DC3F youth council member Trevon Marshall reflects after reading an excerpt during the first of the four programs.Submitted photo

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Evanston Public Library and the Dajae Coleman Foundation plan to make this summer a time of reflection, learning and discussion about youth violence. They will jointly present four programs inspired by the book “How Long Will I Cry: Voices of Youth Violence,” an oral history of Chicago youth violence through the heartbreaking and hopeful stories of real people in their own words.

At the two community readings, members of the Dajae Coleman Foundation read excerpts from “How Long Will I Cry?” and discuss youth violence. One reading was held last weekend at Heartwood Center, 1818 Dempster St., and a second is scheduled for 6:30-8:30 p.m. on July 25 at Sherman United Methodist Church, 2214 Ridge Ave.

On Aug. 9 the Library’s Loft teen theater troupe will present a staged reading of “How Long Will I Cry?” at 3 p.m. in the community meeting room of the Main Library, 1703 Orrington Ave. Shortly afterward, at 4:30 p.m. in the same room, the community is invited to a conversation with Cobe Williams, a  violence interrupter with Cure Violence. He will discuss the Cure Violence approach to stopping the spread of violence.

Free copies of “How Long Will I Cry?” are available at the Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave.; Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center, 1655 Foster St.; Church Street Barber Shop, 1905 Church St.; and Ebony Barber Shop, 1702 Dodge Ave.

DePaul University assistant professor Miles Harvey edited the book, which journalist Rick Kogan described as “a stunning, stay-with-you-forever new book,” and which Booklist Online said is “a book everyone should read.” 

Those wishing to reserve seats for the August events may go to epl.org/teens or call the Loft at 847-448-8625.

Dajae Coleman Foundation Celebrates One-Year Anniversary

In its inaugural year, the Dajae Coleman Foundation (DC3F) reports it has “made tremendous strides” through its initiatives in educational excellence and community engagement through sports, driven by its mission to “Uplift, Encourage, Empower, and Reward” and make a meaningful impact in the lives of youth.Created in memory of 14-year-old Evanston resident Dajae Coleman, the foundation is spearheaded by his mother, Tiffany Rice, and inspired by an essay Dajae wrote for his freshman humanities class just days before he was shot and killed while walking home from a party with friends. With seed money from the Forest Powell Foundation, the foundation has grown.“The youth development work of the Dajae Coleman Foundation is a wonderful way to celebrate and remember the life of Dajae and is important to the Evanston community,” said Kevin Brown, community services manager for Parks, Recreation and Community Services for City of Evanston. “The foundation has been a fantastic partner to the City and has been supportive of our goals to reach at-risk youth and young adults in Evanston.”One of the foundation’s biggest events was its DaeDaeWorld Weekend, a three-day event that promoted the core values that shaped Dajae’s life: family support, determination and positive social interactions. The second DaeDaeWorld Weekend, Sept. 19-20, will focus on the theme “Living Well is Essential to Your Potential” with a variety of events and activities centered on fitness and wellness.