Episode three features retired police officer Vanessa Westley (above, at left) in conversation with Andrea Hernandez, who first met Westley as part of the Chicago Police Department’s Youth District Advisory Council (YDAC). Westley shares a photo (above, at right) from one of the first YDAC leadership sessions: it features a white male police officer seated alongside two young men of color. They all are all sitting at eye level around the same table, a positioning that Westley sees as an important recognition of the value of all voices in conversations about community safety. Click here to listen to episode three.
Episode four looks at public safety from an abolitionist perspective. This episode features community organizer and abolitionist Tynetta Hill-Muhammad (above, at left) in conversation with interviewer Andrea Hernandez. A student and community outreach worker, Hill-Muhammad, 25, also works as the Chicago Chapter Organizer for Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100). The photo (above, at right) they describe in this episode was taken on Aug. 19, 2021, at a “Stop Shotspotter” rally outside a Chicago Police Department district office in Englewood. They stand speaking to a crowd and the press, in front of a banner that reads, in part, “Defund the Police.” For Hill-Muhammad, the photo represents a moment in time that reinforced their belief that police are not necessary for public safety—in fact, only community members have what they need to keep one another safe. Click here to listen to episode four.
Click here to listen to episodes 3 and 4 of Our Stories, Our World.
What does public safety mean to you? We’d love to hear your perspective. Tell us what you think about public safety (or community safety) and the podcast by commenting on social media, or by leaving us a review on Apple podcasts. Scroll to the bottom of this page to find us on social media or sign up for our newsletter.
Our Stories, Our World is a youth-led series featuring Chicagoans’ perspectives on public safety, public health and public education. This six-episode podcast is a first-ever collaboration between Public Narrative and A Picture’s Worth, an Ohio-based nonprofit focused on strengths-based storytelling for community change. The series combines audio stories and photography to create a set of citizen-centered podcasts that flip the script on traditional media narratives–uplifting community perspectives rather than focusing on conflict.
Episodes are released every two weeks. Other interviewees include educator Shohn Williams, Alderwoman Rossana Rodriguez, immigrant rights activist Taneka Jennings, and health researcher Dr. Shyam Prabhakaran.