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June 30, 2011

UNITY Updates

UNITY Recognized in the National Prevention Strategy
U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin and the National Prevention Council highlighted UNITY as a program that prevents injury and violence in the first-ever “
National Prevention Strategy, America’s Plan for Better Health and Wellness.” Released last week, this comprehensive plan focuses on seven priorities, one of which is Injury- and Violence-Free Living. Download the National Prevention Strategy, and read the description of UNITY on page 43.

New UNITY Publication: Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative
Neighborhood networks form the core of the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative, and Director Mariko Lockhart describes the Initiative’s collaborative approach and how to measure outcomes in
this new publication. Seattle is a member of the UNITY City Network and the focus of the latest in the UNITY City Voices and Perspectives series. Read “City Voices and Perspectives: Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative,” to learn how successful partnerships can reduce and prevent violence.

UNITY Convenes State Health Officials
UNITY hosted a successful meeting of state health officials on May 2 to advance state efforts to prevent violence in U.S. cities. Sponsored in partnership with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), Prevention Institute, and Safe States Alliance, the meeting made connections between violence and other health issues and community concerns, and participants called the event “transformational.” Convening state health officials was an opportunity to advance recommendations in the UNITY Policy Platform that UNITY co-developed with city representatives. Read the full details in the meeting synthesis, and learn how cities, regional health offices and national organizations can support efforts to elevate preventing violence as a priority public health issue.

Recent UNITY Events

  • 6/14 and 6/15:  UNITY participated in local meetings to develop a norms change campaign in Chicago to prevent violence. The meetings capped two days of touring schools on the West Side with Isiah Thomas, and lessons learned from the norms change campaign in Chicago will inform future efforts in other UNITY cities.

  • 6/13: UNITY presented at the New Jersey Youth Development Forum on how a coordinated, multi-sector public health approach can reduce urban violence. Hosted by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office and Rutgers University, the Forum invited UNITY as a model practice in the area of coordinated approaches for youth development and preventing violence. 

  • 6/6: UNITY Project Director Rachel Davis served as an expert witness for the prevention panel of a community forum hosted by California Assemblymember Roger Dickinson, chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Delinquency Prevention and Youth Development. Rachel presented effective strategies that prevent violence, as described in the UNITY Policy Platform, and called on the committee to consider a “Safety in All Policies” approach at the state level.

  • 5/27: Minneapolis, a member of the UNITY City Network, celebrated the anniversary of its city-wide plan to prevent violence with the Blueprint for Action Youth Violence Prevention Conference. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder delivered the keynote address, and Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak spoke about the initiative’s impressive outcomes, such as the rising high school graduation rate and the 77-percent decrease in the number of homicides of youth. Read the event summary at the City of Minneapolis website for details. UNITY Project Director Rachel Davis presented as part of a workshop. 

UNITY is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of the CDC's national youth violence prevention initiative, Striving to Reduce Youth Violence Everywhere (STRYVE), and in part by The Kresge Foundation and The California Wellness Foundation (TCWF). Created in 1992 as an independent, private foundation, TCWF’s mission is to improve the health of the people of California by making grants for health promotion, wellness, education and disease prevention programs. For more information, visit www.preventioninstitute.org/unity.

In This Issue

  1. National Prevention Strategy
  2. New UNITY publication features Seattle
  3. UNITY meeting of state health officers
  4. Recent UNITY events

Related Publications

OJJDP Fact Sheet. More than 86 percent of gang activity in 2009 took place in large cities, according to a fact sheet released by the U.S. Office of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Download the fact sheet, “Highlights of the 2009 National Youth Gang Survey.”

News Media & Child Sexual Abuse. Berkeley Media Studies Group’s “Issue 19: Case by Case” analyzes news coverage of child sexual abuse and examines whether reporters discuss prevention and other solutions in the wake of a high-profile case. Lori Dorfman is the report’s lead author and a member of the UNITY Steering Committee

Barnes Receives President’s Service Award

Congratulations to Kenny Barnes on receiving the President’s Volunteer Service Award on June 5 for his commitment to preventing gun violence and decade of service. Kenny is the founder and chief executive officer of Reaching Out to Others Together, a UNITY partner.

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