Major findings from an eight-year evaluation of the UNITY (Urban Networks to Increase Thriving Youth) initiative were released in December, revealing that the program is meeting its goals and helping to shift the paradigm on the issue of violence impacting youth, by increasing awareness about the problem throughout the country.
UNITY utilizes a public health approach to violence and is an initiative of the Prevention Institute. Working among community members and programs like Cure Violence, UNITY seeks to build support for effective, sustainable efforts to prevent violence before it occurs so that urban youth can thrive in safe environments with supportive relationships and opportunities for success.
Other exciting program findings reveal:
- More attention to preventing violence before it occurs. Increasingly, cities are pursuing upfront strategies that prevent violence before it occurs, to complement intervention, suppression and enforcement activities.
- Enhanced city-wide strategic planning to address violence. All UNITY cities either have a city-wide plan to address youth violence or have discussed developing one in partnership with other sectors.
- Improved collaboration and engagement across sectors and with communities most impacted by violence. Sixty percent of cities reported that collaboration with community members and youth increased since joining UNITY.
- Increased public health involvement in efforts to address violence affecting youth. Nine in 10 city representatives said the health department was the lead sponsor of the local coalition to address violence.
We congratulate UNITY on their hard work and leadership!
>> Read an overview of the evaluation, “Shifting the Paradigm”