The Women Of CeaseFire: Trying To Bring Calm In A City Of Violence

(CBS) — The violence prevention program CeaseFire has never had a tougher job in Chicago, and the program has lost funding because of the state budget stalemate.

But CBS 2’s Jim Williams reports one group of dedicated workers is stepping up its efforts.

Their mission has no boundaries.

And where they go there is potential danger. Still, Angalia Bianca and Gwendolyn Baxter are in a small group: the women of CeaseFire, the violence prevention program.

They earn trust by building relationships on corners.

They go to the hospitals and the streets to stop family members and friends from retaliating when a loved one is shot.

Baxter lost her son Larry to gun violence 14 years ago.

“I’m a mother. They feel my emotion,” she says.

Chicago has its highest number of murders in 20 years. These women of CeaseFire are working harder than ever, after state funding cuts and colleagues lost their jobs.

“I can’t understand because this program makes perfect sense,” Bianca says.

Ceasefire’s founder and creator, Dr. Gary Slutkin, says violence should be treated like a contagious disease. The program has been celebrated and criticized.

 

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