The goal of the National Youth Art Movement (NYAM) is to provide youth all across America in neighborhoods besieged by gun violence with an opportunity to make their mark on the issue by using their city as a blank canvas to communicate to the entire community the impact on their lives.
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Catherine A. Humikowski, medical director of the pediatric intensive care unit at the University of Chicago, shared her intimate experience with and worries about gun violence in a 2015 article entitled,”Our Terrifying Children’s Epidemic: Gun Violence.”
Below are a few poignant excerpts from that article.
"During my first week in Chicago, I cared for as many children with gunshot wounds as I had seen over the course of two years in Boston."
For those fighting for their lives, “Unlike other common diseases we treat in my ICU, children lie shot without major public investment to save them.”
And for those whose physical wounds heal, “Back in the communities where they were shot, childhood survivors grow up believing gun violence is normal. This ominous congenital form of the [gun violence] disease impairs vision for the future. Expecting they won't live past 30, exposed children make no plans.”
Whether it’s not seeing a future or becoming numb to stories of violence, Humikowski worries and warns that “Nothing places us at greater risk for pandemic demise by gun violence than this most subtle, pervasive and irreversible symptom — apathy by acclimation.”
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