This report offers early lessons and recommendations from work the Annie E. Casey Foundation is supporting in Atlanta and Milwaukee to prevent gun violence. These communities are part of a national movement to increase safety and heal trauma by examining root causes and addressing these issues from a public health and racial justice perspective. Residents in both cities are shaping and leading safety strategies with the support of local nonprofits and other public and private partners. Their stories highlight the many ways that philanthropic and system leaders can help catalyze alternative public safety models and support their development and implementation — including helping to establish a new narrative about what it takes to keep communities safe and building and sharing evidence on effective public health interventions.
As the work featured in this report shows, both public and private entities have roles to play in supporting a public health approach to safety. Residents in Atlanta, with funding and support from Casey and other investors, established a neighborhood-based advisory group and began implementing the Cure Violence model. In Milwaukee, another place where the Foundation is supporting Cure Violence, the movement to reimagine public safety is being driven by the city’s Office of Violence Prevention. Each community developed strategies and programs based on local goals, needs and circumstances. One common thread underpinning their efforts has been the purposeful engagement and inclusion of people living in the areas directly affected by violence.