South Side Stories Spotlight, January 2015: Loss

Each month, Ci3’s South Side Stories project features digital stories that spotlight the lives of adolescents and young adults from the South Side of Chicago. This January, we reflect on loss. Personal loss challenges, forms, and transforms us. Grief and bereavement are particularly poignant for adolescents. In this month’s spotlight, we feature stories by Charles, Nailah and Jajuan, in which each youth grapples with family loss. Through these stories, we experience death after a long life, death after a brief life, and finally a story of premature loss due to incarceration. South Side Stories highlights the bravery of storytellers and the power of stories. As we welcome the New Year, we salute these youth, their courage, and their stories of loss and of hope.

South Side Stories January 1

In All I Have, Charles presents his perspective on the death of two family members. Charles opens with an emphasis on how important family is to him, juxtaposing images of his family against words about his struggle with his peers and community. His narration has a clear rhyme and rhythm, though peppered with sudden interruptions and pauses, not unlike those brought on by the loss of his loved ones. He fondly remembers times with his grandfather and cousin, then tells of the shock and hurt of his grandfather passing and his cousin’s suicide. Charles incessantly questions, “Why? … I just kept wondering: why?” While he clearly appreciates and loves the family he currently has, he still wonders, “Sometimes, I wish he would just bring them back.”

In In Memory Of, Nailah brings us into the intimate moment of her grandmother’s death. Nailah’s story begins at a festive time — her graduation from grammar school — before quickly turning to the hospitalization of her grandmother.  As “things got really crazy,” she jumps forward two months, when her grandmother’s health has declined. Throughout her piece, Nailah contrasts actual events with ideal events. She tells us how her grandmother felt sick and looked beautiful. She describes her grandmother’s sickness as a blur, but paints a finely detailed scene: the coldness in her grandmother’s hand, the hospital bed, and her own body on a hot day in August. Nailah struggles with the doctors and nurses coming to “help save” her grandmother in those last few moments, as “people of no significance” block Nailah’s view of someone so significant to her. The contrasts in Nailah’s story illustrate the conflict that arises when letting someone go – someone who was so lively, yet passes away quietly.

Finally, in Searching, Jajuan reminds us that loss is not only due to death. Instead, Jajuan struggles when his father is incarcerated. When his father is sent to jail, he struggles with his father’s absence, and with comprehending what his father had done. He starts us just where he started, not knowing why his father was taken away, before slowly revealing the truth he learned. “The day you went away I sat and wondered, ‘What did he do?’ They would never tell me. I guess I was too young to understand…” Despite his father’s absence, Jajuan asks his father pointed questions, and challenges his father to reflect on his actions. However, when his dad returns, Jajuan’s words and description soften dramatically, as he recognizes he is searching not only to  understand his father’s actions and imprisonment, but also for a connection to someone who he had lost.

Click here for the full January spotlight, which includes broader implications and a resource guide.

South Side Stories is made possible through the generous support of the Ford Foundation.

Game Changer Chicago Seeks Youth Ages 14-18 for “Bystander” Characters

Now in development, “Bystander” is a digital game that also serves as an intervention to increase the skills, attitudes, and awareness to empower youth to help end sexual violence.

Information below. Interested youth can send name, age, school and photo to Ci3 Research Specialist Erin Jaworski at ejaworski@uchicago.edu.

Bystander - January Flyer

Youth Ages 14-18 Needed for PAID Research Study 12/9

hexacago playtest

Ci3/Game Changer Chicago are seeking youth ages 14-18 to participate in a paid research study on Tuesday, December 9 from 5:30-7 p.m. The study will take place at Ci3 (1225 E. 60th St., on The University of Chicago campus in Hyde Park).

Participants will play the Hexacago board game (pictured above) with peers and complete two short surveys. Time commitment is approximately 75 minutes, and each participant will be compensated $15. Feel free to bring a friend!

Please note, parental consent is required for all participants under 18.

For more information or to register, contact Erin Jaworski at (773) 834-9965 or ejaworski@bsd.uchicago.edu. Note: you are NOT officially registered until you receive a confirmation email from Erin.

 

TOMORROW: Research/Playtest Opportunity for Teens at Ci3/GCC

the source hexacago
Ci3 and Game Changer Chicago are seeking high school students ages 14-18 to participate in a paid research study tomorrow night (Tuesday, Nov. 25) from 5-6:30 p.m. on The University of Chicago campus in Hyde Park. The time commitment is approximately 75 minutes, during which teens will play the Hexacago board game with peers and complete two short surveys. Teens will be compensated $15 for the session. Feel free to bring a friend! Please note, parental consent will be required for all participants under 18.
 
If you are interested, please contact Erin Jaworski through phone (773-834-9965) or by email (ejaworski@bsd.uchicago.edu).  You are not officially registered until you received a confirmation email from Erin. 

 

Tomorrow Night: Teen Research Study – Spaces Still Available!

ADITL playtest cropped

Ci3 and Game Changer Chicago are seeking high school students ages 14-18 to participate in a research study tomorrow night, November 18 from 5-6:30 p.m. on The University of Chicago campus.

The session will take approximately 75 minutes and will consist of playing the “Hexacago” board game and completing two short surveys. Participants will be compensated $15.

Learn more, sign up and share.

 

Game Changer Chicago Seeks Teens for Paid Research Study

GCC Seed boys

Ci3’s Game Changer Chicago Design Lab  is looking for high school students ages 14 – 18 to participate in a paid research study. The time commitment would be roughly 75 minutes during which participants would play the Hexacago board game with peers and complete two short surveys. Participants would be compensated $15 for the session. If eligible, you will receive an email from our research coordinator with information on the game and goal of the study. Note: written parental consent will be required for all participants under 18.

Learn more and sign up here.