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TTA Strategy Explores Eight Key Components

Interrupting Violence

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by Bass Zanjani

Youth at Job Fair

From February to June 2015, the Forum, Community-Based Violence Prevention (CBVP), and Defending Childhood sites participated in an online needs assessment and follow-up conference calls with Development Services Group, Inc. (DSG) and its partners. The purpose of this twofold process was to gain an understanding of a wide range of topics, as well as the needs of each site, and delve into key structural and operational functions of the initiatives' work. DSG recently completed a final report detailing the results of both the online needs assessment and follow-up calls.

In addition to conducting the needs assessment, DSG reviewed its proceedings from the Fourth National Summit on Preventing Youth Violence, recommendations from the latest round of Forum site visits, and feedback from monthly site calls with Forum and Defending Childhood sites (CBVP only recently reinitiated monthly site calls).

This extensive assessment allowed DSG to develop a training and technical assistance (TTA) strategy for all 39 grantees. Using a multipronged approach to data analysis, we identified the most consistent themes and topics across the sites. The following eight areas emerged to form the thematic basis of our new TTA strategy:
  1. Economic issues/employment
  2. Police–community trust
  3. Data sharing/evaluation tools
  4. A public health approach to violence prevention
  5. Exposure to violence/children exposed to violence
  6. School retention/achievement
  7. Community environment/norms
  8. Local communications strategies/sustainability
Each topic will be covered over a 2-month period, during which time an array of TTA vehicles will address the subject from all sides. The approach leverages a wide range of modalities, including newsletters, site calls, Webinars, podcasts, resource guides, and peer-to-peer exchanges. We believe this strategy will allow for deeper cross-cutting TTA in areas most relevant to your youth violence prevention work.

Economic issues will be our first theme. In October, we will hold site calls to discuss this topic, conduct a Webinar on youth employment resources, and feature articles on economic and employment issues in the newsletter. We feel this focused effort, together with regional trainings and the National Summit, will help connect grantees and increase their operational capacity. Our ultimate goal is providing TTA that is informative, useful, and adaptable in your work to eliminate youth violence in cities and uplift young people from poverty and despair.

If you have any questions about the new TTA strategy, please contact me at or (301) 951-0056.


Training Opportunities

Building Resiliency Through Employment
Unemployment is a challenge facing young people throughout the United States, but data reveal low-income youth and young people of color have disproportionately borne the effects. On Oct. 13, 2015, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. EST, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in collaboration with Development Services Group, Inc. (DSG) will present "Preventing Youth Violence and Building Resiliency Through Employment: Resources for Local Communities."

This Webinar will look at resources that can be leveraged for at-risk and disconnected youth. By the end of the session, participants will be able to 1) identify tools and resources that support employment activities for disconnected youth, 2) increase understanding of effective elements and practices of a youth employment program, 3) increase understanding of federal policies that support employment strategies at the local level, and 4) develop effective tactics and strategies to engage the business community.

Speakers include Andy Moore, director of Youth and Young Adult Connections; Jennifer Kemp, youth policy team leader at the Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor; and Dorothy Stoneman, president of YouthBuild. DSG Senior Advisor Jack Calhoun will moderate the discussion.


by Marla Fogelman

Aim4Peace March

Aim4Peace street workers spread antiviolence message in Kansas City neighborhood.

"We don't judge," says Tracie McClendon–Cole, director of Kansas City's (KC's) violence prevention initiative Aim4Peace. This impartiality allows McClendon–Cole and her staff of street workers to approach Kansas Citians caught up in violence with compassion and hands-on help, instead of punishment and blame. Using the Cure Violence model pioneered by epidemiologist Gary Slutkin, Aim4Peace treats violence as a communicable disease that must be interrupted to eliminate its spread.1

McClendon–Cole says an epidemiological approach made sense for KC, which has a history of challenges related to racial segregation and associated health disparities.

Public health was also the catalyst for bringing the issue of violence to the city's attention. In 2000, after the Kansas City Health Department (KCHD) released a report on homicide as the third leading cause of death in the city's minority community, local government established a health commission and immediately began planning a community-based collaborative process to respond. But it wasn't until 2006, after the Commission on Violent Crime submitted its youth violence report, that McClendon–Cole and other members of the commission started searching for an evidence-based, public health strategy to bring home the message that shooting and killing are "no longer normal" behaviors.2,3

The commission was looking for something other than "traditional methods," says McClendon–Cole, and began studying a number of models—both in the United States and other countries—that would be compatible with KC's racially diverse and divided population.

As a result of their search, and having learned the findings from a Department of Justice study on reducing shootings, the city decided to adapt the model used by Cure Violence in Chicago.




National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence
This report presents findings from the second National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence. In 2011, the survey gathered data on exposure to violence, crime, and abuse among 4,500 children up to age 17. Approximately three in five (58 percent) had been exposed to at least one type of violence in the past year: physical assault, sexual victimization, maltreatment, property victimization, or witnessing violence.


Basketball Greats Played for Peace
Howard Moore, former men's basketball coach at the University of Illinois at Chicago organized a special homecoming for athletes Tim Hardaway, Sonny and Jabari Parker, and Antoine Walker. The four played in an all-star tournament supporting Moore's antiviolence effort, "Legends Taking Back the Streets." It was an opportunity to get community members thinking and talking about how to curb Chicago's violent crime.

Other Resources

Building Dreams, Breaking Barriers
Chardae Anderson is a Clemson University sophomore studying to be a CPA. For the past 4 years she has participated in the university's Building Dreams mentoring program for children of incarcerated parents. In this video, Anderson describes how her mentor helped her "see beyond her reach." She can recite the statistics on children of incarcerated parents that point to anxiety, depression, and anger, but with help from her mentor, Anderson is following her own path to success.

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The National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention Newsletter is prepared under Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Cooperative Agreement No. 2012–MU–FX–K009 with Development Services Group, Inc.

The views, opinions, and content of this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of OJJDP.