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Activists say U of C trauma center as important as Obama library

For young people, there aren’t too many gray areas. Something is or it isn’t.

On Thursday at 6 p.m., several community organizations made up of teens, will host a Town Hall Meeting at University Church, 5655 S. University Ave., to voice concerns about the University of Chicago’s bid for President Barack Obama’s presidential library.

Ever since 18-year-old Damian Turner was gunned down in a drive-by shooting in 2010 — blocks away from the renowned hospital in Hyde Park — young activists have pressured hospital officials to reopen a trauma center that it closed in 1988.

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Instead of an ambulance taking Turner to the University of Chicago Medical Center, which was a few minutes away, it had to go downtown to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, the nearest Level 1 trauma center.

Turner, who co-founded Fearless Leading by the Youth, an activist group, was pronounced dead 90 minutes after he was shot.

“We are saying Obama cares, not the University of Chicago. So, why do they deserve an Obama library?” asked Victoria Crider, who is a senior at King College Prep and a member of Fearless Leading By The Youth.

“I have personally seen the lack of trauma care that is affecting our community. We are in a gun violence epidemic and the fact that we can’t get access to a trauma center is bogus,” Crider said.

Despite the sustained protests, the University of Chicago Medical Center has not budged.

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