Chicago Area Project (C.A.P.) Gathering in Woodstock, Illinois

This video is one of three and was recorded during a retreat in Woodstock, Illinois where the Chicago Area Project (C.A.P.), organised a weekend gathering to reflect on their past accomplishments and plan for the next year.

 

A room full of people, dressed in casual attire, sat in a row of shiny swivel seats. They remain seated throughout and a camera pans along the length of the row to focus on each speaker who speaks in turns. There’s a range of ages, from twenties to fifties, as well as two young teenage black males, and the group is a fairly even mix of white and African American people, male and female. The room has a brick wall to the left, wood panelling, and a curtain backdrop to the right.
A white male is facilitating the discussion, he is standing, facing the group, and paces the room.

0:36Copy video clip URL The facilitator opens the discussion by asking the group what struck them about a tape they have all watched by an organisation called Just Youth Services/Just Use Services.

1:20Copy video clip URL A black man responds that the programs seem irrelevant to the problems of the community.

1:40Copy video clip URL The problems are relatable to the speaker, such as the difficulty of fundraising in economically deprived areas, but are presented from a satirical viewpoint which undermines their importance.

2:50Copy video clip URL Just Youth Services/Just Use Services, a white woman claims, lack awareness of what the community really needs.

3:10Copy video clip URL A black man says that the services accessed are representative of the “people in this room” and are like sticking a “bandaid on a cancer”. He expresses frustration with the job, the organisation pays little and expects you to do a monumental job, including with part-time work, and gives lots of paperwork.

4:00Copy video clip URL A white male discusses the youth, their needful perspective and voice on matters.

6:02Copy video clip URL A white female questions why the Just Use Services/ Just Youth Services organisation, which has existed for twenty-one years, only offers basketball, what has kept the youth service-users getting into other things?

7:14Copy video clip URL A black male responds that the president of the organisation lacks local insight because he’s not out there in the community, he sends volunteers.

7:48Copy video clip URL A black male highlights the lack of insight an organisation that’s been around for twenty years has into present problems of the area, mentioning North Central as another example of an organisation founded in the nineteen-sixties which is now approaching issues of the nineteen-eighties. He stresses the need to realise the limits of what your organisation is capable of doing, it cannot cover all areas, such as food and housing, but can focus on an area that it’s effective in.

9:45Copy video clip URL A person asks, who in an organisation sets those limits.

9:57Copy video clip URL Speaking from their administrative experience, the man says the organisation lacks direction, goals, and reflection about its limits, owing to the lack of outreach, organisation workers aren’t going out into the communities.

10:39Copy video clip URL The facilitator asks how [name unclear] got his job.

10:42Copy video clip URL Someone mentions politics, the mayor and federal government funding.

12:24Copy video clip URL Black male refers to title twenty and the topic of income for the organisation. He says you have to consider a source of income for yourself before you can help others. As someone who was a member of the committee back in nineteen-sixty-eight, which was twenty years ago, he notes that staff are older (he is thirty-four), and that the community, its demographics and its ideology, has changed from what it was twenty years ago. For example, there are young mothers who are leaseholders who have grown up in the projects who are moving back into the projects.

14:13Copy video clip URL A white male asks how an organisation decides what it wants to do and explores its limits.

14:28Copy video clip URL A black male speaker, giving the example of basketball and its popularity in the community he serves, suggests starting with the youth’s interests and to aim to broaden them, by branching off and getting them involved in different types of programs.

17:58Copy video clip URL Another black male speaks about introducing children to new innovative ideas, not everyone will become a sports player, so they need to be exposed to a wider variety of things.

18:42Copy video clip URL A black female says services should seek to address the root of the problems, such as the home, rather than sports. In response to the question prevents organisations such as Just Youth Services/Just Use Services from addressing the issues she says they are only concerned with the kids and not the kid’s problems.

19:40Copy video clip URL A white male challenges this point by saying many mothers don’t want organisations invading their privacy.

20:11Copy video clip URL Another black woman speaks about her experience working the community for twenty years and says the while their services offer craft and basketball they are trying to find ways to reach needs of the community that are not being met, such as counselling services.

A white woman poses her question at a black male names George asking why this issue with programming activities, he says it comes down to expediency and actors limited by their situations.

21:57Copy video clip URL The facilitator asks the group what their reaction was to end of the tape where the commentator implies that the organisation surviving while the community is dying is a good thing.

22:24Copy video clip URL The discussion focuses on resource allocation with regard to local councils which know what problems face the communities but cannot afford to implement solutions.

23:50Copy video clip URL Those with expertise inside communities, for example on women’s health, aren’t able to do work for their communities because they have to sustain themselves. Such local services are because people don’t want to travel outside their neighbourhood to access public agency services.

24:56Copy video clip URL Two key issues are providing jobs and getting youth into schools.

26:54Copy video clip URL Organisations need much more funding to spend on programming and more qualified personnel, without which it can only be a band aid solution.

28:53Copy video clip URL White male claims getting this funding would be impossible.

29:06Copy video clip URL A speaker gives a hypothetical example of an initiative to rehabilitate Chicago communities, where seed money is given to develop green housing and integrated housing. He suggests a provision so that whenever a development happens there has to be affordable housing and the contractor must hires a percentage of their workforce from the community. He says Just Youth Services/Just Use Services survive because they get in volunteers, and it might be one person to fifty kids, but ultimately to be effective there needs to be adequate resources.

 

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