Profile of Eddie Bocanegra, LIFE and BSU guest

Tanya Calvin

Last week, LIFE and BSU hosted a screening of the film The Interrupters after Alex Kotlowitz came to speak during assembly. Eddie Bocanegra, a previous Interrupter who is featured in the film, had the chance to come speak to the audience after the film finished. He began by speaking about how his life has changed since the movie, about his marriage and first child’s birth, about being invited to speak at schools like Yale, going to University of Chicago in hopes of getting his Master’s in Social Work next year, and working with youth outreach programs focused on art and dealing with grief.


He also spoke about his crime and the time he spent in prison, and then opened up the floor for questions. People asked about his connections with the youth he worked with, how he makes people who don’t live in violent neighborhoods understand people who do, and finally, what we can do to help. Eddie spoke about opportunities to connect with the communities affected by the violence. What really struck me was when he mentioned the fact that empathy, not sympathy, is what is needed, and that even that isn’t enough. We have to take action if we really want to make a difference, and there are many ways we can do so. Scout Baker, a sophomore, is writing letters to one of the people that Eddie helped out. Eddie also mentioned that we can contact him about volunteering with his art programs. Ms. Dorer is planning on getting some of Eddie’s YMCA youth together with Latin students, and Cobe Williams will also be working with Latin to help us reach out. Be sure to contact any of the heads of LIFE or BSU or Ms. Dorer if you’re interested.