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Youth Violence Prevention Research Center

Funded by a $5.7 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Youth Violence Prevention Research Center (YVPRC) is one of seven such centers nationally.  This five-year project aims to change norms of violence among youth in West Louisville by raising critical consciousness of racial and cultural history and thus fostering a more positive racial identity, which is linked to positive behavior. The team is developing various forms of social media to reach youth with messaging from the social norming campaign, and will connect them to resources and services available locally.  The strategy draws from a variety of disciplines and links experts with West Louisville youth in the campaign development, testing, and deployment process.  East Nashville serves as a control site for the project, and colleagues at Vanderbilt University are collecting data there.

West Louisville Photovoice & Community Health Development Project

The project engaged local residents in capturing images and personal narratives related to perceptions and experiences of justice/injustice, safety/unsafety, hope/hopelessness, and racial equity/racism.  The images and narratives were on display at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage in the fall of 2016. In line with one of the goals of Photovoice - which is to mobilize into action related to local issues identified through the process - the office is utilizing the community health development model to work in partnership with community to address issues related to three priority areas: education, economic development, and positive self-identity.

Fostering Data-Driven Programming and Investment

As a way of adding to the local capacity of other initiatives, OPHP is able to contribute evaluation expertise to assist local organizations and programs in documenting their activities, measuring their outcomes, and articulating their impact.  Currently, OPHP is partnering as the evaluator of two community-based, violence prevention projects. Funded by the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Pivot to Peace project is an emergency room-based intervention aimed at de-escalating violence, preventing retaliatory violence, and cultivating positive life skills among victims and perpetrators of violence.  Funded by the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence, the Arise to Safety program is based on the work of the Mary Byron Center, integrating a universal screening for domestic violence in clinical settings to identify and serve individuals and families who are victims of violence.

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