Since its inception in 2005, Urban Networks to Increase Thriving Youth (UNITY) has built support for effective, sustainable efforts to prevent violence before it occurs, so urban youth can thrive in safe environments with supportive relationships and opportunities for success. UNITY promotes collaboration across the public and private sectors to maximize resources, ensure sustainability, and promote effectiveness. UNITY works intensively with a select group of the nation's largest cities through the UNITY City Network, and it also builds capacity more broadly for practitioners and decision-makers across the country. It does this through trainings and consultation, advocacy, and by developing tools and materials, such as the UNITY RoadMap. In partnership with organizations such as the National League of Cities and the National Association of County and City Health Officials, UNITY has begun to shift national strategies for preventing violence. UNITY was named by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as one of the top 20 innovations in the field of preventing violence and injury. Prevention Institute is the lead partner in UNITY, a partnership that includes the Harvard School of Public Health, the UCLA School Fielding School of Public Health, and University of California San Francisco.
Read Shifting the Paradigm: UNITY's Impact on the Practice of Prevention, an overview and discussion of major findings from the eight-year UNITY evaluation.
Overview of the UNITY Initiative
UNITY's activities support cities in preventing violence, and articulate a broader strategy for preventing violence across the nation. UNITY conducted an assessment of what U.S. cities already have in place to prevent violence, and of what they need to be most effective. The UNITY RoadMap delineates the elements of what works to prevent violence, and city representatives worked with UNITY to identify elements of a national platform to prevent violence before it occurs. UNITY has identified tools to help cities implement an effective and sustainable approach, and UNITY provides training and technical assistance via webinar, email, phone and in person.