In 2012, Philadelphia’s youth violence rates were at their highest levels in decades. The causes of youth violence are complex and cross-cutting, necessitating sustained efforts to forge solutions across disciplines, inside and outside of government, and at the community and individual levels.
Recognizing this urgent need, the City of Philadelphia successfully applied to become a US Department of Justice National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention site. This designation enabled the City to establish a Youth Violence Prevention Collaborative charged with developing a strategy to reduce violence in one of Philadelphia’s highest-crime, highest-need neighborhoods—the 22nd Police District in North Philadelphia. Richard Greenwald was awarded a Stoneleigh Fellowship to lead the work of this Collaborative.
This Stoneleigh Fellowship enabled Richard to:
- Develop a cross-system plan to reduce youth violence. In collaboration with stakeholders, Richard created Philadelphia’s Strategic Plan to Prevent Youth Violence. It put forward clear priorities to guide the work of Collaborative, including training and employment, physical and behavioral health, and education. Key delivery partners and signs of success were identified for each priority.
- Create a central hub for youth violence prevention efforts citywide. The Collaborative played a key role in bringing together often-siloed groups to connect, strategize, and better understand the range of services available to prevent violence. In addition, Richard forged alliances with other collaboratives working across the city on similar issues, such as My Brother’s Keeper.
- Increase investment in youth violence prevention in the 22nd Police District. Richard helped to spearhead fundraising efforts that yielded more than $1 million to support job training for older youth and youth returning from incarceration, summer jobs, and trauma-informed practices in educational settings throughout the District.