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Readout of Office of Justice Programs Hosting Changemakers: A Panel on Community Violence Intervention and Prevention on Capitol Hill
Assistant Attorney General Amy L. Solomon of the Office of Justice Programs hosted Changemakers: A Panel on Community Violence Intervention and Prevention this week in Washington, D.C. Grantees from across the country were invited to discuss their critical role in reducing violence within their communities with a bipartisan audience of staff from more than 30 congressional offices.
The discussion was moderated by Senior Advisor for Community Violence Intervention Eddie Bocanegra, who led a conversation about efforts to improve and strengthen the infrastructure of community violence intervention programs and organizations.
During her opening remarks, Assistant Attorney General Solomon highlighted the unprecedented federal investment of $100 million last year to support community violence intervention and prevention efforts. Additionally, she announced that OJP will be awarding additional grants in the fall of this year.
“These new investments will allow us to expand site-based support, technical assistance and research to help seed and strengthen the CVI ecosystem,” said Assistant Attorney General Solomon.
CVI is an approach that uses evidence-informed strategies to reduce violence through tailored community-centered initiatives. These multidisciplinary strategies engage individuals and groups to prevent and disrupt cycles of violence and retaliation and establish relationships between individuals and community assets to deliver services that save lives, address trauma, provide opportunity and improve the physical, social and economic conditions that drive violence.
The panel included the following OJP grantees working in the field of community violence intervention:
- Executive Director Lyle Muhammad, Circle of Brotherhood; Miami, FL
- Vice President of Children, Youth, and Family Services Keisha Boatswain, Osborne Association; Bronx, NY
- Vice President of Safety & Justice Mona Mangat, Local Initiatives Support Corporation; New York, NY
- Executive Director of Metropolitan Peace Initiative Vaughn Bryant, Metropolitan Family Services; Chicago, IL
- Deputy Director Richard Morales, Latino Coalition for Community Leadership; Bakersfield, CA
The panel shared their perspectives on how violence intervention programs are working to reduce crime in their communities and the partnerships needed within communities to take a holistic approach to violence intervention including hospitals, schools and law enforcement.
Deputy Chief Emada Tingirides, who serves as the Commanding Officer of the Community Safety Partnership Bureau with the Los Angeles Police Department, spoke at the conclusion of the panel. She offered insights on the live-saving benefits that can be achieved when law enforcement agencies and CVI programs collaborate and work together in addressing community violence.
The panel was followed by a roundtable discussion with Office of Justice Programs leadership and community violence intervention and prevention organization representatives at OJP headquarters. The session included discussions related to the future of CVI organizations and their workforce, how to amplify the stories of their work and the research and metrics used to measure impact.
About the Office of Justice Programs
The Office of Justice Programs provides federal leadership, grants, training, technical assistance and other resources to improve the nation's capacity to prevent and reduce crime, advance racial equity in the administration of justice, assist victims and enhance the rule of law.
More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.