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Prevention Institute

Prevention Institute alert: July 25, 2013

How One City Reduced Killings and Violence: Student Video Tells the Minneapolis Story

No one was more affected by—and involved in—the effort to reduce youth violence in Minneapolis than young people themselves. How fitting, then, that a group of young women involved with the nonprofit group TVbyGIRLS produced a fast-paced, dynamic video on the city's effort to develop a Blueprint for Action to curb youth violence. The 10-minute documentary tells the story of how city officials, community leaders and youth came together to say that levels of violence in Minneapolis were unacceptable—and they were going to do something about it. And do something they did: Between 2006 and 2011, as a result of these efforts, levels of youth violence in the city dropped by 59 percent.

The video includes remarks by Congressman Keith Ellison, Mayor R.T. Rybak, an assortment of community leaders, and Billie Weiss, a violence prevention researcher at UCLA and co-chair of the UNITY network of cities, organized by Prevention Institute. It describes how leaders took a public health approach to addressing the violence and how young people played a key role in the work. As the Minneapolis Youth Congress put it, “No decision about us, without us.” Watch the video and read a summary of a national convening of UNITY cities last October in Minneapolis, where some of this video was shot.

Sharing the Public Health Model for Preventing Violence with California Legislators

One of the keys to success in Minneapolis was that the city brought together community leaders, agencies and organizations from many different sectors to work together at developing a plan. On August 1, organizations working to prevent violence will conduct a legislative briefing in Sacramento to describe the kinds of violence-prevention approaches that have been successful in a number of cities and that can help reduce violence in communities across California. 

“Preventing Violence, Promoting Health” features Dr. Howard Spivak, director of the Division of Violence Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Lisa James of Futures Without Violence, and Andrea Flores Shelton of the Santa Clara County Public Health Department. Prevention Institute’s Benita Tsao will recommend state policies for preventing violence, based on the UNITY experience and input from a convening for state health leaders.

Register for the event, hosted by the Center for Health Improvement, by clicking here.

Mayor Rybak on the Minneapolis Experience

Mayor RT Rybak discussed his city’s efforts to reduce youth violence in this perspective from PI’s UNITY Initiative.

Reports from the Field

Stay current on news, research, innovations and cutting-edge stories about preventing violence in U.S. cities with Reports from the Field, a new UNITY web page.

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