October 2020 Newsletter

Louisville, Muhammad Ali Center

October 2020 Newsletter

Our office has had several exciting updates this fall as well as the addition of several new team members, including our Director, Monique Williams.  OSHN is excited and eager to continue our work with Monique's leadership, whose Public Health expertise will help elevate our innovative violence prevention efforts and strategies.

A Message from Our Director

Monique Williams Director

Dear Partners and Supporters,

If you are like me, the current condition of our city – and the violence we’re experiencing – is upsetting and intolerable to say the least.  Now more than ever, the need to address violence at its roots is being highlighted and we have a window of opportunity to respond. I am so appreciative of your dedication to doing and supporting the work that will help us emerge as a safer, stronger, and healthier city. I’m excited to be joining you all in this capacity to help build stronger partnerships for the sake of supporting, elevating and improving our neighborhoods, with a focus on those most impacted by structural and interpersonal violence. We are building on great work, accomplished by a great team, here at OSHN.  We are integrating additional research, frameworks, and personnel to establish innovative strategies for violence prevention that start with addressing root causes and ultimately changes unhealthy outcomes. I look forward to continued work with those of you that I know and look forward to meeting and strategizing with those I have yet had the pleasure to meet!

- Monique Williams

To read Monique's full bio, click here.

Upcoming Events

Ambassador Institute #19
Ambassador Institute #19

One Love Louisville Virtual Ambassador Institute


A few more days until our next training!

Turn your passion into action and learn the tools needed to make a difference in your community! Our next Ambassador Institute will be held on October 24th. To adapt to the virtual platform, we have shortened the institute.

Training will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Participants will be trained in Mental Health 101, Suicide Prevention, Community Organizing, Conflict Resolution, and the Public Health Approach to Violence.

If you have ever wanted to join an institute, doing so is easier than ever! Registration for the event can be completed below.


Register for October's Ambassador Institute Here

Tree Planting and Cleanup

Ensuring our parks are usable is more important than ever!  We know that our environment can impact violence.  This is even more so when there are limited opportunities for leisure and exercise.  Help us keep our parks clean and beautiful by participating in a Louisville Loop cleanup on November 14.  Our tree planting and cleanup aims to address an area of the loop and that has a reputation for being confusing as well as a bit of an eyesore.  In order to adhere to COVID-19 safety regulations, RSVP's for the event are mandatory.  If interested, RSVP at 502.780.1794 or email joseph.newland@louisvilleky.gov

November Networking Night

The Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods (OSHN) would like to invite you to be a part of the One Love Louisville Networking Night featuring guests from the THRIVE Fellowship, a 24-month Civic Engagement Fellowship for justice involved black men that creates leadership pathways within local government.

November 17 is an opportunity for citizens to learn more about Violence Prevention efforts as well as find out about important resources and initiatives in our community.

Our Networking Nights create an environment for change agents to build a network of citizens as well as agencies involved in efforts to help prevent violence. It provides a space for continued development of violence prevention knowledge and resources. During this Networking Night, you will hear first-hand why experiences in the criminal and juvenile justice system can shape how we think and address violence for the better.

Come ready to connect with other passionate community members and learn more about innovative violence prevention strategies to help create a safer Louisville!

Register for November's Networking Night Here

Online Learning

With limited trainings and in-person gatherings, here are some interesting learning opportunities to continue to grow and develop our collective understanding of violence.

Ted-Ed Video

Cash Bail is Driving America's Incarceration Rate Way Up

This short video from Ted-Ed focuses on the broken system of cash-bail that is driving the incarceration rate, and the cost to sustain it, way up.  While the system was originally created to provide accountability for court dates, it has been convoluted and misused to provide unnecessary burdens on defendants. Though there has been a renewed energy around resourcing efforts to disrupt the bail system, efforts to disrupt the bail system are not new.  As the Bail Project demonstrates in this brief history of communal bail funds, the practice of pooling funds is rooted in churches, communities, and activists who have been doing so for over a hundred years.

Juvenile Justice System Report

Senate Bill 200 (SB200) substantially overhauled Kentucky’s juvenile justice system and amended or created new obligations and revised protocols for virtually all system roles.  After careful review, the DOJ Office of Juvenile Justice released an evaluation report yielding important findings in regards to the availability of community based services for youth and areas of improvement in the implementation of reform efforts.  While the four main recommendations are presented to the right, the full report can be viewed here.

A recorded webinar from Westat and the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) discussing the evaluations can also be found here.

