SAM COMEN PHOTOGRAPHY
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STOP THE VIOLENCE: NYC

I photographed these young people (each of whom has, unfortunately, been personally impacted by gun violence) in their neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs of New York City as part of a public-interest campaign to stem gun violence commissioned by the New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. Each of them has been empowered with intervention techniques and are working amongst their peer networks to de-escalate potentially volatile situations, saving lives. The campaign celebrates their work, and through an interactive social media feature, gives the public the chance to stand in solidarity with each of them.

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CHICAGO'S VIOLENCE INTERRUPTERS

 

PEOPLE Magazine sent me to Chicago’s South Side for three days in November 2015 to document and make portraits of the violence “interrupters” working with the Cure Violence program. It was incredible to ride along with each of these community leaders and the young men they mentor, all of them working to stem escalating tensions and stop the killing in Chicago's streets.

 
"Cobe Williams (center) grew up on the streets of Englewood, Chicago's violent South Side neighborhood...embraced its criminal ways [and] eventually redirected his ambitions. He joined the model Cure Violence program launched in the city in 2000 to "interrupt" what its founder sees as an epidemic of shootings and killings, using ex-offenders to build relationships with those at risk to stop violence before it happens." --Jeff Truesdell for People

"Cobe Williams (center) grew up on the streets of Englewood, Chicago's violent South Side neighborhood...embraced its criminal ways [and] eventually redirected his ambitions. He joined the model Cure Violence program launched in the city in 2000 to "interrupt" what its founder sees as an epidemic of shootings and killings, using ex-offenders to build relationships with those at risk to stop violence before it happens." --Jeff Truesdell for People

Orr Academy High School

Orr Academy High School

Student Jeryon Stevens outside Orr Academy with Cure Violence program coordinator Joshua Brooks.

Student Jeryon Stevens outside Orr Academy with Cure Violence program coordinator Joshua Brooks.

Coordination meeting in Cure Violence's South Shore office.

Coordination meeting in Cure Violence's South Shore office.

High school student Jeryon Stevens outside Orr Academy with Cure Violence program coordinator Joshua Brooks (at left.)

High school student Jeryon Stevens outside Orr Academy with Cure Violence program coordinator Joshua Brooks (at left.)

Gun violence “interrupter” Cobe Williams pictured in the Washington Park neighborhood of Chicago’s South Side with men whom he mentors. For People magazine Nov 2015.

Gun violence “interrupter” Cobe Williams pictured in the Washington Park neighborhood of Chicago’s South Side with men whom he mentors. For People magazine Nov 2015.

Outreach worker Rue Hodge at the CureViolence offices in Chicago's South Shore neighborhood.

Outreach worker Rue Hodge at the CureViolence offices in Chicago's South Shore neighborhood.

Cure Violence program coordinator Joshua Brooks speaks with Orr Academy high school student Jeryon Stevens (center,) his sister Jaziyah Vaughn and their mother Chrishona Hodges outside their Garfield Park home.

Cure Violence program coordinator Joshua Brooks speaks with Orr Academy high school student Jeryon Stevens (center,) his sister Jaziyah Vaughn and their mother Chrishona Hodges outside their Garfield Park home.