For Immediate Release

May 13, 2022 Contact:

LIVE FREE Celebrates Historic Partnership with the University of Chicago to Not Just Respond to Gun Violence, But to Prevent it

OAKLAND, Ca. – LIVE FREE today celebrated a new partnership with the University of Chicago Crime Lab. In collaboration with other organizations from the Black Brown Peace Consortium, LIVE FREE will be helping to design and implement a Community Violence Intervention (CVI) Academy to train the next generation of community-based leaders committed to reducing urban gun violence. This effort will be part of the university’s new Community Safety Leadership Academies (CSLA).

“Everyone wants to live in communities that are safe and free from violence,” said the Rev. Michael McBride, executive director of LIVE FREE. “And that goal is possible, but officials must rethink the over-reliance on police and invest in Black and Brown groups who have long worked to address the root causes of violence.”

LIVE FREE and other members of the Black Brown Peace Consortium proposed the creation of the CVI Leadership Academy with the goal of building a robust leadership pipeline to address the desperate need for more community violence intervention efforts throughout the country. Housed at the University of Chicago, this effort will bring together data and behavioral science insights of top academics as well as leading CVI practitioners and experts. Each program cohort will last 6 months with the first cohort launching in the fall of 2023.

“Black and Brown people are more likely to die from gun violence than their white counterparts, but too often, discussions around how to address gun violence occur without the input of the very communities adversely impacted by it and working to end it,” said Dr. Antonio Cediel, managing director of LIVE FREE. “That is the beauty of this partnership; it involves community-based groups who have worked for decades on this very issue.”

“Part of our task is not just to respond to reports about violence, but to build a new public safety infrastructure that allows us to better address the ebbs and flows of violence in our community,” McBride said. “This is one of the most important innovations LIVE FREE has helped develop. These interventions are a more cost-effective way to get what we want, which is keeping our communities safe.”




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