October 2014 – Dr. Gary Slutkin to Give Inaugural Leeuwenhoek Lecture
Dr. Gary Slutkin’s inaugural Leeuwenhoek lecture will be live-streamed tonight (Wednesday, October 22nd) beginning at 6 p.m. (CST). Dr. Slutkin, Founder and Executive Director of Cure Violence, will discuss the science guiding Cure Violence and new national and global initiatives.
The lecture is named after Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (ley-vuhn-hook), a Dutch scientist who first observed previously unknown and invisible microorganisms. This led to a scientific understanding of disease contagion, and treatment of previously incurable diseases. The generous gifts of Leeuwenhoek League donors allow Cure Violence, in the same way, to make visible the contagious nature of violence, and to lead local, national and global efforts to treat and reduce violence using a health approach.
National Partner Meeting Held in Philly October 8-9
Over 200 Violence Interrupters, Outreach Workers and Program managers from Cure Violence program sites throughout the U.S., and two international sites (Halifax and South Africa) gathered at the Marriott in downtown Philadelphia for two days of intensive meetings focused around sharing information and best-practices among the partner sites.
Dr. Gary Slutkin, Founder and Executive Director of Cure Violence, reminded participants “The end game to reducing violence is a change in norms/expectations where violence occurs. We’re all products of our environment. We’ve copied and imitated someone or something.” Dr. Slutkin provided continuing education about the science behind the health approach to violence prevention.
Other topics at the meeting focused on strengthening the recruitment and hiring of potential workers, the use of social media to identify and detect violence in a community and best practices/ideas to provide stronger support for Violence Interrupters and Outreach Workers who are immersed in communities, putting their lives on the line daily, in an effort to prevent violence and bring peace to the streets in many urban neighborhoods.
NY Partner “Man Up” in Magazine Feature on Cure Violence Approach
(Photo courtesy of Man Up)
According to a 2012 report by the New York City Council’s Task Force to Combat Gun Violence, Cure Violence, when properly implemented, reduces shooting incidents by between 16 and 34 percent. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in August that NYC will invest $12.7 million – nearly triple the previous year’s budget allocation – in Cure Violence programs, expanding the programs’ reach to fourteen of the city’s highest-crime precincts.
“A Path Appears” Chronicles Cure Violence Health Approach
New York Times best-selling authors (husband-and-wife-team) Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn released a new book, A Path Appears, focused around transforming lives and creating opportunity. The book provides a road map to becoming the most effective global citizens we can be. Its message: to bring the compelling, inspiring truth of how real people have changed the world, overturning the notion that one person can’t make a difference.
As one of a select few organizations profiled in A Path Appears, Cure Violence is presented as an example of successful, innovative work being done at the grassroots level that is accomplishing a purpose of larger social change. A recent New York Times Book Review of A Path Appears reinforced the impact of the Cure Violence approach in reducing violence in urban areas:
“The physician Gary Slutkin learned the principles of disease control from a decade of working in Africa, including in cholera-ravaged refugee camps; when he returned home to Chicago, he applied his knowledge of public health to curbing the spread of gang violence. He decided to treat violence as an infectious disease, hiring “violence interrupters” to stop the epidemic from spreading. The Justice Department found that Slutkin’s organization, Cure Violence, reduced shootings by as much as 28 percent in some areas. Slutkin estimates a dollar spent on his programs saves $15.77 in medical and legal costs alone.”
The book serves as both a survey of organizations whose mission is to change the world, as well as a reader’s guide on the best ways to get involved and make a difference in our shared global future. Eventually, the book will serve as the basis for a PBS series.