Edited by Tribune Staff
Ubuntu Village NOLA, a local community organization, will deploy a team of highly skilled and trained individuals to work to mediate and prevent conflicts
The City of New Orleans and its Health Department recently announced a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to support a Community Violence Intervention Program (CVIP) with community, academic and civic partners. The grant will enable NOHD to expand its services to more individuals affected by violence, trauma, and abuse.
“This $2 million grant from the Department of Justice directly speaks to my administration’s commitment to think more holistically about public safety, treating it as a matter of public health and ensuring those impacted by violence have the supportive services they need,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “Building off our work and commitment to keep our people safe, the implementation of the Community Violence Intervention Program with this federal funding will allow us to better equip our communities with the necessary tools needed to unite them towards one common goal and aid the New Orleans Police Department in stopping incidents of violence. We will continue to leverage these much-needed resources to further protect our city, address root causes of violence and promote a safer New Orleans.”
Community violence interruption is based on a proven model implemented in cities across the country.
Data shows that intervening in situations of potential violence, such as disputes, threats, or retaliation, offers alternatives and support to the parties involved, better connecting them to services and opportunities, and works to build trust and relationships with community members.
The DOJ grant will fund a CVIP team to reduce violence, provide outreach and education, and promote peace in our communities. Under the direction of community organization Ubuntu Village NOLA, the CVIP will deploy a team of highly skilled and trained individuals who have deep knowledge of the communities they serve and who work to mediate and prevent conflicts before they turn deadly.
“Our focus on community, empathy, compassion towards others, and collective responsibility may serve as a foundation for addressing the underlying causes of violence and fostering more peaceful and safer communities. We believe in working together and caring for one another to reduce violence,” said Ernest Johnson, director of Ubuntu Village NOLA.
Through strong alignment with the Hospital Violence Intervention team and Trauma Recovery Center at UMC, the new program aims to reduce the incidence and impact of violence by providing on the ground education, counseling, advocacy, and conflict resolution.
“We are honored to receive this grant from the Department of Justice, which will help us expand the violence prevention and intervention ecosystem in our community. Violent injuries and death are a clear public health crisis and must be solved through a variety of evidence-based and trauma-informed interventions with a broad coalition of partners,” said Dr. Jennifer Avegno, director of the New Orleans Health Department.
The grant will also allow for a strategic planning process for overall violence prevention strategy and sustainability, led by the National Institute of Criminal Justice Reform, and a diverse steering committee to guide its development and implementation. A companion grant to support evaluation and needs assessment was also awarded to Tulane University and the Vera Institute.
“Holistic community wide violence programs have demonstrated success in significantly reducing violence. We aim to evaluate this program to prevent and