Chronic Violence and Community Health: Reflections on a Symposium Series

Jan 06, 2014
  • Description

What are the causes of persistent violence in so many U.S. communities? What impacts does this violence have on community health and thriving? How can collective action reduce violence and set a new course for peace, health, and well-being? These were the questions that drove a Symposium Series held in five U.S. cities between October 2012 and February 2013. Supported by the Langeloth Foundation, the meetings drew about 75 thought leaders, advocates, civil servants, and practitioners, gathering in Chicago, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Oakland, and Washington, DC. The discussions were designed to achieve three learning objectives: 1) identify approaches that are reducing the effects of chronic violence; 2) understand the challenges communities face in stemming violence; and 3) document models of effective collaboration in the field. In addition to the gatherings, research was also conducted to investigate community violence and understand the drivers of violence as well as positive responses to it. This report documents that research and the highlights of the symposia, capturing the essence of the five meetings with a particular emphasis on the lessons that local actors have learned through experience.