White House Community Violence Intervention Collaborative
Ebony Magazine White House and Activists Hope Community Violence Intervention Investment Roots Out Uptick in Violent Crime, May 18, 2022
The United States is facing an uptick in violent crime across many of its major metro areas. As we head into summer, a time when crime usually rises, the White House is drilling home the need for community violence intervention (CVI) work as an essential public safety strategy in communities across the country. And Hyphen, an organization committed to maximizing the impact of federal policies with change-making potential for low-income families, communities of color, and other marginalized populations, is working to ensure the investment is a valuable one with real results. “Following a steady increase in shootings over the past two years, officials at all levels of government are finally recognizing what we have long known: policing alone is not enough to reduce gun violence,” says Hyphen’s CVI Collaborative Advisor, Aqeela Sherrills. “Strong, holistic, and well-resourced community-based programs are needed to get to the root of violent crime and achieve lasting public safety.”
Our Weekly From Watts to CVIC: The next generation of Black-led community violence intervention, September 15, 2022
Community violence intervention (CVI) is challenging, complex, time-intensive, and sometimes painful—but more importantly, it is effective. We see it in our work every day, every time we intervene in circumstances to ensure our youth can become the thriving adults they could be.
The Biden administration’s Community Violence Intervention Collaborative (CVIC) through Hyphen provides significant funding and organizational support to 52 groups across the country who are actively engaged in reducing violence in their respective communities. CVIC represents a historic and badly needed investment in CVI, as well as national recognition of what we have long known: Policing alone is not enough to stop violent crime. CVIC’s mission is to turn CVI into a coordinated national strategy.
Axios Atlanta Reducing violence by teaching conflict resolution, October 6, 2022
Reducing violence requires a multi-pronged approach. Conflict and trauma resolution is one strategy, and groups like CHRIS 180 are trying to teach people how to keep cool before pulling a gun.
The program views gun violence as a public health issue. Like a virus, one act can spread and reverberate throughout a community. By working conflict resolution with residents, the CHRIS 180 team can help prevent violence from taking root.
Those solutions have included healing circles, counseling, peace walks or mindfulness activities like yoga and tai-chi.
Austin (Cook County) Weekly News Crime rates drop as Austin anti-violence program, CPD team up, November 8, 2022
The institute pays people to work in hotspots, usually $100 a day to keep the violence down. Called the FLIP (flattening violence and inspiring peace) program, they operate in 88 different hotspots, said Sam Castro, the institute’s director of community violence intervention.
The program also creates non-aggressive agreements among rivaling groups to curb violence. Two agreements are in place with another – involving four groups spread from Austin to Cicero on Chicago Avenue – in the works, said Nekenya Hardy, the institute’s outreach supervisor for Austin.
The non-profit’s street outreach services are funded through city and federal COVID funds totaling $2 million a year, said Cesar Rodriquez, Mayor Lightfoot’s press secretary.
The Appeal An unprecedented investment in alternatives to policing, September 22, 2022
CVI programs typically work by directly engaging community members at high risk of being victims or perpetrators of violence. Many popular evidence-based CVI approaches—such as Advance Peace or Cure Violence—involve street outreach to mediate conflicts and connect participants with services and support designed to address the root causes of violence. As the relatively young field of CVI evolves, programs have diversified into more specific areas, including addressing trauma through therapy, treating alcohol or substance use disorder, or supporting people who are reentering the community after incarceration.
The largest and most immediate boost of CVI funding has come from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)—a $1.9 trillion federal stimulus package that provided hundreds of billions to states, counties, and cities to spend on pandemic recovery. As Brian Dolinar reported for The Appeal earlier this year, many jurisdictions have used this pot of ARPA money to fuel spending on police, prisons, and jails. In some cases though, it has also been used to fund alternatives to incarceration, including drug treatment centers, mental health crisis response teams, and CVI programs.
Associated Press Gun violence leads community groups to take bolder action, July 19, 2022
The Biden administration has made community violence intervention a key priority. It has designated $5 billion in support over eight years, though that funding has stalled in Congress, along with the rest of the administration’s Build Back Better legislation.
And under the just-passed bipartisan gun violence law, which seeks to keep guns away from dangerous people after the Uvalde killings fanned momentum for reforms, Congress provided $250 million for community violence prevention. The administration has also told municipalities and states that they could spend federal stimulus money, allocated last year, for violence intervention.
“By bringing philanthropy, the federal government and (community intervention) leaders together in this first-of-its-kind partnership, it puts our country on a path to redefining public safety in this country and reducing gun violence,” said Julie Rodriguez, a senior advisor to Biden.
Philadelphia Citizen Aqeela Sherrills on brokering peace in highly traumatized communities, January 24, 2022
Sherrills is the director of Newark Community Street Teams (NCST), a spirit-centered organizer and activist who has worked for three decades to promote community ownership of public safety and facilitate healing from violence in marginalized communities. A nationally recognized expert in victim service and community-based public safety, he has created and led multi-million-dollar nonprofit organizations focused on reducing violence and fostering safety in urban communities, and advised hundreds of organizations.
“We’re at an inflection point in history,” he said at the Festival. “The public execution of George Floyd signaled to us that never again should we see law enforcement as a single point of contact for safety in our respective communities.”
The way he sees it, public safety must be more holistic in its approach that includes police, but goes well beyond that. “Public safety is not just the absence of violence and crime,” he said. “It’s the presence of wellbeing and the infrastructure to support victims and survivors in their respective healing.”
The Crime Report Why the White House Backs Community Violence Intervention, June 15, 2022
CVI is a long-term approach to reducing shootings in communities that have been bearing the brunt of violence and crime long before this latest surge. When it comes to addressing the root causes of gun violence, we know—and law enforcement agrees—that the most effective solutions involve equipping neighborhoods with the tools to intervene in violence rather than relying on police to do work that they are simply not trained to do.
CVI is all about investments—in individuals, in communities, in taking on the complex, cyclical traumas that saddle our families and neighborhoods.
In creating CVIC, the Biden administration has recognized that while these investments take time and commitment to pay off, they represent the only path to lasting public safety.
NJ Spotlight News Newark hosts violence intervention discussions, April 19, 2022
Community advocates and leaders from across the country gathered in Newark to discuss ways to keep their neighborhoods safe. It’s part of the White House’s Community Intervention Collaborative to develop public safety strategies through peer-to-peer learning. The Biden administration is proposing a $5.2 billion investment over eight years in community violence intervention programs.
Fund for Inclusive Entrepreneurship
New $100M Private-Public Initiative Targets Entrepreneurs of Color, Russell Contreras, Axios, October 6, 2022.
Dealbook, Andrew Ross Sorkin, The New York Times, October 4, 2022.
Press Release: Entrepreneurs of Color Get a Boost from a National Philanthropic Initiative, Alongside $10 Billion from Treasury, October 4, 2022.