This report begins by providing a snapshot of the state of poverty in Illinois. From there, we dive into our special focus on violence, beginning with an overview of trends in violence in Chicago and Illinois. We make the case that the conditions that foster violence and the conditions that perpetuate poverty are interconnected and reinforce each other; we further show the traumatic effects of violence -- and how trauma drives both poverty and violence. We then examine how violence has been used to enforce systems of racial oppression and how communities of color are disparately impacted by violence today. We share data on how Illinois is doing on a number of factors that support quality of life for all Illinoisans and, when absent, can foster both poverty and violence. Finally, we propose recommendations to change the underlying conditions in communities deeply impacted by poverty and violence.
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