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Youth Violence Prevention Research Center

Many West Louisville youth experience and are affected by violence. In hopes of addressing this tragic community issue, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded the University of Louisville School of Public Health and the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences (SPHIS) $5.7 million to establish a Youth Violence Prevention Research Center.  The Center is led by Monica Wendel, Dr.P.H., M.A. and Maury Nation, Ph. D., associate professor, Vanderbilt University Peabody College of Education and Human Development. Researchers and their partners developed, implemented, and evaluated 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 will be collecting data there   The initiative is aimed at reducing violence among youth living in West Louisville. East Nashville, Tennessee is serving as the control site for the project. 

Community partners include: Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness (LMPHW), Louisville Metro Office of Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods (OSHN), Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD), Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS), IDEAS xlab, Renaissance Creative Group, and KentuckyOne Health. In addition, once the campaign is developed, multiple organizations have committed to serve as implementation partners, including the Interdenominational Ministerial Coalition, KentuckianaWorks Youth Career Center, Kentucky YMCA Youth Services, Louisville Central Community Centers, Louisville Urban League, Louisville Metro Juvenile Detention Services, the Muhammad Ali Center, the Muhammad Ali Institute for Peace and Justice, PEACE Education Program, Restorative Justice, the Center for Women & Families, and the YMCA of Greater Louisville.

The CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control has recognized UofL as one of only seven national Centers of Excellence in Youth Violence Prevention. UofL joins the ranks of the University of Chicago, University of Colorado, University of Michigan, and Virginia Commonwealth University in establishing centers aimed at curbing youth violence.

For more information about this project, please contact Tanisha Howard, Resaearch Center Coordinator, at tanisha.howard.1@louisville.edu or 502-852-4110.

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