Last week, Attorney General Eric Holder and Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Mary Lou Leary announced that New Orleans, Philadelphia, Minneapolis and Camden will be joining the six original cities who pledged to prevent youth violence under a White House initiative – the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention.
The initiative hopes to reduce youth violence and gang activity. “The purpose of this forum is to bring together community and faith-based organizations, law enforcement, public health professionals as well as business and philanthropic leaders to work together toward a common goal: stopping youth and gang violence,” Holder said.
In 2010, President Obama launched the forum made up of communities and federal agencies that shared information and supported local efforts to end youth violence. The four new cities, who will be joining the original cities of Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Memphis, TN.; Salinas, CA; and San Jose, CA, will be working together this fall on strategies to address youth violence. They will present these strategies at the national summit in Washington, D.C., in the spring.
Federal partners of the forum consist of: the Departments of Justice, Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development and Labor; the Corporation for National and Community Service; and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Since its inception, the forum created new partnerships with foundations and private corporations in the fight to end youth violence with programs for youth and families. Casey Family Programs, for instance, sponsored forum youth activities at the national summit in Washington, D.C., and retail giant Target awarded $10,000 grants to six forum sites in need of a youth director for each site.
Additional highlights the forum has made included partnerships with community organizations. In Salinas, the forum partnered with a local college that served 2,000 students at the Science Engineering Mathematics and Aerospace Academy this past summer. In San Jose, a media program was created for area youth to interview their community leaders.
To learn more about the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention, click here.
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