The Urban Peace program at Advancement Project reduces and prevents community violence, making poor neighborhoods safer so that children can learn, families can thrive and communities can prosper.
A new approach to preventing community violence, Urban Peace applies public health methods to understand the underlying reasons for violence and creates innovative, holistic ways to change the conditions that lead to them.
Urban Peace's strategy is aligned with the Center for Disease Control's STRYVE Initiative to create healthy youth, families and communities. This two-minute video briefly explains why it's important to look at community safety and community-centered approaches to solving violence.
Urban Peace Achievements
As a result of our groundbreaking 2007 report that outlined recommendations for the City of L.A. – A Call to Action: The Case for Comprehensive Solutions to L.A.’s Gang Epidemic – our Urban Peace work has been instrumental in achieving the following:
- The City of L.A. adopted new strategies that decreased gang violence by 15%. In 2011, the homicide rate was at its lowest since the 1960’s.
- The City of L.A. created an office of Gang Reduction & Youth Development focusing public resources on 12 gang violence hot zones identified in conjunction with community leaders.
- The L.A. Police Department transformed the way it dealt with gangs- from a counter-productive, overbroad suppression approach to relationship-based, problem-solving policing.
- Gang homicides dropped 57% in the parks and surrounding neighborhoods with the Summer Night Lights program.
- Nearly 1,800 have been trained through the Urban Peace Academy - a rigorous training program that sets professional standards for this dangerous work, critical to keeping peace on the streets. Additionally, 400 police officers were trained to work with interventionists and implement effective community policing.
Implementing a Comprehensive Violence Reduction Strategy
Our work implementing the comprehensive violence reduction strategy continues as we pursue:
Building a track record for success
- For example, launching a unique Safe Passages program in the Belmont Schools Zone of Choice to harness the resources of both public and private stakeholders to ensure that safe routes to school are available as students cross gang territorial lines.
Expanding our impact
- One strategy is the Los Angeles Community Safety Scorecard, a Zip code level analysis of L.A.'s communities that assigns a letter grade based on a complex set of risk and protective factors. This tool helps advocates and policymakers target resources more effectively and understand how to move a neighborhood from less to more safe.
Reforming large public systems
- Working with the Probation Department to ensure that the 20,000 youth in their charge are no longer abused and neglected, reversing the Department's inability to help system-involved children.
- Finding or creating new funding streams for prevention