CVI Collaborative Advisor
Aqeela Sherrills (he/him) serves as Advisor to the Community Violence Intervention Collaborative. Anchored and led by Hyphen, this multi-sector initiative seeks to strengthen and scale community-led strategies to increase public safety through training and technical assistance to community organizations in 15 jurisdictions, as well as engagement of the White House and administration, 15 municipalities, community experts, and philanthropic leaders in joint learning and collaboration.
Sherrills is an expert on victim services and community-based public safety. As an advisor to Mayor Ras Baraka of Newark, NJ since 2014, he built out the city's community-based public safety initiative, which cut the homicide rate in half in its first five years. Sherrills also serves as the Senior Advisor to the Alliance for Safety and Justice’s Shared Safety Initiative.
Committed to promoting healing in marginalized communities, Sherrills co-founded Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice, the largest survivor network in the country focusing on healing, recovery, and prevention. Sherrills has also served as a consultant to the International Association of Chief of Police.
Sherrills grew up in the Jordan Downs Housing Project in Watts, Los Angeles. A former member of the Grape Street Crips, he co-founded the Amer-I-Can Program, Inc. to negotiate peace treaties and heal gang violence around the country. He worked with his brother and other key community leaders to forge a historic truce between the Crips and the Bloods in Watts. After losing his 18-year-old son to gun violence, Sherrills launched The Reverence Project to create intentional space for individual healing and to develop comprehensive wellness centers in urban war zones.