April 2021 Newsletter

Louisville Skyline, Muhammad Ali

April 2021 Newsletter

National Youth Violence Prevention Week (NYVPW) takes place every year in April to remind us that youth violence is serious and preventable.  NYVPW highlights youth voice to show the faces at the forefront of awareness, prevention, and solutions.  One way youth leaders have asked  citizens to get involved this year is to sign the Peace Pledge and declare their commitment to preserving and advocating for peace in our community.  Sign the pledge here.

OSHN Spotlight: Outreach Department

The Office for Safe and Heathy Neighborhoods partners with multiple innovative programs. Our monthly OSHN spotlight aims to inform about initiatives across our city that are making a difference.

Outreach Team

While the past year has made community engagement challenging, the Outreach Team still found creative ways to connect community members with resources when them needed it most.  By hosting live interviews, virtual town halls, panel discussions, training, helping with the COVID response, and greatly expanding their virtual presence, the Outreach Team has surpassed their previous ability to connect citizens and partners with supports. While this has unquestionably been impactful, the team is looking forward to resuming the thing most important to them - being in the community. 

This week, the Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods Outreach Team has made several exciting developments including the expansion of their team, the addition of a new satellite office, and the launch of several promising initiatives aimed to get them more immersed in the community than ever before. By hiring an additional six Outreach Specialists and an Outreach Supervisor, the team will be able to more effectively prevent violence before it occurs.  Additionally, the team is ready to respond to violence when it does occur by providing impacted family, friends, and residents with the resources they need in times of crisis.  Services could include victim support, de-escalation, and helping those impacted by violence access mental health and trauma services.  Stay tuned as we track these exciting updates, and help Outreach connect with your organization by getting in touch here.

Upcoming Events

Engage and Unite in Action

Engage and Unite in Action

Cities United in partnership with the Office for Safe & Healthy Neighborhoods’ One Love Louisville Youth Implementation Team is hosting a virtual conversation in observance of National Youth Violence Prevention Week TONIGHT from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.. The discussion will showcase youth voices and draw on their experiences about violence prevention.  

Register Here
Ambassador Institute

One Love Louisville Violence Prevention 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 April 24, 2021. To adapt to the virtual platform, we have shortened the training.

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. Trainings will be led by experts from Seven Counties, the Kent School of Social Work, the Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center, and more!

If you have ever wanted to join an institute, doing so is much easier! Register for the event below.

Register HERE for April Training
Networking Night

May Networking Night: Youth Employment and Economic Development

We want to invite you to be a part of our next Networking Night featuring several guests from our partners at KentuckianaWorks.

This is an opportunity for citizens to learn more about employment and economic development efforts and discuss important resources and initiatives in our community.

This Networking Night will highlight two programs that have had much success serving young adults in our community: ReImage and the Kentucky Youth Career Center.  Join us on May 25 at 6:30 p.m. to learn about these resources and more! Register below.

Register HERE
War and Peace Flyer

Members of the Mayor's Youth Implementation Team chose the theme for this year's competition: War and Peace.  While this theme may mean something different to everyone, to many youth, these two contrasting words represents the seemingly dichotomous worlds they have to navigate on a daily basis.  Get involved by telling us what War and Peace means to you!

There is still time to make your submission!  OSHN will be accepting submissions through the weekend.  Remember to keep your video under the five minute time limit.  All ages are encouraged to participate, and the winner will be featured on our website. 

Make your video submission below.

If your video size is too large to upload, email joseph.newland@louisvilleky.gov

Make Your Submission 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.

Policy Framework

Community Justice Action Fund’s comprehensive policy framework is driven by communities of color directly impacted by violence.  CJAF promotes peace and community healing through three policy agenda priorities.  1) Invest in Proven Strategies to Prevent Shootings and Homicides. 2) Dismantle Institutions and Structures That Fuel Gun Violence. 3) Stop Gender-based Gun Violence. With a public health lens, CJAF provides models of success that focus on the root causes of violence and dissuade from traditional calls for public safety such as over policing or mass incarceration.  This concise, solution-oriented guide is meant to challenge, inspire and provide replicable real-world examples of successful violence prevention interventions.  Read it here.

Superpredator: How the Media Demonized a Generation of Black Youth

"A superpredator is a young, juvenile criminal who is so impulsive, so remorseless, that he can kill without even a second thought," is how John DiIulio coined the term for a 1995 cover story in The Weekly Standard.  Even worse, he claimed that in the next several years, there would be an additional 30,000  "murderers" sowing chaos on America's streets. In the late '90s, the erroneously used term began to spread in eye-catching headlines across the country. In 2001, DiIulio admitted his theory was a mistake, but an avalanche of toxic media coverage  had already altered the perception of America's youth. 

This NYVPW, we are reminded that to some, this perception still exists. While America's youth are often at the forefront of calls for peace in our community, they are often dismissed as the problem. Learn all about the origins of the superpredator myth, and how it still affects perception today in this in-depth analysis from The Marshall Project.

