Quintez Brown, Youth Fellow
Quintez Brown, Youth Fellow

National and local leaders will gather this week to discuss the root causes of youth violence and strategies to address it.

The Louisville Youth Violence Prevention Summit is April 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of Hotel Louisville, 120 W. Broadway. The event, happening during National Youth Violence Prevention Week, April 8 through April 12, will highlight the research of the University of Louisville Youth Violence Prevention Research Center (YVPRC) based in the School of Public Health and Information Sciences.

UofL is home to one of five Centers for Disease Control National Centers of Excellence in Youth Violence Prevention (YVPCs), academic-community collaborations that advance the science and practice of youth violence prevention. Leaders from the CDC Division of Violence Prevention, along with individuals involved in the other four national centers located at the University of Chicago, University of Colorado, University of Michigan and Virginia Commonwealth University will participate in the summit.

“Approaching violence prevention from a public health perspective requires us to examine and address root causes of the issue rather than simply the downstream effects,” said Monique Williams, MPH, director of UofL’s YVRC. “This summit provides a forum for the UofL YVPRC and key partners to highlight innovative strategies for prevention, present findings from the research to date, and discuss implications for action in Louisville and beyond.”

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The focus of UofL’s efforts involves a campaign to reach youth that integrates African American history and concepts of positive racial identity to raise awareness, along with promotion of social action to address structural violence in an effort to reduce youth violence.

“The kind of historical and fact-based analysis being done by YVPRC promotes the existence of a safer Louisville. I’m excited about everything those in attendance will learn, and how their level of awareness will continue to improve our city,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

“We are fortunate to have a truly unique research center that brilliantly elevates the importance of understanding systemic and structural violence. Equally impressive is that the work happening in Louisville is so remarkable that the Centers for Disease Control hopes other centers can learn from these cutting-edge practices,” said Rashaad Abdur-Rahman, MSSW, director of Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods, Office of Mayor Greg Fischer.

Co-sponsors of the event include the Metro United Way, the Mayor’s Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods, the Center for Health Equity, Cities United and the Louisville Urban League.

The event is free, and anyone interested in attending may register online.