Tio Hardiman, Executive Director, Violence Interrupters, NFP
Guest speaker Chasing The News … Stone Cold Sober August 26, 2020
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Tio Hardiman, Executive Director Violence Interrupters, NFP, has dedicated his life and career to community organizing for peace and social change.
In 1999, Mr. Hardiman joined CeaseFire, an award-winning public health model that has been scientifically proven to reduce shootings and killings. In 2004, Tio created the Violence Interrupters Initiative.
In 2004, under Tio’s direction, CeaseFire received additional funding from the State of Illinois to immediately expand from 5 to 15 communities and from 20 to 130 Outreach Workers and Violence Interrupters. The Violence Interrupters are a specialty unit of violence intervention experts that work to mediate conflict on the “front-end.” Their reputation and connections in the community provide them access to leaders and influential decision makers in street organizations. As testament to the success of this program overall, homicides declined in Chicago by 25 percent in 2013, to a total of 426. This was the fewest number of homicides in the city since 1965.
In 2012, Tio wrote, directed and starred in the autobiographical film, “Death of an Addict”, which was an official entry at the 5th Annual REEL Recovery Film Festival & Symposium. In “Death of an Addict” Tio Hardiman’s sought to understand the cycle of addiction and dysfunction in his family and neighborhood. Having struggled himself with drugs and alcohol throughout the 70’s and 80’s, Tio became sober in 1986 by taking the Steps of Narcotics Anonymous.
Tio Hardiman currently serves as an Adjunct Professor at North Park University in the Field of Criminal Justice and Restorative Justice.
Tio Hardiman has also worked for the Humane Society of the United States to help bring more awareness to the plight of inner city Pit Bull Dog Fighting, which led to the End Dog Fighting Program sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States.