Eddie Bocanegra is the Executive Director of the YMCA of Metro Chicago’s Youth Safety and Violence Prevention initiative (YSVP). He has pioneered many community-based programs to address trauma and build resiliency among those most impacted by violence, including LuchARTE, Grupo Consuelo, and the Y’s Urban Warriors.
Prior to joining the Y, Eddie served as a congregational organizer for Community Renewal Society where he led FORCE (Fighting to Overcome Records and Create Equality), a coalition that advocates for increased opportunities for ex-offenders. He also worked as a violence interrupter for Chicago’s Ceasefire. He currently serves on Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Commission for a Safer Chicago and on Chicago’s My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Cabinet. He has spoken at the United Nations in New York City, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, Spain and many universities throughout the U.S. on the topic of trauma and its relation to community violence. He was featured in the Independent Spirit Award-winning documentary The Interrupters.
Eddie has a B.A. in Social Work from Northeastern University and an M.A. in Social Work from the University of Chicago.