Letters: Don’t forget role of fathers in curbing urban violence

SHARE Letters: Don’t forget role of fathers in curbing urban violence

In yet another news story, on Tuesday, about efforts to curb violence in some of Chicago’s most dangerous neighborhoods, Mayor Rahm Emanuel urged Chicagoans to take part in mentoring programs to positively influence the city’s underserved youth, and the head of the city’s largest voluntarism agency noted the importance of creating a connection between a caring adult and a child.

The Sun-Times article says, “The best-run mentoring programs provide immense benefits to youth, including reduced risk factors for violence, national studies show.”The director of a non-profit that provides mentors to schools in the inner city is quoted as saying, “We all watch the news. We all know what’s going on.” Yet thereis no reference to perhaps the most influential factor of all – caring fathers.

How long will it take the media and political figures to acknowledge that raising a child, and particularly a boy, to become a caring and responsible adult requires a loving father as well as a mother?How else can we expect to instill values like respect for others and the ability to deal with adversity without resorting to violence?Bringing more fathers back into the picture should be a top priority.

Jeffrey L. Stern, Highland Park

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com (Please include the name of your neighborhood or suburb, and a phone number for verification.)

Reach out to troubled young people

Maudlyne Ihejirika’s May 25 story about the Manhood Development Camp was an inspiration. It is an example of a program that helps reach our young people and put them on the path to productivity. I was moved by how these guys came together to bond with these young men and uplift them. If more communities would follow their example, our city would be better and not plagued with so much violence.

I also applaud the Sun-Times for devoting space to something positive. I hope giving visibility to this effort will inspire others in the city to follow suit.

Melody M. McDowell, Markham

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