The 28-year-old speech communications professor started thinking of effective ways to spread an anti-violence message and came up with the 500campaign, head shots of Chicagoans with the slogan “Angry Because Over 500 Youth Were Murdered in Chicago.”
“I came across a picture of myself looking sad and that’s what started it,” Cross says. “I posted it on Instagram and Facebook with the text, and next thing I know, 20 people emailed me asking to do it for them.”
He’s had fairly steady requests over the past couple of weeks, but when 6-month-old Jonylah Watkins was fatally shot on Monday, the requests started coming in fast and furious.
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