Awarded Cooperative Agreement for Youth Violence Prevention
Abstract: Violence among urban youth is a major challenge facing large US cities, and they both need and welcome help in preventing it through tools, training, and technical assistance (TA) to develop and sustain comprehensive, multi-sector strategies. Through our work on UNITY, the stage is set to build on a solid foundation of outcomes, tools, resources, and partnerships that have been built over a 5 year cooperative agreement to achieve even greater success. In collaboration with CDC and our partners, we have made much progress; we have: established a formal UNITY City Network of large cities agreeing to advance a public health approach to violence prevention, developed a methodology for urban youth violence prevention, the UNITY RoadMap; developed an Urban Agenda (endorsed by 13 Cities); secured funding from other sources; and developed strong local, state, and national partners to build greater support for effective prevention approaches. The stage is set for leveraging the partnerships, relationships, formal agreements/MOUs, training modules, TA protocols, webinar systems, and specific tools for local collaboration, planning, implementation, and evaluation. Rather than starting anew, it is critical to build on CDC’s successful investment and leverage it for even greater impact. The overarching purpose of this Initiative, UNITY II, is to build capacity within specified US cities to collaborate, plan, implement, and sustain evidence-based youth violence prevention concepts, strategies, practices, programs and policies developed under FOA CE-05042. To achieve this, we will engage in activities to achieve the following program goals: 1) Refine and expand a national consortium of key stakeholders representing the viewpoints of U.S. cities that can inform and support reframing the public discourse about youth violence to include public health and prevention; 2) Develop tools, strategies, and messages to build public health infrastructure and a broad base of support for multi-sectoral youth violence prevention; and 3) Enhance efforts to develop an urban agenda to direct US cities planning and action to prevent youth violence. Our activities to accomplish this will be to: 1) Coordinate and expand a national youth violence prevention consortium; 2) Refine and disseminate an urban agenda and RoadMap for the prevention of youth violence and related tools to key violence prevention stakeholders; 3) Develop and monitor distribution/utilization of tools/resources that support cities and key youth violence prevention stakeholders in building the case for preventing youth violence using evidence-based youth violence prevention concepts, strategies, practices, programs, and policies; 4) Develop and provide TA to a minimum of 5 to 7 cities; 5) Recruit and maintain a UNITY City Network, including the UNITY Cities as well as 10 to 25 cities wanting to learn and collaborate on effective city level youth violence prevention efforts; 6) Collaborate with other CDC youth violence prevention investments (e.g. NYVPRC, STRYVE, VETO Violence, Academic Centers of Excellence on Youth Violence); 7) Collaborate with CDC and other partners on an ongoing basis; and 8) Submit required reports to CDC as scheduled. Our highly experienced project Co-Chairs are Prevention Institute’s Larry Cohen, UCLA School of Public Health Southern California Center for Injury Prevention Research’s Billie Weiss, and Harvard School of Public Health’s Deborah Prothrow-Stith. Under their leadership, Rachel Davis will serve as Project Director to oversee day to day activities and the project team and to ensure project success. Building on our team’s multiple decades of work in violence prevention in general and our work with UNITY, through the strategies and actions described in this proposal, we are set to make an even greater impact in reframing the public discourse on violence and supporting cities to be as successful as possible in preventing violence among youth.