MADE Magazine Issue 8 - Page 64

MADENOW MAN OF CITY: Hasani TAKEBACK #THE MADE By Jasmine Browley S Too frequently during Chicago summers, the sounds of sirens compete with children’s laughter. And the former often wins. Squad cars far outnumber ice cream trucks on the blocks and fun often loses out to fear. ince April 2016, the city’s murder rate has risen by more than 88% in the first three months of the year with more than 141 murders reported. The Chicago Police Department and Mayor Rahm Emanuel point the finger at gang members for the bulk of the murders. years, the initiative has served more than 700 adolescents by providing a free, safe environment to be along with food, games, music, scholarships, school supplies and more in order to leave a positive impact long after the event is over. “I grew tired of seeing kids be deprived of their childhood for fear of being killed by a gangbanger’s bullet,” said Hasani Henderson, founder of the antiviolence / gun prevention initiative #TheTakeBack. HOW IT BEGAN Shortly after graduating from the University of Missouri, Hasani noticed that the already stunning amount of gun murders in his hometown were steadily increasing at an alarming rate and was often the topic of discussion among his classmates. But no one ever actually did anything about it after the conversations. The 23-year-old Southside Chicago native decided to take matters into his own hands and founded #TheTakeBack in 2014 in an effort to reframe what summers in the city look like in some of its most violent areas. “I didn’t want to be one of those social media activists who wrote lengthy think pieces in their status update, but didn’t follow up with any action,” he said. “So I decided to put my money where my mouth was.” #TheTakeBack continues annually as an all-day activity filled outdoor event geared toward promoting antiviolence among Chicago’s at-risk youth. Over the last two Literally. Hasani conceptualized #TheTakeBack, spread 64