Joakim Noah, with award-winning author Alex Kotlowitz, has produced a mini-doctumentary focusing on the negative impact of gun violence. Through interviews, You’re Not Alone tells the story of those who have lost friends and relatives to gun violence, including young Chicagoans and some of Noah’s teammates. Check it out below.
At a Chicago Bulls practice earlier this month, Noah told the press, “I mean it’s a harsh reality here in Chicago. Violence is out of control. As somebody who plays for the Chicago Bulls, I just feel like it’s important to be aware and to be involved. I want to thank Alex Kotlowitz for making that video and teaching me a lot about what’s going on here. The city also has taught me a lot.”
The NBA center and his Noah’s Arc Foundation, which works to create community service opportunities for disadvantaged youth, have created a Rock Your Drop: The Drop of Consciousness necklace to raise awareness of the violence that plagues the city. “We’ve got to find solutions,” Noah said. “One way we can all help is by putting in more programs, getting these kids more jobs, getting these kids more activities, more things to do. Some of these kids don’t have the opportunity that we have in the suburbs. I just think it’s important to help.”
In the powerful eight-minute video, Taj Gibson recalls losing his best friend in 2010 and considering plotting revenge. “My whole mind frame changed. I didn’t care about anything. I was just so mad all the time. I was short-fused,” Gibson said. “To this day, I sit in my room sometimes and I just think about it. I think about it every morning, every day. Even if I’m just daydreaming, I just think about him.” Derrick Rose, who lost his long-time friend in 2007 in an accidental shooting, is very emotional in the short film, recalling that he wanted no sympathy from anyone.