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20-Plus Years Preventing Violence


Firearm Infographic: A Project of Buell PPM

Inspiration and major research by Cal Wellness grantee Garen J. Wintemute, M.D., M.P.H. and the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program

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Visualizing Gun Violence Solutions

This visual presentation titled “Pooling our Strengths” shows how efforts with policymakers, education and the justice and health care systems can lead to safer communities.


Join the Conversation

In a recent blog post, Cal Wellness President and CEO Judy Belk reflects on the momentum generated by Cal Wellness’ recent violence prevention summit and invites others to join the #Enough! conversation.

Resources and Lessons Learned

The California Wellness Foundation first began investing in preventing violence in 1993, when California had the sad distinction of leading the nation in the number of young people who died from gun violence every year. Since then, Cal Wellness has invested more than $133 million in this effort and — with a combined momentum from colleagues in philanthropy, the public sector, the nonprofit sector and law enforcement, as well as residents throughout the state — a violence prevention movement emerged. California has reduced the number of youth dying from gun violence by half. But, more needs to be done.

This collection of resources provides information, ideas, best practices and lessons learned about what works in violence prevention — for those who would like to be part of the solution.

Featured Resources
Featured News
Reflections Series & Grantee Magazine
Evaluations & Lessons Learned
“PBS NewsHour” Violence Prevention Segments

Featured Resources

  • ACEs Too High — a news site that reports on research about adverse childhood experiences, including developments in epidemiology, neurobiology and the biomedical and epigenetic consequences of toxic stress.
  • Black Jacket — a documentary about a violence prevention curriculum in South Los Angeles that seeks to change the violent mindsets of influential gang members, one person at a time.
  • Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence: California Chapters — a group of 28 chapters in California connected with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, a policy advocacy organization dedicated to dramatically decreasing the number of deaths by guns.
  • Cal Wellness gun violence prevention video — February, 2016
  • California Peace Prize — profiles of recipients of Cal Wellness’ California Peace Prize, which honors individuals for their efforts to promote peace and prevent violence in their communities.
  • California: Strong Gun Laws Saves Lives — This March 2016 report by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence finds that, as firearm regulations went into effect in California, firearm deaths declined more rapidly in California than in the rest of the United States.
  • CDC’s Injury Prevention & Control: Division of Violence Prevention — Violence is a serious public health problem. CDC is committed to stopping violence before it begins.
  • Community Safety by Design: Preventing Violence through Land Use — This report, produced by the Prevention Institute in November 2015, explores the nexus of land use and neighborhood safety and analyzes the implications of the current state of practice.
  • Engaging Communities in Reducing Gun Violence: A Road Map for Safer Communities — This report (published by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, the Urban Institute and The Joyce Foundation in April 2016) documents that people of color support common sense gun laws and provides a road map for policymakers.
  • Everytown for Gun Safety — This nationwide, grassroots group advocates for commonsense gun safety policies and regulations.
  • