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UNITY E-Alert: June 4, 2014

UNITY Highlights the Value of Addressing Community-Level Trauma

UNITY’s Rachel Davis and Howard Pinderhughes spoke about the need to address trauma at the community level, and a new UNITY publication captures their conversation. In addition to treating trauma one person at a time, “We need to provide the mechanisms and resources for consistent, positive and regular community action and participation,” said Dr. Pinderhughes, a UCSF professor. “The community can organize around specific policies, as well as around a more comprehensive idea of what needs to happen.” Trauma and violence are mutually-reinforcing and cyclical, and addressing trauma at the community level protects against violence. The publication emphasizes healing as well as fostering resilience to protect against the traumatic impact of violence. Strategies include:
•    Restorative justice for people to reconcile after a harmful act and move forward
•    Building intergenerational connections and networks
•    Organizing and promoting regular positive community activities

Prevention Institute is grateful to Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California Regional Community Benefit Program for a new grant to advance work on community-level trauma. Over the next year, we will deepen understanding of how trauma impacts health and safety outcomes, of strategies that communities are pursuing to address trauma, and potential best practices that could be implemented in high-violence communities.

Read Addressing and Preventing Trauma at the Community Level, part of the Making the Case series. This publication series provides data and talking points for practitioners to persuade funders, partners and the media of the value of preventing violence in the first place:

On violence as a public health issue:
•    Public Health Contributions to Preventing Violence
•    Prevent Violence for Better Public Health
•    A Public Health Approach to Preventing Violence: FAQ

Fact sheets with research findings on the links between:
•    Violence and Chronic Disease
•    Violence and Health Equity
•    Violence and Mental Illness
•    Violence and Poor Learning

A Prevention Institute initiative, UNITY has been funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Kresge Foundation and The California Wellness Foundation (TCWF). Created in 1992 as an independent, private foundation, TCWF’s mission is to improve the health and people of California by making grants for health promotion, wellness, education, and disease prevention programs.

UNITY Article in National Civic Review

Rachel Davis reflects on the change in how cities understand and address violence. “The tide is shifting” toward a public health approach, Rachel notes in this article, and a growing number of U.S. cities are addressing violence through systematic planning efforts that involve the community.

Video: Violence & Active Transport

To celebrate National Public Health Week, the Surgeon General participated in an APHA Google+ Hangout on walking and biking. UNITY Project Director Rachel Davis also spoke on violence and fear of violence as a barrier to active transportation. Watch the video.

"Violence is not inevitable..."

“...It is learned, it can be unlearned, and it can be prevented. We are not going to solve this problem by building more jails or shelters. It is about economic empowerment, healing and prevention,” said Esta Soler in a recent TED talk. Esta is executive director of Futures Without Violence, a UNITY partner.

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