FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 8, 2022
Contact: Alyssa Cass, firstname.lastname@example.org, 347-992-5006
COMMUNITY VIOLENCE INTERVENTION COLLABORATIVE
CELEBRATES ACCOMPLISHMENTS AT WHITE HOUSE
CVIC welcomed its growing list of partners in city governments and community violence intervention organizations at the White House to honor the program’s successes and
meet for a final in-person training session
WASHINGTON, DC – Today at the White House, the nation’s preeminent community violence intervention (CVI) organizations came together in a first-of-its-kind public safety summit to celebrate the unprecedented accomplishments of the White House-affiliated Community Violence Intervention Collaborative (CVIC or the Collaborative) and the group’s shared success in putting the “public” back in public safety.
Created by the White House and anchored by Hyphen, CVIC has, over the past 18 months, increased the reach of evidence-based, community-led strategies to reduce gun violence and make 17 cities and counties across the country safer. Thursday’s gathering at the White House marked the first time CVI leaders––45 of the country’s leading public safety experts and CVI practitioners––have gathered at such a scale and in recognition by the highest level of the federal government.
The Collaborative leveraged the American Rescue Plan’s unprecedented federal investment in CVI, strategic philanthropic investments, and state and local funding to advance a single, ambitious goal: establishing a truly durable national CVI infrastructure to stem the tide of gun violence now and over the long term.
“Community violence intervention is a key component to reducing crime, improving public safety, and combating gun violence. The Biden-Harris Administration is proud to have made a historic commitment to supporting proven methods and community-based groups that play such a crucial role in achieving public safety,” said Julie Chávez Rodriguez, Senior Advisor and Assistant to President Biden and Director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. “Giving support to the critically important and deeply impactful work performed by those who understand the causes of violence is part of the Administration’s comprehensive approach that treats violence as a public health issue. The end of the year marks the beginning of a new chapter in locally led efforts to create communities where people can feel safe and thrive.”
How Hyphen Brought CVI to the Forefront of the Public Safety Agenda
While state- and local-level public-private partnerships are becoming increasingly common, such collaborations with the federal government are much less so, which is why they require an experienced team to develop, launch, and execute them.
Hyphen served as a conduit between the Biden-Harris Administration and philanthropic leaders to collaborate in efforts that augment a public safety model that involves police and justice system, community groups, and health-care organizations—a strategy that builds capacity for the years and decades ahead.
Hyphen drew on its team’s deep expertise and experience gained from serving in the Obama administration, working with influential philanthropists, and leading an advocacy organization. With their steadfast leadership and dogged stewardship of CVIC, all levels of government have come to recognize what has long been known—policing alone is necessary but insufficient to reduce gun violence. Strong, holistic, and well-resourced community-based programs are needed to stamp out violent crime and achieve lasting public safety.
“At Hyphen, we know that achieving a truly just democracy isn’t something government or philanthropists or communities can do on their own—it requires investment from all parties,” said Archana Sahgal, Founder and President of Hyphen. “CVIC has shown that we can make communities across the country safer by employing a holistic approach to public safety—one that supports the expertise, skills, and lived experiences community-based anti-violence organizations bring to the table. Our goal from the beginning has been to build capacity for CVI groups by leveraging federal and philanthropic investment; and CVIC comes to a close, we are confident that they have the infrastructure to build upon and achieve long-term success.”
“The two primary goals that we had for CVIC were to build the capacity of CVI organizations nationally as a complementary strategy of policing and to build the capacity of a TTA alliance, and we accomplished both,” said Aqeela Sherrills, Advisor to the Community Violence Intervention Collaborative. “By providing trainings, tools, and resources, we were able to position the country’s leading CVI organizations to build their programs and protect their own communities. Moving forward, our mission remains clear—to help cities across the country put “public” back into their public safety strategies—because CVI makes all the difference in decreasing crime and creating real safety in communities.”
18 Months of Historic Achievement & Accomplishments
It is increasingly rare for transformative policy initiatives, particularly in a charged environment, to be implemented with such speed and take root in every corner of the country. CVIC is a noteworthy standout, doing just that.
In just 18 months, CVIC scaled evidence-based, community-led strategies to reduce gun violence and enhance public safety for children, families, and communities across the country. With support from 13 prominent philanthropies, CVIC provided training, technical assistance, and peer learning to help community-based organizations expand their efforts and increase their impact.
Specifically, CVIC has:
Partnered with stakeholders in 17 diverse jurisdictions across the country: Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; Baltimore, MD; Baton Rouge, LA; Chicago, IL; Detroit, MI; King County, WA; Los Angeles, CA; Memphis, TN; Miami-Dade, FL; Minneapolis & St. Paul, MN; Newark, NJ; Rapid City, SD; St. Louis, MO; Philadelphia, PA; and Washington, DC.
Multiplied a modest $7.4 million in philanthropic funding into hundreds of millions of dollars in public funding commitments for CVI, totaling $420 million including $250 million in Chicago, $50 million in Baltimore, $19 million in Newark, and $14.2 million in Baton Rouge.
