Chicago’s Gary Slutkin Named a 2012 Purpose Prize Fellow

The Purpose Prize honors Americans 60 and older for changing lives in new and creative ways.

Chicago, IL – Yesterday Encore.org announced that Dr. Gary Slutkin is a 2012 Purpose Prize fellow. The Purpose Prize is the nation’s only large-scale investment in social entrepreneurs and other creative problem solvers in the second half of life.

Slutkin was named a fellow because of his development of the Cure Violence program – a unique, interdisciplinary, public health approach to violence prevention – which maintains that the problem of violence is solvable, like other epidemics, when we understand that it behaves like an infectious disease, and treat it using public health disease control methods. An initial study conducted in 2008 by the U.S. Department of Justice supports the approach, having found drops of 41-73% in shootings and killings in Chicago zones where the model was implemented. A second study published in July 2012, which was funded by the CDC and conducted by Johns Hopkins University, produced similar findings in the Baltimore area, this time showing a 30-53% statistical decline.  To date the program has been replicated at 50 sites in 15 cities and 7 countries, including South Africa and Iraq.

“Purpose Prize fellows are using their passion and experience to help solve some of society’s steepest challenges,” said Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of Encore.org and author of The Big Shift. “They represent a growing wave of people in their 60s and beyond who are using their know how to change the world, while shifting perceptions of what is possible in this stage of life.”

The Purpose Prize program is funded by the John Templeton Foundation and The Atlantic Philanthropies. The Prize is awarded by Encore.org (the new name for Civic Ventures), a nonprofit that promotes encore careers – work that is both personally meaningful and serves the greater good.

A panel of 23 judges – leaders in business, politics, journalism and the nonprofit sector – chose the five winners from a pool of more than 800 nominees. This year’s 35 fellows are finalists for The Prize. An awards ceremony will be held in February in San Francisco.

For more information about The Purpose Prize, visit: www.encore.org/prize.

Encore.org is a nonprofit organization building a movement to make it easier for millions of people to pursue “encore careers” – second acts for the greater good. The Purpose Prize, funded by the John Templeton Foundation and The Atlantic Philanthropies, is a program of Encore.org.