Live Free helped to design the University of Chicago’s new Community Violence Intervention Leadership Academy (CVILA). This groundbreaking leadership program was created in order to train the next generation of community violence intervention (CVI) leaders throughout the country. 

Through this innovative, 6-month certificate program, participants receive comprehensive training and mentorship to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively lead violence intervention efforts in their cities. By equipping emerging leaders with the tools to manage and implement evidence-based strategies, the Academy aims to foster positive change and bring peace to our communities. 

The first cohort of 31 leaders from 21 different cities began their work in September 2023 and recently held their graduation at the White House on February 9, 2024 where Vice President Kamala Harris addressed the group. Several leaders from Live Free’s national network were among those honored at the White House:


Three members of the Live Free national team are steering committee members and one of them, Marcus McAllister serves as the program’s Dean of Students.


One of the highlights of the program was a weeklong immersive lab that Live Free hosted in Oakland. During this week, the students learned about strategies for building community power in order to help ensure that community violence intervention is truly community-based. Despite the fact that CVI has decades of research behind it, it continues to be woefully under-funded in cities throughout the country and only through increased organizing and advocacy will we get public officials to invest what is needed in order to sufficiently support this work. In Oakland, CVI leaders began learning ways to build enough power and influence to gain the public investments that are needed. Check out this short video about this impactful week. 

For those interested in learning more about CVILA or applying to join an upcoming cohort, we invite you to visit the CVILA here. Together, let us build safer, more resilient communities for all. #CVILeadershipAcademy #EndGunViolence #CommunitySafety #WhiteHouseGraduation



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