Created an innovative training and technical assistance (TTA) program for local CVI groups to help them build solid organizational infrastructure, develop a sustainable and diversified funding base (including federal grants), optimize the use of data and technology, and expand the scope, scale, and impact of their ongoing CVI work.
Advised and supported municipal offices of violence prevention (OVPs) and mayoral staff to help them develop their CVI strategies
Created a certification program on the best practices, standard operations, procedures, and protocols of street outreach and violence interruption for non-traditional CVI practitioners like former gang members and returning citizens.
Facilitated coordination and peer exchanges within and across jurisdictions to provide opportunities for local CVI groups to learn from one another and build relationships with other public safety stakeholders, including law enforcement.
Worked with the White House to bring together mayors, community experts, philanthropic leaders, and other key stakeholders for joint learning on lessons, best practices, and innovations.
“We are proud of all that we've been able to accomplish, both since CVIC was created and the years before its formation. We have proven time and again that our methods to reduce violent crime and gun violence work,” said E Ruebman, Co-Founder and Managing Director of the Community-Based Public Safety Collective. “For too long, people who form the backbone of grassroots public safety efforts—taking often underappreciated but life-saving action—have gone without the institutional support they deserve. With CVIC, local residents shaping their own destiny when it comes to their own safety have been given resources they need to be even more effective."
Fatimah Loren Dreier, Executive Director of the Health Alliance for Violence Intervention, said, “This initiative has injected tremendous energy into violence intervention work, turbocharging its scope and impact. CVIC has been instrumental in organizing and mobilizing local leaders––leaders who have charted their own paths––towards collective national goals. Federal resources have not only helped to elevate critical work but also to establish a foundation to build upon in the years ahead.”
“These historic investments have allowed us to provide much-needed support to those in local government and on the frontline working to reduce violence in communities without the harmful effects of arrests and incarceration,” said Cities United Executive Director Anthony Smith. “The CVI approach converts the experiences of those who have been impacted by community violence into skills that are harnessed to make their communities safer in both the short and long term.”
“During a moment when communities and their elected representatives are looking for ways to keep us safe without repeating mistakes of the past, CVIC’s work has demonstrated a proven model for doing so,” said David Muhammad, the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform’s Executive Director. “I’m extremely proud of what we have accomplished over these last 18 months, and I look forward to the lasting impact of this truly momentous initiative.”
K. Bain, Executive Director of Community Capacity Development, said, “As the country grapples with the compounding public health crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic and the global resentment regarding the murder of George Floyd, the best metrics for success of CVI strategies is a continued investment in the Human Justice Framework. This evidence-based model amplifies intergenerational communication by implementing people-centered programs to reduce violence and ensure resources are deployed to those directly impacted by systemic inequities.”
Through CVIC, Mayors Have Embraced CVI as a Proven Public Safety Strategy
Over the course of the past 18 months, mayors across the country eager for serious solutions to gun violence have embraced CVIC’s approach, taking concrete, transformative actions to implement the Collaborative’s TTA program and institute CVI as a complementary strategy to policing.
“Detroit has been able to build a comprehensive approach to public safety, due to the support of this historic investment from the Biden-Harris Administration,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “While there are no quick and easy fixes to addressing public safety, we’ve been able to increase police patrols, expand mental health response, and bolster community violence programs—all of which help us protect our city’s residents. Thanks to these additional federal resources, we were are better able to meet the needs of our residents.”
“For years, the City, the Rapid City Police Department, and the Rapid City Fire Department have been committed to reducing crime, de-escalating violence, and improving the quality of life in our community,” said Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender. “Last year, we embarked on a community-driven response model to crisis and violence prevention that has shown promising results as demonstrated by Journey-On’s response numbers and success stories and in the dedicated work of Wambli Ska and the Red Ribbon Skirt Society. We have seen tremendous progress in the City’s investment in these types of community-driven initiatives, especially with Journey-On. With the Administration on our side, we can continue to build upon that progress and move forward with initiatives that address important issues.”
“With this historic investment from the Biden-Harris Administration, we’re able to build a long-term blueprint for our public safety strategies and implement much-needed solutions,” said Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “Over the next three years, our city is investing $50 million on a comprehensive violence prevention strategy—including community violence intervention programs, victim services support, youth justice efforts, and re-entry services for those coming out of the justice system. We know that reducing gun violence requires a multi-faceted approach, and we’re so relieved that we have the support to make these aspirations a reality.”
“The people of Baton Rouge are thankful to have received these investments from the federal government, which have made historic investments in the safety of our communities,” said Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome. “This grant will help expand our community-based public safety initiative––Safe, Hopeful, Healthy BR––by providing more resources to deploy interventionists into neighborhoods experiencing violence. I am grateful that our federal partners have a shared vision of investing in a variety of community-based safety strategies that complement law enforcement.”
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