The stories of economic strife and incidents of violence that plague the city of Chicago have long been documented, but the 19-year old Chicago activist, Eva Lewis, wants the world to know that many of the conversations have missed some key points.
Lewis is a proud native of Chicago’s Southside who has dedicated her life to making sure that the stories of the people in her neighborhood will never go unheard. As a high school junior, Lewis created The I Project, an initiative combining art with social activism, all with the goal of providing young Chicagoans space to share their stories through creative expressions. She also created the organization “Youth For Black Lives” with two co-founders after leading a march in downtown Chicago protesting against police brutality towards Black people.
The current first-year student at the University of Pennsylvania recently spoke at an independently organized Tedx Teen talk titled Chicago: A of Land of Wilderness and Oasis, where she shared stories of how the poisonous mixture of violence and poverty impacts her Southshore community, and how her neighborhood is slighted by the lack of essentials such as a grocery store and adequate education.
The 14-minute talk is a harrowing story of those still fighting to survive in the very environments they were born in, and further shines the light on the fact that cities like Chicago and others in the U.S. tend to be impacted by the same issues as majority Black and Brown spaces around the world.
Take a look at the full conversation above.