Deborah Prothrow-Stith, UNITY Lead Partner
Dean, College of Medicine, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
Dr. Deborah Prothrow-Stith is a nationally recognized public health leader. She brings more than 26 years of experience as a nationally acclaimed public health leader, physician and educator. She is an innovator in the field of public health with her efforts to have youth violence defined as a public health issue. As a chief spokesperson for a national movement to prevent violence and a frequent speaker in national media and public forums, she developed and wrote The Violence Prevention Curriculum for Adolescents, a fore-runner of violence prevention curriculum for schools and communities. She is the author of Deadly Consequences, the first book to present the public health perspective on violence to a mass audience and also is co-author of the book Murder is No Accident, a blueprint for community based Violence Prevention. Read more
Billie Weiss, UNITY Lead Partner
Department of Epidemiology, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health
Since 1990, Billie Weiss has pioneered public health research that helps community-based organizations become more effective in preventing violence. As an epidemiologist, her emphasis continues to be on injuries and violence. She serves as the Executive Director Emeritus and founder of the Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater Los Angeles and is a lead partner of UNITY. She is an ad-hoc reviewer for the CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, and Injury Prevention. Prior to serving as Associate Director of the Injury Prevention Research Center at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, she directed the injury and violence prevention program at the L.A. County Department of Public Health.
A nationally recognized researcher, Billie has a primary emphasis in "Violence as a Public Health Issue," including the epidemiology of gang homicides and assaults, intimate partner violence, evaluation of programs to reduce teen relationship violence, and parenting for violence prevention. Her focus includes the development and evaluation of policies to reduce and prevent violence. She has authored several papers and book chapters, and recently co-authored the Advancement Project Report on Reducing Gang and Youth Violence. She has received a host of other honors, including The Berkeley School of Public Health “Regional Public Health Hero Award” and the “Public Service Award” from the American Public Health Association, Injury Control and Emergency Health Services Section. In 2008, she was honored with the “California Peace Prize” by The California Wellness Foundation. In 2012 The Empowerment Congress presented the “Engage” award to Ms. Weiss and the Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater Los Angeles.
Howard Pinderhughes, UNITY Lead Partner
Associate Professor, UCSF School of Nursing, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Howard Pinderhughes, Ph.D., is the author of Race in the Hood: Conflict and Violence Among Urban Youth, which examines the dynamics of racial violence in New York City. His forthcoming book, Dealing With Danger: How Inner City Youth Cope with the Violence that Surrounds Them, examines the production of youth violence and how urban adolescents think about, experience and make decisions about the use of violence. Additionally, he served as the Co-Principal Investigator for the Center on Culture, Immigration and Youth Violence Prevention, one of the CDC's Academic Centers of Excellence in Youth Violence Prevention.
Rachel Davis, UNITY Project Director
Managing Director, Prevention Institute
Rachel Davis, MSW, is a Managing Director at Prevention Institute, where she serves on the senior management team and oversees the Institute’s work on preventing violence and trauma, community health and health equity, and mental health and wellbeing. With over two decades of experience, she creates tools and materials that inform local and state initiatives, government agencies, foundations, and community groups throughout the U.S. and abroad to advance effective prevention strategies, shift norms and transform community determinants of health. Rachel has directed several federally-funded projects, including the UNITY initiative, where she has worked successfully with more than 20 U.S. cities to design and advance effective, comprehensive, interdisciplinary strategies for preventing violence.
Rachel co-developed THRIVE (Tool for Health and Resilience in Vulnerable Environments), a tool to help identify and foster factors in the community environment that will improve health outcomes and reduce inequity, for the U.S. Office for Minority Health with a subsequent cooperative agreement to train public health institutes across the country on it. Rachel’s most recent publication, Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience: A Framework for Addressing and Preventing Community Trauma, was presented to the WHO’s Global Violence Prevention Alliance. Additional notable publications include: Community Safety by Design: Preventing Violence through Land Use; Community Safety: A Building Block for Healthy Communities, and Connecting the Dots: An Overview of the Links Among Multiple Forms of Violence, which was co-developed with CDC. Rachel is on the Steering Committee for the State of California’s Essentials of Childhood initiative, a CDC-funded child maltreatment prevention initiative and a member of the WHO’s Global Violence Prevention Alliance.