Fall 2020:

 Hoop Removal as a

“Crime Fighting” Tactic

 

Fighting basketball hoop removal through community engagement and youth development

 

By Elijah Teague

Over 42 basketball courts in Chicago are missing hoops as a result of public officials' “crime-fighting” tactics. On a micro level, these “crime-fighting” tactics disproportionately target lower-income neighborhoods and place added pressure on a demographic that is already considered “at risk.” On a macro level, these “crime-fighting” tactics have deeply rooted racist implications, the main one being the unfounded association between black men and criminality.

Challenge

This project challenged me to embrace the systems thinking and qualitative aspects of my education and allowed me to view the entire ecosystem that facilitated this design flaw in the first place. It may seem insignificant to focus so much attention on a few basketball hoops, but in this case, addressing the smaller issues allowed me to address the larger problems our society faces.

Outcome

The initial phase of this two-step process is concerned with raising awareness through social media campaigns, information visualization, and official reports submitted to public officials all under the title and organization of Take Back The Court (TBTC). TBTC’s focus (post-pandemic) will be to locate neighborhoods experiencing hoop removal, cooperate with the community to reinstall hoops and ensure a sustainable cycle of community development and youth empowerment through sports. TBTC has two goals in mind: (1) support the youth of the world in recognizing and collectively challenging the factors that threaten their security and well-being and (2) just let the kids play ball.

Key Words

Social Impact, Systems Thinking, Ethics, Legal, User Experience