Two researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University focused on youth violence prevention have received a grant of $6 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The five-year grant will allow them to co-lead a project focused on community-led strategies to address several prevalent issues in Richmond. These include:
- Promoting healthy communities
- Providing positive youth development opportunities
- And also preventing and decreasing youth violence
GrantWatch has a category on its site specifically for justice/juvenile justice grants, as well as one solely for youth grants. In these categories, organizations can find similar grants available. For example, there are grants to U.S. and territories nonprofit organizations, for-profits, government agencies, IHEs, and tribes for research projects that address ethnic and racial inequities within the justice system.
The two researchers that received the grant are Terri Sullivan and Nicholas Thomson. Sullivan is the associate director of research at the VCU Clark-Hill Institute for Positive Youth Development. While, Nicholas Thomson is the director of research at VCU Health’s Injury Violence Prevention Program.
“Our role in reducing youth violence relies on the partnership of our community in the Richmond region, and I am grateful to our community for entrusting us to do this critical work,” said Peter Buckley, M.D., dean of the VCU School of Medicine. “We recognize the importance this work could have beyond our community. The public health impacts of our faculty’s work have the potential to be felt far and wide as they develop a model for interventions that work to reach youth in other communities as well.”
Youth Violence in Richmond
The problem of youth violence in Richmond, Virginia, has long been a topic of concern. According to the CDC, in 2014, the youth homicide rate in Richmond
was nearly five times the national average. And In 2015, the poverty rate for youth was more than two times the state average. Since then, these numbers have stayed high in comparison with other areas.
“There can be no higher priority in this city than the safety and security of our children,” said Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney. “That’s why we’re deeply gratified that VCU has received the CDC Youth Violence Prevention grant and are committed to working with the VCU Healthy Communities for Youth project.
The grant will go toward engaging community members to come together to create strategies that help reduce inequities. Specifically, VCU will partner with Richmond Public Schools, the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority and the mayor’s office. As part of this partnership, VCU will track risk factors by looking at data from schools, police, and emergency rooms.
GrantWatch has similar grants available to U.S. nonprofits, agencies, and educational institutions for conflict resolution training and education for youth. Funding is to support programs for youth between the ages of 13 to 18.
Overall, curbing violence, encouraging community relations, and opening opportunities for youth are all important initiatives and need funding to continue.
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