March 2013 E-Newsletter – Stories from the Front Line

Cure Violence Takes Hold: Tales from New York City

New York ended 2012 with a historic low murder rate – 414 killings in all. It’s the lowest the figure has been since police started keeping track in 1963. Mayor Michael Bloomberg gives much of the credit to a combination of police tactics and some of the toughest gun laws in the country. CNN reporter Steve Kastenbaum suggests there is much more going on than stringent policing, and that some of the credit could go to the workers at “Save our Streets Crown Heights.” Hear his report.

In another part of the city, Erica Ford heads the South Jamaica (Queens, New York City) Cure Violence Program. She’s been fighting violence most of her life. Almost 20 years ago she partnered with the hip-hop artists she had grown up with, like Tupac Shakur, Salt-n-Pepa and mogul Russell Simmons, to start her first anti-violence group. Now she’s trying to get the New York City council to declare violence a public health issue. Read more about her work. 

And in the South Bronx, Gilly Delgado is “hustling peace,” applying the Cure Violence approach to deal with shootings and killings. Watch this story. 

Chicago’s Successes and Struggles

In mid-February CeaseFire Illinois celebrated 104 days without a shooting in Chicago’s northeast Rogers Park neighborhood. CNN’s Anderson Cooper roamed the neighborhood with CeaseFire workers, discovering how their personal interventions stop shootings and killings. See them at work. 

Violence comes with a high price tag – both for individuals and for communities. Jens Ludwig, director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab, estimates that the total social cost of violence in Chicago is $2.5 billion each year. In February, America Public Media’s Markeplace reported on how violence has been particularly devastating for one Chicago Southside neighborhood. Hear/read more.
The Big Picture: Poverty, Violence and Health

Poverty has a devastating impact on health – an individual’s health and a community’s health – as does violence. Cure Violence Executive Director Dr. Gary Slutkin, along with other thought-leaders, weighed in on the impact of poverty on health as part of a TEDMED Great Challenges video panel. “We should begin to see poverty has a health issue, and prime the health sector to be more actively involved to reduce poverty,” Dr. Slutkin stated. Hear the full video cast.