To: Members of the University Community
From: Paul Alivisatos, President, and Ka Yee C. Lee, Provost
Subject: Violence Intervention Fund
Date: July 28, 2022
The University of Chicago is dedicated to improving community safety in partnership with our South Side neighbors. Today we announce the launch of the Violence Intervention Fund, which is intended to support and scale community and academic violence reduction efforts. This $15 million fund will support work over a period of three years. It builds upon our ongoing work with community partners to support the social and economic health of our surrounding neighborhoods.
This fund will add to the University’s ongoing investment in violence reduction initiatives focused on South Side communities and residents, particularly efforts supporting youth, people at elevated risk for involvement with violence (either as offenders or victims), and trauma reduction programs. Proposals should target the nine neighboring communities closest to the University’s main campus: Douglas, Grand Boulevard, Greater Grand Crossing, Hyde Park, Kenwood, Oakland, South Shore, Washington Park, and Woodlawn.
Initial investments from this fund are supporting three pilot programs focusing on violence recovery: a job training and entrepreneurship program in collaboration with Emerald South for local residents that will transform vacant land in Washington Park; a Chicago Public Schools workforce mentoring program for disengaged youth; and UChicago Medicine’s Violence Recovery Program.
In addition to these initial commitments, the Violence Intervention Fund will support two application tracks. Proposals meeting the outlined criteria will be accepted from University academics, nonprofit community organizations, and faculty/community partnerships, which will receive priority consideration. The request for applications is now open, with a deadline of September 1, 2022. For more information, visit the Violence Intervention Fund website [expired link removed].
A community input process involving academic and community partners and local nonprofit leaders, led by the Office of Civic Engagement, informed the creation of this fund. It represents just one of the multiple violence prevention initiatives the University is undertaking in response to community needs, including those based at UChicago Medicine; the Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention at the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice; the Harris School of Public Policy’s Urban Labs; and other work across the University such as scholarship focused on education, housing, employment, and poverty alleviation.
We look forward to sharing updates about the Violence Intervention Fund’s grant recipients and the impact of their work. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to the safety of our shared community.