ICYMI: Recent Peace For DC profile in DCist/WAMU
ICYMI: Peace For DC was recently interviewed in an extensive article by Jenny Gathright with DCist/WAMU.
The piece outlines everything from how Peace For DC is working to take the DC government's current public safety efforts and make strategic, evidence-based improvements, to how philanthropy's nimbleness and flexibility is uniquely capable of accelerating these peacebuilding efforts. Please give it a read- https://dcist.com/story/23/04/11/peace-for-dc-violence-interruption-philanthropy/!
“We can’t wait for the system to change. We can’t wait for the slow process of government to get there....That’s where philanthropy is amazing and nimble and flexible.”
- Roger Marmet, one of Peace for DC’s founders
Thank you to Jenny Gathright, DCist, and WAMU for the thorough and thoughtful profile! Together- government, community, philanthropy, business, all of us- we CAN drastically reduce homicides and shootings in DC.
Photo: a recent group discussion at DC Peace Academy
Announcing Our New Executive Director
Peace For DC is thrilled to welcome Marcus Ellis as our new Executive Director!!! And fear not, Lashonia is not going anywhere. Read all about it in our latest newsletter: http://bit.ly/p4dc-ed
Peace For DC awarded NFL Social Justice Grant
We are thrilled to share that Peace For DC is one of 5 organizations across the country that have been awarded a grant by the NFL through its Inspire Change social justice initiative! The grant is focused on criminal justice reform and will go towards Peace For DC's DC Peace Academy and Peace Room programs.
Through the DC Peace Academy, we are investing deeply in DC's community violence intervention workers’ personal and professional development to help them achieve greater long-term client outcomes, stop shootings, and build peaceful communities. These brave peacemakers - representing over 10 community-based organizations and working in the neighborhoods across DC most impacted by the trauma of violence - form the backbone of DC’s alternative system of public safety. Many have put in deep work to transform their own lives and now risk their lives working to interrupt the cycle of violence and stop the next shooting before it happens. The vast majority have also been personally affected by gun violence, many having lost siblings or parents.
Our Peace Room program provided a regular meeting space where DC’s leading community violence intervention organizations come together to assess their needs for safety, peace, and coordinated action to end gun violence in DC. We serve as Peace Room convener and coordinator as part of our goal of strengthening these organizations, because they have the credibility and trust, and are best positioned to transform communities.
Peace For DC is committed to end gun violence in DC by reinventing the criminal justice system that for years has failed DC’s most marginalized communities. We are focused on systems change to heal trauma, transform the lives of those at highest risk of violence, and train Peacemakers to break down the inequitable structures that have historically sought to disempower them. We work with and for individuals and organizations who serve as the change agents best positioned to reduce community violence by reaching individuals at highest risk of being perpetrators and victims of violence. No other group in DC is focused on shifting power, mobilizing, and coordinating with DC’s community-based violence intervention heroes in this comprehensive way.
We are so grateful for this support and for everyone who believes in Peace For DC. Thank you. #PeaceIsPossible
Gun violence is not an intractable problem. Here's how we fix it.
A local opinion piece by Peace For DC's Executive Director, Lashonia Thompson-El is published in The Washington Post this weekend. It talks about how other cities have been able to bring down and keep down their homicide rates, and what it will take for us to create lasting peace in our beloved city, DC, as well. Here's a clue: those closest to the problem are also closest to the solution and they are key to making this proven strategy work. Click the link to learn more......
"Some Friday & Saturday nights here in D.C.
can be just as violent as it was in Afghanistan".....
“some Friday & Saturday nights here in D.C. can be just as violent as it was in Afghanistan,” said Navy surgeon & MedStar trauma fellow Dr. James Wallace. Wallace continued, “There’s a lot of shootings and a lot of stabbings, and there’s a lot of young people that are having bad outcomes because they’re losing a lot of blood before they get to the hospital,”
Peace For DC & MedStar came together yesterday to ensure that DC‘s front line peacemakers know how to use first aid #StopTheBleed to help someone who has been shot or stabbed. Medical staff from MedSTAR provided Stop The Bleed kits- that include items like a tourniquet & high-capacity gauze- & taught the community violence intervention workers how to use these tools in case they witness someone who is shot or stabbed & is at risk of bleeding out awaiting arrival of emergency medical services.
This event includes community violence intervention workers from Cure The Streets. Peace For DC and OGVP are working on a similar collaboration for DC’s Homeland Security & Emergency Management Agency to provide training and kits for DC’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement violence intervention workers.
Peace For DC is committed to ensuring that DC‘s frontline peacemakers have all of the training and tools that they need to be successful in stopping shootings before they happen and building peace in the communities that they serve. Building collaboration among DC’s community-based and hospital-based violence intervention workers, who are all brave essential workers in DC, is critically important to Peace For DC’s mission.