Media and the Superpredator Myth

Beloved Community: Learning Labs and Reckoning Forums

The Beloved Community is a movement of citizens committed to building a racially just city through truth-telling, equity building, and racial reconciliation.  One of their current programs is a timely series of Learning Labs designed to support youth and young adults in Louisville.  Their upcoming April 22 event at 3:00 is titled "Listening to The Voices of Young Adults:  A Panel Conversation".  Join here.

The Beloved Community will also host a Reckoning Forum on April 27 from 6:00 - 8:00 PM.  These forums are designed to highlight Louisvillians who are already doing the work of building a racially just city. Hear from social innovators and join breakout groups to learn practical ways to provide support. Register here.

Supporting our Young Adults

NYVPW Town Hall with State Rep. Attica Scott

This week, members of the Mayor's Youth Implementation Team joined State Representative Attica Scott for a discussion around the significance of civic engagement.  One key element of their discussion was the importance of being able to access, review, and interpret the city budget.  With the Mayor slated to provide his budget recommendation next week, and formal budget hearings beginning in May, understanding this process is more important than ever.  

Check our their discussion here and begin reading over the current budget to familiarize yourself with the document.  As always, advocate to your metro council member what budget items are important to you.

Attica Scott

FREE Monthly QPR Trainings Through November

Question, Persuade, Refer are three steps anyone can learn to help prevent suicide.  Join the Louisville Health Advisory Board and the National Alliance on Mental Illness in reaching their goal of 1,500 new Jefferson County residents trained in the QPR model.  Sign up for a free, monthly training here, or apply to become a QPR Instructor yourself.

FREE QPR Training

News and Announcements

SummerWorks Registration is now open

One of the most important protective factors for youth in our community is having access to early employment and career opportunities.  For this reason, we are excited to announce that SummerWorks is now accepting applications for Jefferson County residents aged 16-21.

SummerWorks, which was founded by Mayor Fischer in 2011 after federal funding for summer jobs was eliminated, has directly placed Louisville youth in more than 6,700 summer jobs. Additionally, the program provides job readiness training, the opportunity to explore careers of interest, resume building, and more.

Promoting equity will continue to be a priority for SummerWorks in 2021. Youth applicants who face barriers and come from disadvantaged backgrounds are prioritized in the job-matching process to ensure that those who are most in need of a good summer job have a better chance of landing one. SummerWorks is also continuing to sponsor jobs and work-learn experiences at nonprofits and agencies across the community that share this commitment to equity.

It easier than ever for youth to get prepared for and connected to good summer jobs.  Once they register online, and complete a new virtual job readiness training course, youth will be able to apply for job opportunities geared toward them.

Learn more or register online HERE.

Free Financial Counseling will be Offered to Louisville Residents

Louisville has been selected to receive more than two years of funding and technical support to implement free, professional, one-on-one financial counseling as a new public service to residents. Louisville is one of 35 local governments across the country that are working with the Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Fund to establish a Financial Empowerment Center.

At Financial Empowerment Centers, professionally trained FEC counselors help individuals and families with low and moderate incomes manage their finances, pay down debt, increase savings, establish and build credit, and access safe and affordable mainstream banking products. At the core of the FEC model is the integration of counseling into other social services, including housing and foreclosure prevention, workforce development, prisoner reentry, benefits access, domestic violence services, and more.

Louisville, through the Louisville Metro Office Of Resilience and Community Services, is one of five municipal governments selected to receive a grant.  First piloted in New York City under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in 2008, the FECs have worked with over 116,000 clients, helping them reduce individual debt by over $160 million, and increasing their families’ savings by over $26 million. A  CFE Fund evaluation showed that this program works even for residents with very low incomes and other complex financial challenges.

Louisville Commemorates National Youth Violence Prevention Week

Mayor Greg Fischer joined the Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhood’s (OSHN) Youth Implementation Team, representatives from Jefferson County Public Schools, Metro Council and other organizations serving the city’s youth to announce Louisville’s participation in National Youth Violence Prevention Week (NYVPW), an initiative designed to raise awareness about youth violence and highlight prevention strategies involving  youth, parents, teachers, school personnel and community members.

“Public safety is something we – the public – have to work together to create. That’s the message we’re focusing on this week as we observe National Youth Violence Prevention Week here in Louisville to raise awareness about what we can do as a community to address this challenge,” said Mayor Fischer. “We owe it to all our kids to do all we can as a community to keep them, their families and our neighborhoods safe. Because witnessing a violent crime, worrying about a violent crime or being part of a violent crime should never be normal for any child.”

“Unfortunately, we are seeing an increase in homicides and gun violence in our city, however, we are proud that our Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods is continuing to advocate for unity,” said Councilman Markus Winkler, D-17. “We hope this week will set the tone for the rest of the year and beyond, demonstrating that we can peacefully resolve issues and creatively engage students.”

From April 12 to April 16, a variety of virtual and in-person events have been held to boost public engagement in preventing youth violence. These include virtual art shows, spoken word, interviews, and anti-violence campaigns sponsored by organizations throughout the community. Each day has its own theme designed to amplify violence as a community-wide issue and work with others to find solutions.

It's not too late to get involved in NYVPW!  Register for Cities United Engage and Unite in Action which takes place tonight at 6:00, or register for next week's Violence Prevention Training Here.


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.