Proven Strategies Exist

About 20,000 people are shot and killed and an estimated 80,000 more are shot and wounded each year in the U.S. For decades, gun violence has been the leading cause of death for young Black males and the second leading cause of death for young Latino males and young Black females. The CDC now identifies firearm injuries as the leading cause of death for all children and teens.

Live Free USA works to bring peace to our communities by supporting the implementation of community violence intervention (CVI) strategies which have a long track record of dramatically reducing violence in cities throughout the country. By identifying and engaging the tiny number of individuals at highest risk for shooting (often just 0.1% of a city’s population), CVI practitioners work intensively with these individuals to interrupt imminent conflicts and connect them to a range of tailored services to help them adopt nonviolent lifestyles.

While criminologists have been documenting the success of CVI strategies since the 1990s, public officials have been slow to respond. For over a decade, Live Free has been at the forefront of local, state, and federal fights to ensure that effective CVI efforts are fully funded and implemented throughout the country. For many years, we were a lonely voice at the White House, Department of Justice, and the halls of Congress advocating for major federal investments in this work. Since then, we have helped shape major legislation, helped secure billions in CVI funding, and developed a replicable model for organizing communities around urban gun violence. Live Free currently supports CVI implementation in three ways:

Education: Through our intensive Peacemaker Bootcamps, we educate community, government, and law enforcement leaders about CVI best practices. Through culture, arts, and storytelling, we influence the public narrative regarding effective public safety in Black and Brown communities. And as instructors and co-designers of the University of Chicago’s CVI Leadership Academy, we help shape the next generation of violence intervention leaders.

Advocacy: Through local community organizing and state and federal advocacy, we work to build the power of directly-impacted communities so that they can demand effective public safety, including proper government funding and support for CVI. Among other efforts, Live Free co-founded the Black Brown Peace Consortium in 2018 which, through its Fund Peace Campaign, played a central role in unlocking billions of dollars in local, state, and federal assistance for CVI.

Training & Technical Assistance: We help local governments and community-based organizations launch and implement CVI initiatives. We currently provide training and technical assistance to CVI practitioners in St. Louis, MO, Montgomery, AL, Oklahoma City, and Orlando, FL.*

For more information, contact:

*Projects in St. Louis and Montgomery are being supported by ARPA funds from the U.S. Department of Treasury.

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