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My team and I are working with local youth and community organizers to develop a youth violence prevention message that takes a critical approach to change the narrative around gun violence. Our goal is to collaborate and empower youth living in violence-affected neighborhoods by making space for their perspectives to inform policies and practices related to youth violence prevention. We are holding up sessions where we can learn directly from young folks in Chicago. We hope that making space to hear about how things look from their perspectives will teach us how to promote community safety in ways that center the experiences of the folks’ lived experiences.

We are currently seeking youth-serving community organizations to co-host workshops where we can gather young people’s perspectives about community safety and racial justice. These insights will be used to design a new evidence-based youth violence prevention program that is informed by lived experiences and research from the psychological and behavioral sciences. After rounds of collaborative co-designings, we will then evaluate our final pilot program’s impact on youth attitudes and behavior.

If you are interested in joining the project as a potential participant or collaborator, please contact me at

This vision is possible thanks to our funders, research teams, and community partners: Logos of the Joyce Foundation, UChicago, UTexas, Austin Community Family Center, St. Joseph Services, Project Impact 180, Rhonda's Angel Network, and North Lawndale College Prep

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