Andrea Zopp

I know Cure Violence is effective, because in 2008, the Cure Violence site had funding issues; its funding was cut. In some neighborhoods that summer, in particular Roseland on the south side, the shooting went up, dramatically. It was a very vivid example of what happens when the workers are present and not present.

Andrea Zopp was appointed President and CEO of the venerable Chicago Urban League, which works for economic, educational and social progress for African Americans, in September 2010. Before her appointment to the Chicago Urban League, Ms. Zopp was executive vice president and general counsel at the Exelon Corporation. Prior to joining Exelon, Ms. Zopp was senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of Sears Holdings Corporation, and a vice president, deputy general counsel in the law department at Sara Lee Corporation. She also served as a partner in the litigation department of the law firm of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal. Ms. Zopp was the first woman and African American to serve as the First Assistant State’s Attorney in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office. She has been a Cure Violence Board Member since 2007.

“I think that the Cure Violence model works best when it works closely with law enforcement, because law enforcement is also based in the community, and because law enforcement is ‘the enforcer,’ if you will. It’s the partnership that is most effective.

“Sometimes they know that it’s not going to be successful, and they can communicate that to the police so the police know that there is a risk of danger in a certain area. The police can beef up security and be more responsive, because they can’t cover every area. If there is a strong flow of communication, both sides can be more effective, and that’s when it becomes really powerful. It really is the community coming together to stop violence in all parts.

“When people raise the question of the Cure Violence model accepting gang activity, I say that in the process of stopping a violent act from occurring, Cure Violence focuses on what’s wrong with violent behavior.”