Connecting state and local government leaders
The Black-led coalition behind the online tool is also launching an effort to reduce gun homicides in 12 cities by 20% over the next five years. Its inaugural cohort includes Baltimore, Baton Rouge, Indianapolis and Newark.
A group of national Black-led organizations recently launched an online tool that provides dozens of cities with roadmaps to reduce gun violence. It’s part of a larger effort to support community violence intervention initiatives nationwide.
Announced last week, the tool features profiles of the 50 U.S. cities with the highest homicide rates. The pages include data about each city’s homicide rate and outlines any existing community violence intervention (CVI) initiatives.
CVI programs are strategies that employ a community-driven approach to reducing gun violence, such as street outreach and trauma-informed care for people who are most at risk of being a victim or perpetrator of gun violence.
The Coalition to Advance Public Safety—a group of public safety and criminal justice nonprofits—created the website “to allow mayors to have something concrete to [make] the case for why this funding is necessary,” said Fatimah Loren Dreier, executive director of the Health Alliance for Violence Intervention, on a call with reporters last week. HAVI is one of four organizations that make up the coalition.
The tool provides a suggested minimum budget for CVI programming and breaks the sum down into different categories including staff, training and wraparound services like behavioral therapy and job training. It goes as far as providing job descriptions for necessary roles to support the work.
“It requires ongoing resources, sustained resources, just like you would find ongoingly of a police department, a school system, a health system,” Dreier said. “You need it every year in order to have the impact, but it has to be data-driven.”
The data is from a variety of sources, including the U.S. Census, Neighborhood Scout, reports from the National Institute of Criminal Justice Reform and information collected by the coalition’s members.
The coalition also launched a new initiative last week to reduce gun homicides in 12 cities by 20% over the next five years. That initiative features an inaugural cohort of four cities: Baltimore, Baton Rouge, Indianapolis and Newark.
Gun violence disproportionately affects Black and Brown communities. Black Americans are 10 times more likely to die by gun homicide compared to White Americans, according to the Center for American Progress.
“Many Black and Brown organizations that are led by Black and Brown people in these communities … don’t usually have the resources and the support that they need,” said Newark Mayor Ras Baraka. “This gives us an opportunity to supplement what we're doing on a municipal level.”
Working with national and local philanthropies, the coalition is administering up to $500,000 to each city to support and scale existing community violence intervention programs. Eligible expenditures include training for staff and volunteers, outreach programs in schools, and bolstering hospital violence intervention programs that work with gunshot victims while they’re still in the hospital.
Molly Bolan is the assistant editor for Route Fifty.
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