The Damaging Impacts of Gun Violence on Children and Education
A new Urban Institute report commissioned by Peace For DC looks at how children's education is affected by gun violence. A few highlights:
"Traumatic events such as witnessing violence during childhood can create lasting psychological symptoms for a child, including feeling anxious, having trouble sleeping, and struggling to cope with their emotions. When these symptoms continue for extended periods, it can greatly affect the child’s school achievement and social skill development."
"1 in 4 children exposed to traumatic events develops post-traumatic stress disorder by age 18; prevalence is even higher among young people exposed to armed conflict."
"elementary schools in areas with a higher concentration of gunshots had English and math test scores that were 50 percent lower than those of students attending schools in areas with fewer gunshots."
"gunfire around schools in DC is relatively common, but it is also concentrated among a small number of schools. During the 2011–12 school year, of all the gunfire incidents that occurred during school hours, more than half (54 percent) occurred within 1,000 feet of a school. However, nearly half of these incidents affected only 9 percent of schools, mainly those in Wards 7 and 8."
National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform releases
Strategic Plan for Gun Violence Reduction for DC
Peace For DC has been saying for a long time that "a goal without a plan is just a wish". Well we are grateful to the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform, DC's Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, DC's Office of Gun Violence Prevention, and others who helped create the newly released DC Strategic Plan for Gun Violence Reduction. Now let's ensure this plan is funded and put into action right away.
Gun Violence Costs DC Taxpayers Billions of Dollars Each Year
Peace For DC shares new research commissioned from NICJR and Urban Institute
April 29, 2022
Peace For DC shares new research on the direct and indirect costs of gun violence on District residents and taxpayers. Research was conducted by the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform and the Urban Institute, and commissioned by Peace For DC.
Highlights from these important reports include:
In 2021 alone, gun violence in DC cost taxpayers almost $1 billion. This is a very conservative figure, and only includes direct costs like hospital services, policing, prosecution, and incarceration.
Each shooting homicide in DC costs taxpayers at least $1.53 million per suspect in direct costs, and often much more.
Each injury shooting in DC costs taxpayers at least $783,000 per suspect in direct costs, and often much more.
One additional homicide per year could be associated with a roughly $9,000 decrease in the median home price citywide.
One additional violent crime per 1,000 DC residents per year could be associated with a nearly $1,000 decrease in the estimated median home price citywide.
A 10 percent increase in gun homicides per year could result in 24 fewer retail and service businesses and the loss of corresponding job opportunities and sales tax revenue.
If the District could reduce its gun violence rate by just 20%, government savings could reach as much as $178 million every year.
Roger Marmet, Founder of Peace For DC said: “By quantifying these costs, we hope it becomes clear to the Mayor and Council that now is the time to invest in both traditional and community-powered public safety. In addition to more people across the city living in fear, there is a tremendous financial burden being placed on all of us. Robust investment in a public health strategy to reduce violence will more than pay for itself in savings, not to mention sparing families like mine from the immeasurable trauma of having a loved one taken by violence”.
Lashonia Thompson-El, Peace For DC Executive Director adds that “We say we’re taking a public health approach to reducing violence, but we are completely underinvesting in proven intervention. The human cost of gun violence is devastating DC families and communities. Rather than paying after the fact in policing, prosecution, hospital, and judicial costs, the District should invest much more in stopping violence before it happens with strategic community-based violence intervention efforts that reach all of those who are at highest risk. Right now, we must all come together and take bold action”.
April 12 Panel Discussion:
New Research on The Cost of Gun Violence in DC
Tuesday, April 12, 5-6:30pm
Many thanks to all who joined us for our April 12 panel on The Cost of Gun Violence in DC.
Thank you to David Muhammad and the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (NICJR) for revealing details to us from the newly published Cost of Gun Violence report that Peace For DC commissioned. Based on very conservative figures, the analysis estimates that in 2021 alone, gun violence in DC cost taxpayers almost $1 billion. This staggering figure only includes direct costs like hospital services, policing, prosecution, and incarceration. As stated during the event, "much more investment could go into community efforts" and especially into focused proactive violence intervention efforts. And if DC could reduce gun violence by even just 20%, government savings could reach as much as $178 million dollars per year.
Thank you to Emily Tiry and Jesse Jannetta of Urban Institute for their work researching The Indirect Costs of gun violence in DC, focusing on the negative impacts on property values and business loss. These findings underscore the reality that gun violence impacts everyone and imposes costs on communities other than those who directly experience it.
Thank you to Kristy Love, Interim Executive Director at the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) for talking about the recently released Gun Violence Problem Analysis and the forthcoming Strategic Plan for Gun Violence Reduction in DC. This analysis shows that a very small number of people are driving our community violence, and scaled-up intervention and life transformation efforts with approximately 500 individuals can reduce shootings and homicides in a short timeframe.
Last but absolutely not least, thank you to Dr. Charlayne Hayling-Williams of Community Wellness Ventures for grounding the conversation and amplifying the greatest cost of gun violence: the human toll, which is immeasurable. We need to give people opportunities and resources that are "holistic, transformative, and culturally specific" to enable them to heal from trauma and grow towards transformation.
