My City’s website

UIC Great Cities

Children’s Museums in the Area:


Explore further coverage:

Fixing Failing Schools 2014; Graduation Day

Fixing Failing Schools: Revisiting Chicago’s Phillips Academy

Fixing Failing Schools

Transforming Public Housing: 15 Years Later

Chicago children of gun violence, in their own words