Past Event

"Chiraq" in the Wake of Trayvon: Reality or Hyperbole?

Lolly Bowean, Chicago Tribune reporter, and Malcolm London, poet and teaching artist at Young Chicago Authors, will be participating in this discussion.

Chicago Tribune: “What’s in a nickname? It could be a lot” by Lolly Bowean

“The teenagers who live among the persistent sirens, screams and gunshots in Briana Lawrence’s Englewood neighborhood have their own name for Chicago: ‘Chiraq.’ The term sums up their feeling that navigating their community at times feels like walking through a war zone”

Questions for Consideration 

How has the Zimmerman verdict changed your understanding of what it means to be young and Black in America? What does the term “Chiraq” suggest about the serious issues facing Chicago’s communities of color? How does the term help or hurt our efforts to prevent and stop violence in our communities? Has the media paid enough attention to the violence that young Chicagoans of color face — whose stories are being told and whose aren’t? How might it be problematic to compare Chicago’s violence to the violence taking place in war zones globally?

Want to learn more?

Free and open to the public. For more information please call 312.422.5580.

If you need a sign interpreter or require other arrangements to fully participate, please call 312.422.5580. For parking locations near the facility, please visit