Community-Based Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative: Convening Practitioners and Supporting their Work
By BJA NTTAC Communications
The excitement in the air was palpable on the kick-off day of the inaugural Community Based Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative (CVIPI) Grantee Conference last month in St. Louis, MO. The conference-turned-family-reunion was filled with joy as colleagues and friends from a variety of violence interruption organizations had an opportunity to catch up.
The 2023 CVIPI Grantee Conference brought together organizations that holding a federal grant to implement CVIPI-related tasks and activities. Grantee organizations include community-based organizations, research partners, district attorney and county probation offices, and public health organizations, among others. During the two-and-a-half-day conference, attendees heard from federal government leaders, including U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, who thanked the attendees for the work they are doing and acknowledged their collective goal:
We are all here because we believe that everyone in this country deserves to feel safe in their communities. Every person, on every street, in every neighborhood, deserves to feel protected. Every parent, on every block, deserves to know that their children are safe when they play outside. Fulfilling that promise is our urgent shared challenge.
Although federal funding for community-based violence interruption is relatively new, many of the movers and shakers working on the ground within communities have been doing this work for years. Several leaders in the field of violence prevention shared their experiences and lessons learned through a recent webinar series and during breakout sessions at the conference. The wisdom and insights shared by these ”legends” deeply resonated with conference attendees, as evidenced by the robust conversations that continued well after each breakout session concluded.
Curious about what “community violence intervention” looks like? Check out these real-world examples:
Fifty-three organizations were selected as recipients of fiscal year 2022 CVIPI grant funds as part of $100 million allocated by the Biden-Harris Administration for disbursement by the Department of Justice to address gun violence through community violence intervention. While speaking at the conference, Attorney General Garland sparked a standing ovation when he announced that another $100 million would be available again this spring for fiscal year 2023. As promised, the Bureau of Justice Assistance recently released the FY 2023 CVIPI grant solicitation which will close on May 25, 2023.
Is your agency or organization in need of training or technical assistance related to community violence intervention? Several of our TTA providers specialize in CVIPI, including the Urban Institute, LISC, and Travelers & Immigrants Aid’s Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights. Request free training and technical assistance here.
In addition to many levels of Department of Justice leadership in attendance, several other leaders and organizations participated in the conference to provide their support, thought leadership, and inspiration to those working in the field, including:
- Police Commissioner Robert Tracy of the Metropolitan Police Department in St. Louis, MO
- Mayor Tishaura Jones of the City of St. Louis, MO
- Co-Executive Director Xavier McElrath-Bey of the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth
- Professor Reuben Miller of the University of Chicago
- Pacia Anderson, a Teaching Artist with Parable Arts
- Saroeum Phoung, Founder and CEO of PointOneNorth Consulting LLC
- Clinical Case Managers with the Life Outside Violence Program, Washington University in St. Louis
See what conference attendees had to say: #CVIStrengtheningCommunities - Twitter
Seven Trailblazers Addressing Community Violence Intervention Across the U.S. – Office of Justice Programs
Justice Today podcast: Community Violence Intervention – Office of Justice Programs
Justice Department Awards $100 Million to Reduce Community Violence – Department of Justice
Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta provides opening remarks at CVIPI Conference – Department of Justice
CVIPI Implementation Checklist – Bureau of Justice Assistance
Community Based Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative Overview – Bureau of Justice Assistance
Community Based Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative – Office of Justice Programs