Gun violence can be impacted more effectively by combining forces. Our approach brings together youth-serving agencies, hospital systems and the city government to develop community strategies to reduce the incidence of gun violence. We seek to achieve this through various means, including 1) convening community forums to build collaboration; 2) providing modest grants to grassroots youth-oriented organizations; and 3) building awareness of the need for cooperative action.
The Coming Together Partnership for Prevention of Gun Violence was a coalition active from 2013 to 2016 that included Community Advocates’ Brighter Futures Initiative; the City of Milwaukee Health Department’s Office of Violence Prevention; the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Violence Prevention Initiative; Running Rebels; and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s Project Ujima.
Since youth are most seriously affected by the epidemic of gun violence, their involvement is vital to a resolution of this community challenge. Thus, the Partnership's key strategies involve the full engagement of youth in the molding of gun violence prevention efforts.
For the summer of 2016, the Coming Together Partnership offered training in Restorative Practices. The use of Restorative Practices has proven to work to reduce conflict in our communities. Youth can learn how to employ RP practices in class sessions that are interactive, interesting and informative. Best of all, most young people discover it's fun!
The Coming Together annual community summits in 2013 and 2014 brought together more than 200 Milwaukee youth, community workers and leaders to discuss the impact of gun violence on young people and collectively develop strategies to prevent and reduce the impact in Milwaukee.
The Coming Together Partnership supported community programs aimed at working among youth to end gun violence. In 2014, the Partnership provided modest grants to six community youth programs that included support for the Bridge Project, creation of a music video, a neighborhood outreach program and others. For the summer of 2015, the Partnership provided “Change-Maker” grants to six programs, all aimed at developing youth leadership for gun violence prevention efforts.