Grants Will Boost the Work of Community-Led, Often-Marginalized Organizations Across the Country
NEWARK – Community-led organizations across the country were awarded U.S. Department of Justice grants today totaling $100 million. These funds are designated to support local community violence intervention work. The Community Based Public Safety Collective (the Collective) assisted three of these organizations as part of their work with the White House Community Violence Intervention Collaborative (CVIC). The Collective received $3 million in funding to continue its national training and technical assistance for organizations in the field.
"The awards announced by the Department of Justice today will support neighborhoods and cities across the U.S. who have made critical investments in community violence interventions. These awards will propel an expanded vision of public safety that is led by the community,” said Latrina Kelly-James, director of training and technical assistance for the Collective. “While our communities have the most important knowledge and experience to improve safety, they have too often been left out of the conversation around public safety.”
As one of the lead training and technical assistance providers for CVIC, the Collective helped build the organizational and programmatic capacity for key community violence intervention (CVI) organizations to apply for and receive funding through this opportunity. “Many community-led organizations, experts at their work on the ground, require technical support to be able to receive federal funding. The CVIC program supported that work to improve the back-office and financial capabilities of many organizations across the country,” added Kelly-James.
The Collective supported the following organizations with training and technical assistance:
The Circle of Brotherhood in Miami, Florida
Wambli Ska and Journey On in Rapid City, South Dakota
City of Baton Rouge, Louisiana
The Collective’s model CVI organization, the Newark Community Street Team (NCST), also received a $2 million grant.
The resources made available under the Community Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative will develop and expand the infrastructure needed to significantly improve community safety and strengthen neighborhoods. They will support holistic, cross-agency collaborations, seed new efforts and fund expansion plans in both community-based organizations and local government agencies, provide funding and assistance through intermediaries to build the capacity of smaller organizations, offer technical aid to jurisdictions that do not receive federal funding and invest in research and evaluation to better understand what works to reduce violence. Read the DOJ press release.
CVI work is a nuanced and proven tool for success in reducing community violence, requiring a long-range strategy which encompasses the neighborhood’s vision and understanding of what public safety means.
“For too long, we have undervalued the wealth of resources available through community organizations and those with lived experience,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney Amy L. Solomon. “We know there's a better way, one that builds on what we have learned about violence and its causes. If we hope to achieve sustainable reductions in violence, we must embrace our community assets as a central ingredient in violence reduction strategies.”
The Collective received $3 million to work with grantees through a tiered readiness framework, utilizing subject matter experts in the field. The team for this work includes The Health Alliance for Violence Intervention (the HAVI) and Cities United (CU).
“We are excited to be able to continue our work with the HAVI and CU as we build capacity among community-led organizations across the country. Together we are putting the ‘public’ back in public safety,” said Aqeela Sherrills, the Collective’s Executive Director.
About The Collective
The Community Based Public Safety Collective is a collective of experts in building neighborhood leadership to advance safety -- the groups on the ground that do the work day in and day out to mediate conflict, get people in crisis into supportive services and put youth on a path away from violence and to stability. We represent and support the dozens of small, nonprofit, community-led grassroots organizations that, for decades, have been helping to forge peace, with little support or official recognition from policymakers, elected officials or funding agencies. Investing in community-based public safety leaders is the key difference-maker in stopping violence, ending mass incarceration and setting the nation on a transformational course toward a shared safety model rooted in systems of care, healing and community self-determination.
The Collective’s members are the premier national experts in the field. We have convened to preserve the integrity of the model and highlight Black and Brown practitioners' proven practices. The Collective will help CBPS rapidly build the infrastructure, capacity and support needed to scale with public funding.