In 1988, the University of Chicago closed its adult trauma center. From 1991 to 2015, there was not a single Level 1 adult trauma center on the south side of Chicago, the site of a gun violence epidemic. After a young activist died while being driven in an ambulance past the University's emergency room, young people, activists, and students rallied to pressure the UofC to provide lifesaving services to the Black community around them. In September of 2015, after many protests lead by Black youth, the University agreed to help open an off-site trauma center. In December of the same year, the University of Chicago announced its plans to reopen a Level 1 trauma center on their campus.

"TRAUMA CENTER NOW" was created for the University of Chicago's booth at September 2015's EXPO Chicago.