We hope that by drawing attention to how gun violence deeply impacts individuals and communities throughout DC with both debilitating trauma and an enormous financial burden, we will motivate a wider range of people and groups to become involved in addressing the crisis. Reducing community violence is a key to addressing racial equity and creating meaningful opportunities for everyone. And it is entirely possible to make significant progress over the next few years. We have the data, we have the proven models, and we have incredible peacemakers who can do the work. We are grateful to each of you for being champions of reducing violence and building thriving individuals and communities. Together we can build lasting Peace For DC.
PEACE FOR DC COMMENTS ON RECENT GOVERNMENT INITIATIVE
April 19, 2022
VIDEO: INVEST IN PEACE
Meet some of DC's brave peacemakers in Peace For DC's first video as they describe in their own words what's needed to solve the gun violence crisis and bring about #Peace4DC.
Let's make sure all of DC's peacemakers have the funding, training, resources and capacity they need to succeed. Philanthropy can work together and collaboratively invest in DC's brave peacemakers. Join us and be a champion for peace.
TESTIFYING AT DC COUNCIL OVERSIGHT HEARINGS
January 20, 2022
“We can do this....with focused & sustained investment, allowing for communities to co-design public safety & solutions- using every proven tool in the toolkit & reaching the right individuals, we can reduce violence & save hundreds of lives right now.“
On January 20, 2022, Peace For DC testified at the DC Council’s oversight hearing for the Deputy Mayor of Public Safety and Justice.
PEACE FOR DC RADIO INTERVIEW
November 3, 2021
Sincere thanks to WPFW and Led By Love's cohosts, Clinton Lacey and Linda Harllee Harper, for the wonderful in-depth conversation we had on Nov. 3, 2021. Peace For DC talked with Led By Love about the recent panel discussion that we hosted, our efforts to build political and civic will, and how the answers to building peace are in the community.
OCT. 25 PANEL DISCUSSION
October 25, 2021
Thanks to everyone who was able to join us October 25 for our Zoom event: Citywide Strategic Planning for Gun Violence Reduction - A Roadmap for Saving Lives. Sincere thanks to our fantastic co-hosts: Next Level Vision and the DC Chapter of Moms Demand Action, as well as our panelists: David Muhammad/National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform, David Bowers/NO MURDERS DC, Tyrone Parker/Alliance of Concerned Men, and Thomas Abt/Council On Criminal Justice and author of Bleeding Out. Over 300 people registered and approximately 200 people attended this event, including government stakeholders, community leaders, frontline heroes in violence prevention and intervention, local funders, advocates, and many who care deeply about building Peace For DC.
For those of you who were not able to view the event live, a recording is available on YouTube. We also have a transcript if you prefer to read through, and here is a collection of links and articles that were dropped into the chat during the event for deeper reference.
Our discussion provides a meaningful window on the value and necessity of a strategic plan for gun violence reduction. It’s just one conversation, with a few voices and opinions, and DC needs many more discussions about our goals and plans for peace. Key insights are that DC has tremendous assets and programs in our communities already. Many cities do not. We also have a well established array of government programs and interventions: which many cities do not. But it’s essential that we connect all the dots and align the goals and strategies of our elected and appointed officials with the needs and expertise of the communities most impacted by violence. It’s critical that we take a comprehensive approach, avoid reactionary measures and legislation in isolation. A vast network of disconnected systems must be brought into alignment.
We hope everyone who attended the event on the 25th - or watches the video - learns something new and is inspired to share this knowledge with their networks so that we can spread the message that "a goal without a plan is just a wish", and gun violence is not an intractable problem. We CAN eliminate homicides and shootings in the District IF we are focused and strategic and work together.
We continue to work to align resources and provide funding to community organizations that provide proven programs and strategies that transform lives, address trauma, and reduce violence. As a city, we will only succeed when everyone takes part in the conversation and goes all-in on saving lives. We must act with urgency, but we must also move carefully and intentionally to align the city behind a plan that will ultimately eliminate gun violence.
We’re deeply grateful for your support and partnership in creating Peace For DC.
PEACE FOR DC SPEAKS WITH WUSA9
September 6, 2021
After another violent weekend in DC, Peace For DC's Roger Marmet speaks with Jess Arnold of WUSA9 about how we can solve this crisis.
July 30, 2021
Peace For DC responds to recent violence in the District with answers and action steps.
This is what we envision when we talk about a strategic plan for reducing gun violence in DC. DC is not there yet, but with continued work, collaboration, and investment, we will get there.
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HONORING VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS
Behind every victim are survivors- family, friends, community- who carry their trauma with them every day. As well, there are literally thousands of non-fatal gun violence survivors who may heal physically, but have much mental & emotional pain to endure. Please #saytheirnames with us. Many thanks to Virginia Avniel Spatz who maintains the Say This Name blog and honors every victim and survivor through her journalism and her faith.