Dr. Rachael Ross from the popular TV-sitcom The Doctors chose the Englewood community to shoot an episode for Season 7, which airs Sept. 8.
The show’s producers do not know which day the episode will air.
I Grow Chicago, a nonprofit created by Robbin Carroll, aims to reach youth in at-risk Chicago communities. The organization is known for its yoga class, which is taught by Tameka Lawson, the executive director. The young participants also practice farming and take educational programs in nutrition and the arts. The directors strive to empower them.
Ross said it’s not often that people hear about the positive things coming out of communities like Englewood. She wanted the chance to help highlight Lawson’s program, as well as show people how yoga can be a solution to the violence. It’s an excellent destressor, she said.
“I really do think that yoga and teaching anger management and teaching centeredness really can help with it,” Ross said.
“If you think about it, often times, someone gets shot in the heat of the moment or it’s an argument, but if that same person had a moment to center themselves, slow down, take deep breaths, think about the consequences, think that this is another person, another living, breathing person, then they might not respond so abruptly to the situation.”
Ross said she has enjoyed the time she has gotten to spend with the youth. Many of them have opened up and shared personal stories with her. The one thing that she didn’t expect, she said is how some of them handle the lost of a loved one.
“When you’re talking to the young people about the people they’ve lost to gun violence, when you’re talking to the teens about their classmates, their friends, just people who they’ve lost, it’s interesting because there’s almost–they’re just immune to it,” Ross said.
She said that I Grow Chicago is helping those youth cope with the pain that in many cases, is bottled up.
To really connect with the youth, Ross participated in the yoga class too. She took a mat and joined them on the floor as Lawson guided them through the relaxing routine.