Public safety representatives, West Side residents to meet

The Building Blocks ForumUIC’s Center for Public Safety and Justice will present “The Building Blocks Forum: Restorative Approaches to Public Safety,” a civic engagement event featuring public safety representatives and residents of Chicago’s North Lawndale and West Garfield Park communities.

The event takes place from 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 27 in the Cardinal Room, Student Center East.

The UIC Center for Public Safety and Justice’s Building Blocks Project is a new and ongoing civic engagement initiative aimed at breaking down barriers between public safety stakeholders and local community residents, including some who have been in the criminal justice system.

Participants from four previous sessions in North Lawndale and West Garfield Park included community members and representatives of the Chicago Police Department, the Cook County state’s attorney’s office, the law office of the public defender, and the Cook County sheriff’s office.

They will come together at UIC to share lessons learned from the project, which included community tours and restorative justice “peace circles.”

“The goal of this effort was to explore the potential for civic engagement and creative problem-solving around health, energy and the environment through restorative practices and authentic dialogue. The results were promising,” said Juliana Stratton, director of the center.

“We hope the Building Blocks Project serves to create a space for collaborative dialogue that leads to safer and stronger communities.”

The forum, which is free and open to the public, includes a showcase of the project, participant discussion, and a reception with light refreshments.

Sponsors of the forum include UIC’s Great Cities Institute, the UIC Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement, and the UIC Office of Public and Government Affairs.

Registration is required.

For more information, call 312-355-5030.

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