Beyond Bullets

Gun violence is a public health crisis in Kalamazoo County. This special project explores the root causes, consequences, and solutions — from the perspective of the people and neighborhoods most affected.

Latest in Beyond Bullets

Alisa Watkins-Monroe, a Black woman with long black hair, stands next to a brick wall and waves to someone off-camera.

‘We lose so many kids’

In this month’s Beyond Bullets Interview, Alisa Watkins-Monroe talks about the trauma she sees way before people pick up a gun – and what she and her colleagues are doing to stop it from getting there.
Mike Wilder, dressed in a yellow tee-shirt, marches down a residential street with a bullhorn in front of him. He is shouting something into the bullhorn. A group of people follows behind him.

‘It’s really heavy work’

Their personal trauma with gun violence equips local intervention workers to fight on the front lines against it. But at what cost to their own mental health? How a shift in the traditional approach to therapy supports a group that’s usually reluctant to do it.
Yaimari Gonzales-Santos spars with a teenage girl in a gym. They are wearing head gear and boxing gloves.

The big fight

A two-year-old boxing gym that trains professional fighters is growing out of its digs in Kalamazoo’s Edison neighborhood, largely because it is so popular with kids grappling with real life issues.

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