Executive Director, CeaseFire Illinois
Tio Hardiman is the executive director of CeaseFire Illinois, a community-based organization that applies a public-health model to violence prevention. Since 1999, Hardiman has helped oversee the expansion of the program from five Chicago-based community sites to 26 sites throughout Illinois. CeaseFire has been replicated in several US cities, including Baltimore and Phoenix, as well as Basra, Iraq. In 2004, Hardiman piloted the introduction of highly specialized violence intervention experts who work to mediate conflict by working directly with leaders and influential decision-makers in street organizations. That year alone homicides declined in Chicago by 25 percent, to a total of 448 homicides—the fewest number of homicides in the city since 1965. Before joining CeaseFire, Hardiman was a community organizer for the Chicago Alliance for Neighborhood Safety. He has also held leadership positions with Bethel New Life and Chicago’s Community Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) Program.