2016 L.A. Gang Violence Prevention & Intervention Conference
May 9 & 10, 2016
The California Endowment, 1000 N. Alameda St. Los Angeles, CA 90012
It was a momentous event! We heard from compelling speakers, engaged in thoughtful conversations, and developed new connections. We dove deep into how our systems and culture have negatively shaped the environment in which our young people are growing up, emphasizing punishment over nurturing. We brought our stories and ideas to create solutions for a better future, one in which all our young people can thrive.
Thanks to our co-host HAVEN, Mayor Garcetti, all our speakers, advisory committee, support staff, volunteers and attendees. Your involvement made this event special! We know some seeds have been planted for great things to come. Thank you again for partnering with us.
The L.A. Gang Violence Prevention & Intervention Conference
Violence is an issue of public health, not just of criminal justice. Gang violence in particular demands of us a comprehensive, cross-discipline approach in order to address the root causes of violence, not just respond to its effects.
Shifting the frame sounds easy. Even simple. But make no mistake, we come together because collectively we have concluded that we must fundamentally change how we approach violence both in Los Angeles, and across the globe. We are proud to share models of collaborative approaches and cross-agency partnerships that have been proven effective. We listen to those who will ask us to push it even farther.
Connection is a critical component in this work. Connection must occur across disciplines and regions, and among trailblazers in the field and those who will carry the work forward for the next generation. To that end, we create opportunities to meet and network, to form new connections or rekindle and strengthen existing ones. This conference provides a unique opportunity for each of you to learn from those both inside and outside of your field, and to think more broadly about the scale and scope of working collaboratively to create change.
This annual conference, hosted in partnership with Hospitals Against Violence Empowering Neighborhoods (HAVEN), is emerging as a cornerstone event in Los Angeles, where those engaged in violence prevention come together to share knowledge, build and strengthen relationships, and help make Los Angeles a place known for innovative, collaborative solutions to gang and youth violence.
2015 L.A. Gang Violence Prevention & Intervention Conference
May 4 & 5, 2015
Our 2015 conference focused on cultures and effects of violence – how we learn violence, the context of violence, and culturally impacted responses to the root causes of violence. Our plenary sessions discussed identity – while most conversations around gangs and gang identity center themselves in defining against, we were interested in what we all identify ourselves with. How do we construct our sense of self? What are the key elements of our identity? Art, we believe, is a critical component in strengthening resiliency, in processing trauma, and in creating a positive self-identity and self-expression. Day One plenary sessions were intimate conversations that interweaved the role of art in redeeming a sense of self, and in motivating positive re-direction for young people. Day Two brought diverse panels of incredible breadth that spoke to the need to address not only the individual, but also the need to engage and change systems by engaging multiple partners and perspectives.
Our breakout session tracks unpacked cultures of violence and the effects of larger cultural and systems forces: What does it mean, for example, to think not only of the unique needs of girls who are gang involved but also to bring a gender awareness to being an interventionist? What does it mean to be a female interventionist? What does it mean to be struggling with cross-border issues from a female perspective? Similarly, how do issues of structural racism play out – both in local communities, and in how racial identity is constructed on the other side of the border? What does it mean to think about evaluation when the minority becomes the majority? What does it mean to think about violence prevention from a faith perspective? How does the conversation change when the faith community is involved and engaged?
We considered these issues and discussed how communities – schools, courts, law enforcement, service organizations, youth and families – have and can come together to effectively understand the impacts of violence on resiliency, why it affects people in different ways, and the exportation of the effects of violence. We explored what works, where there are challenges, how to communicate better with each other, and how to collectively move to solutions.
Articles about the 2015 L.A. Gang Conference:
Fostering a Sense of Belonging Key in Preventing Youth Violence by Carlos A. Rosales, USAID Guatemala
LA’s Lessons for Gang Violence Reduction by Guillermo Cespedes, Creative Associates International
Cops and Clergy by Sara Danish, International Republican Institute
2014 L.A. Gang Violence Prevention & Intervention Conference
May 12 & 13, 2014
Our 2014 conference focused on addressing the root causes of gang violence, and highlighting solutions that address those root causes. This includes the multiple environmental impacts and social determinants that push young people into gang involvement, such as early childhood trauma, poverty, traumatized communities, addiction/addiction to the lifestyle, parenting, structural racism, abuse – including sexual abuse, substance abuse and mental health, and the culture of violence and gang violence in communities.
2013 L.A. Gang Violence Prevention & Intervention Conference
May 6 & 7, 2013
The 2013 L.A. Gang Conference focused on the role of prevention in reducing gang violence both domestically and internationally, the impact of trauma on young people, and the importance of schools as part of a comprehensive approach to reducing youth and gang violence.
Sponsored by U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), L.A. City Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction & Youth Development (GRYD), and the Factor Family Foundation.
2012 L.A. Gang Violence Prevention & Intervention Conference
May 21 & 22, 2012