Arizona State University Violence Interrupters Questions
The purpose of me showing this film is for you to see the power of Interpersonal communication within a culture, as a means conflict resolution. In the film you will be introduced to a Chicago inner-city group known as “The Violence Interrupters”. The Interrupters use communication, common sense, and street cred to get young people in Chicago to stop, and think before they commit acts of violence. They never claim to end the violence; their mission is to interrupt the cycle of it. In my opinion their actions are heroic. It is that kind of human communication and human interaction that is valuable in our study of Interpersonal communication.
*Accessing the film: The film is available to you for free via the PBS link I have provided below. However, the quality of the film is rather poor if you stream it from the PBS website. If you have Netflix or any other online video streaming service, I highly suggest you find the film there. The quality will be much better.
The Interrupters Discussion Questions Assignment
The questions below are based off the content of the film. Please reflect on them by using specific examples from the movie along with your opinion. Please make each answer a paragraph or more (5 sentences). A well written paper shall include a strong connection to the film. Please include several “I, Me and My” statements, along with your personal opinion or response to the film.
- The Violence Interrupters leverage mediation skills, cultural knowledge and street credibility to gain the respect and confidence of people in conflict. Could someone with mediation training but without a similar background and experience be as effective as the Interrupters?
- Violence in mainstream films, television shows, news programming, video games, music and YouTube videos has become increasingly graphic and prevalent over the last two decades. Do you think the consumption of violent imagery desensitizes people to violence in their public and private lives? Is the entertainment industry creating more violent content or simply reflecting an increasingly violent American culture?
- Many of the Interrupters and the people they help trace their descent into criminal behavior at least in part to their problematic or absent relationships with their fathers. Why do you think the father-child relationship is such a prevalent factor in this issue? How can our communities support young people who lack positive male role models?
- Ameena’s confession of physical and sexual abuse shows that abused and neglected children often fall into circumstances that lead them into crime, creating a thin line between perpetuator and victim of violence. What would it look like to shift our public policies and aim funding to prevent future perpetuators of violence, instead of simply prosecuting them once a violent act has been committed?
- Eddie Bocanegra talked about the tense relationship between police and his community. Studies show that Latinos, both documented and undocumented, are reluctant to report crimes for fear of exposing their immigration status, or of being discriminated against, or out of a distrust of authorities based on experiences from their home countries. How do these cultural factors contribute to violence in Latino neighborhoods?
- The film mentions the idea of having the National Guard come in to help Chicago Police patrol the streets. Discuss how you feel about that Idea and why. Will the addition the National Guard add to the problem or help reduce the acts of violence?
- What unique role can women play in conflict mediation?
- For Cobe, Ameena and Eddie, being an Interrupter is about more than just stopping fights; it is about interrupting the status quo and making a positive difference in their community. What does being an Interrupter mean to you? In what ways have you acted as an Interrupter in your community?
- Please address three of the following questions of your choice. Make each of your answers a minimum of 2 paragraphs (10 sentences)Discussion Questions:
- What scene resonated most with you and why?
- What was your biggest take away from the film?
- How can we find ways to encourage student’s civic participation, activism, enlightenment, and inspiration to speak out against social injustices?
- How willing are you to participate in community action programs that promote racial understanding?
- Are you willing to become involved with programs that raise your awareness of social injustices?