Recommendations for JJ Reform

Women risk losing decades of workplace progress due to COVID-19

Readers of the most recent United Nations Comprehensive Response to COVID-19 Report were left with a grim warning: The current pandemic has the potential to undo much of the ground gained for women's equality.  The report states (page 48), this is partly because "Women play a disproportionate role in responding to the virus, including as frontline healthcare workers and carers at home."

While we reflect on the life and contributions of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we are reminded of our responsibility to uphold her legacy by rebuilding an economy that protects women.   For further commentary on this topic, this article from The Conversation provides suggestions on how a rebuilt economy can be more inclusive and equitable than before.

UN Report

News and Announcements

Your Help is Needed! How has COVID-19 Impacted You?

A team at the University of Louisville is conducting a study about the impact of COVID-19 related stressors on Americans and our communities. Please take 15-25 minutes to complete this online survey. You will not be asked to provide your name, and responses will be kept completely confidential. This study is being conducted under the supervision of Dr. Patrick Pössel, and any questions about the study should be directed to him at Patrick.possel@louisville.edu

Click here to participate.



Free Telehealth Prevention Program for Teens

Are you a parent/guardian of or work with teens? This year has been challenging for everyone, but particularly for our youth, who may have had difficulty seeking out support or mental health services due to the pandemic. However, the University of Louisville has received a federally funded research project called PATH 2 Purpose to offer free telehealth prevention programs to teens ages 13-18 across the commonwealth of Kentucky with elevated levels of depression. The prevention programs can help teens to improve their mood and learn skills to manage difficult situations. There are two programs: an online, self-directed program, CATCH-IT, and a group therapy-based program, TEAMS, currently conducted virtually. Parent permission is required and teens and parents are compensated for participating in the study.

For more information, visit our website at http://path2purpose.uic.edu. If you have questions or would like to see if a teen is eligible to participate, please contact the study coordinator, Jessica Hatton, LPA, at Jessica.hatton@louisville.edu or (502) 625-5489.


Update on Search for New Police Chief

The beginning of October marked the transition from Chief Robert Schroder, who had only committed to serve the interim role for a few months, to Yvette Gentry - who is the first woman, and third African-American, to hold the role in Louisville's history.  Gentry did not apply for the permanent role and states that she only intend to serve as long as necessary to ensure a proper transition to her successor. 

October 1 also marked the announcement of the eight-person team who will serve on the search panel and participate in interviews for our next Police Chief. The team members chosen includes Louisville Metro Government leaders, the Metro Council President, the Chair and Vice Chair of the Council's Public Safety Comission, and one private citizen. 

“Without question, this selection process will be one of the most important ones the city will make moving forward", said Metro Council President David James who was selected to serve on the board.  "I am honored to work with those who have been chosen. Our challenge is to find the right candidates who will listen to the community and are interested in building relationships that reform LMPD and help us retain and locate the right people who want to walk our streets and neighborhoods. Judging by the public safety experience I see on this committee, I’m pleased the Mayor added a community representative to the panel. It is important this process is as transparent as practically possible, and I’m ready to get started.” 

The complete team is listed below.

  • Kendall Boyd, LMG Chief Equity Officer
  • Jessica Green, Public Safety Committee Chair, Metro Council
  • Amy Hess, Chief of Public Safety
  • David James, Metro Council President
  • Vincent James, Chief of Community Building, LMG
  • James Peden, Public Safety Committee Co-Chair, Metro Council
  • Carmen Moreno-Rivera, Chief of Performance Improvement, LMG
  • Sharon VanCleave, Teacher, Rangeland Elementary (JCPS)

Panel members will utilize community feedback as well as guidelines from the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) to evaluate more than 20 candidates who applied for the role.  The interviews will begin shortly, and will be conducted with community recommendations from surveys and listening sessions in mind. If you have a question you would like to be asked during interviews, you can provide suggestions by emailing LouisvilleChiefQuestions@policeforum.org

Interviews will take place over the next few months before final recommendations will be made to the Mayor, who is expected to announce a permanent Chief by the end of the year.

John Lewis Mural

Stay Connected!

There is great work happening here in the office, and most importantly, in our community. It is our goal to keep you engaged, involved and co-leading our important work. Our vision for Louisville is a city of safe neighborhoods where everyone is supported, free of violence, and prepared for lifelong success. We can only achieve this together, so stay connected with our monthly newsletters, social media, and visit our website for more information and additional calls to action.

Past OSHN Newsletters can be viewed here.

We would love your feedback. If you have questions or concerns regarding our newsletter, or have a related event that you would like to communicate with our networks, contact Joe Newland.

Take care of each other.