Penn Injury Science Center: Science of Safety for Our Cities Conference Public Keynote Lecture

Penn Injury Science Center: Science of Safety for Our Cities Conference Public Keynote Lecture

"The Things They Carry: Violence and the Soul of our Cities"

Alex Kotlowitz is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author, who has been exploring issues of race and poverty in America for over twenty years. His 1991 book There Are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America (Doubleday, 1991) garnered national recognition for its compassionate and unflinching portrait of Pharoah and Lafeyette Rivers and their lives growing up in a public housing project in inner city Chicago.

Continuing his inquiry into social issues in America, Kotlowitz’s documentary The Interrupters—a collaboration with Hoop Dreams director/ producer Steve James—examines the stubborn persistence of urban violence and was praised by A.O. Scott for its ability to “open up” the topic of urban violence and not limit the story to “the comforting clarity of easy conclusions.” The film debuted to much acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival and appeared as a two-hour special on Frontline. It was cited as one of the best films of the year by The New Yorker, The Chicago Tribune, The LA Times and Entertainment Weekly, and received the Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary.

His most recent book, Never a City So Real, introduces us to the people of Chicago who have been his guide into the city’s—and by inference, this country’s—heart. The Chicago Sun-Times called it “a fine successor to Nelson Algren’s Chicago: City on the Make as a song to our rough-and-tumble, broken-nosed city.”

Featured event part of the Science of Safety for Our Cities Conference.