Philadelphia CeaseFire violence interrupters and intervention workers pose for a photo after last week’s fourth anniversary celebration. Photographs for the Gun Crisis Reporting Project by Joseph Kaczmarek.
At GunCrisis.org, we have been honored with journalism awards and media recognition from around the globe during our first two years, but nothing means more to us than connecting with the individuals and communities working to reduce gun violence in Philadelphia. So, you can imagine how it feels when they take a moment to recognize our work.
Last week, Philadelphia CeaseFire included the Gun Crisis Reporting Project among community partners to be honored at their fourth anniversary celebration at the Honickman Learning Center and Comcast Technology Labs in North Philadelphia.
Philadelphia CeaseFire director Marla Davis Bellamy handed out plaques while discussing the importance of partnerships to reduce violence.
Philadelphia CeaseFire is an evidence-based public health violence intervention program based at the Center for Bioethics, Urban Health and Policy at the Temple University School of Medicine. The program treats violence as a disease, utilizing data, credible messengers and community mobilization strategies.
As we reported last spring, homicides decreased by 21 percent and shootings were reduced by 11 percent in Philadelphia’s 22nd Police District during CeaseFire’s first year of operation. Last year, we spent a night on the street with them in North Philadelphia.
Philadelphia Ceasefire modeled its program after Cure Violence — formerly know as CeaseFire Chicago — which utilizes public health strategies with the understanding that violence is a learned behavior which can be prevented with disease control methods. The three-step process interrupts transmission, strives to identify and change the thinking of the highest likely transmitters, and to change group norms.
Learning about CeaseFire at a journalism conference was one of the catalysts which drove last year’s launch of the Gun Crisis Reporting Project. The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma organized “Reporting on Youth Violence” at WHYY in Philadelphia in late 2011, with support from the the Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation and additional support from the Stoneleigh Foundation.
In the past, the team at GunCrisis.org has also been honored with a Parters in Peace Award from Mothers in Charge, another leading local violence prevention, education and intervention organization, and a Philly Geek Award for our social media strategy.
The Gun Crisis Reporting Project is an award-winning, independent, nonprofit journalism community striving to illuminate the epidemic of homicide by gunfire in Philadelphia — and to find solutions.
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