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Three Programs, a Shared Vision

NOLA and Seattle Revel in Shared Learning

Announcements and Upcoming Events
•  Funding opportunities
•  Training opportunities

News and Views
•  Reports, Guidelines, and Briefs
•  News
•  Other Resources
by Bass Zanjani

In December 2014, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) issued a grant to bring together the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention, the Community-Based Violence Prevention program, and the Defending Childhood Initiative under one umbrella for training and technical assistance (TTA). The convening of three separate initiatives was in part based on understanding that to address factors affecting violence and ultimately eliminate youth violence altogether, a shared framework is required.

While these initiatives have unique strengths and differences, they share a vision and objective to end violence and trauma and ensure the well-being of young people throughout the country. The unified TTA grant takes the first step by providing crosscutting resources that allow sites in all three programs to learn from each other. In an effort to better understand and support the sites, a needs assessment was developed and implemented. Additionally, Development Services Group (DSG) is in the process of reaching out to the cities to gain a broader perspective on key issues related to governance, sustainability, and TTA. Based on the sites' responses in the needs assessment and follow-up calls, DSG will issue a report to OJJDP that delineates a wide range of crosscutting TTA ideas.

In the spirit of taking a shared approach to TTA, we are establishing a unified communications platform that highlights and promotes the tremendous work being done across the initiatives. In this issue of the Forum newsletter, we want to first introduce our readers to the other two programs and lay out our initial plan for expanding coverage to focus on the Community-Based Violence Prevention program and Defending Childhood Initiative.

The Community-Based Violence Prevention (CBVP) program is working to stop youth gang and gun violence by taking evidence-based deterrence and public health approaches in 16 cities. CBVP is characterized by partnerships among law enforcement, service providers, residents, and community- and faith-based organizations. The initiative's overarching goal is to reduce violence in targeted communities through the replication of programs such as Operation Ceasefire, the OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model, and the Cure Violence model.



Funding Opportunities

FY 2015 Grant Competitions: Office of Innovation and Improvement
The Office of Innovation and Improvement will conduct 11 grant competitions in six program areas: Arts in Education, Charter Schools, Investing in Innovation, Opportunity Scholarship, Ready to Learn Television, and Supporting Effective Educator Development. Announcements and details will follow through spring and summer.


Training Opportunities

White House Will Host AAPIs Summit
As part of an initiative to improve quality of life for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs), the White House will hold a summit on May 12, 2015, in Washington, D.C. Panels, workshops, and discussions with senior Administration officials, AAPI celebrities, and well-known community leaders will address a wide range of issues, including capacity building, civil rights, data disaggregation, economic development, education, health, immigration, and workforce diversity.



In early March, a three-person delegation from the Seattle, Wash., National Forum site traveled to Louisiana to participate in the New Orleans Health Department's (NOHD's) Youth Violence Prevention Summit, and engage in peer-to-peer training. Chris Gunther, manager of strategic initiatives for NOHD, and Mariko Lockhart, director of the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative, later shared with NFYVP News their recollections of the visit.

New Orleans's Perspective
by Chris Gunther
Like that of our sister cities, New Orleans's work with the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention involves a wide range of local partners: government agencies, schools, community-based organizations, mental health professionals, and advocates, to name a few. NOHD periodically convenes these groups for a Youth Violence Prevention Summit—a "come one, come all" gathering of our local partners in preventing violence.

The NOLA Summit is an opportunity to update partners on our progress in preventing youth violence and collectively plan next steps as a community. During the Summit, we also try to provide opportunities for learning and training, which helps break the mold of a typical violence prevention meeting and reflects our commitment to building our partners' capacity for youth violence prevention.

Visiting team from Seattle with members of CeaseFire New Orleans
Visiting team from Seattle with members of CeaseFire New Orleans. From left to right: Hakim Kashif, Mariko Lockhart, Gregory Rattler, Sarah Walker, Dwight Anderson, Calvin Pep, Eleuthera Lisch, and Nicholas Holmes.




Growing Out of Crime
Leaving crime behind could be something that happens with age. At least that was the finding of the Pathways to Desistance study (now available in e-book format), which followed more than 1,300 serious juvenile offenders as they transitioned from midadolescence to early adulthood. Youth whose antisocial behavior persisted into early adulthood were found to have lower levels of psychosocial maturity in their teen years and developmental deficits, compared with other antisocial youth. Most juvenile offenders, even those who commit serious crimes, grow out of antisocial activity as they gain impulse control and a future orientation.


Bullying No Match for Virtuous Behavior
ThinkVirtues Inc. is an Illinois company that believes teaching children values could put an end to bullying and youth violence. The company uses more than 50 "virtue" cards each year to instill principles of good behavior, like courtesy, generosity, courage, and respect. Kathy Motlagh, co-founder of ThinkVirtues, said the goal is to help a child understand how these qualities can lead to good things. The program is practiced in five schools and taught to about 600 kindergarten and middle school students.

Other Resources

Keeping Trafficking Out of Schools
With the right guidance, people who work with kids every day can pick up on the warning signs of child trafficking. All school community members—from administrators, to bus drivers, to teachers—should know the facts. The U.S. Department of Education has released a guide to help school staff identify and prevent trafficking. This guide has information about risk factors, signals, and what to do if you suspect child trafficking.

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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.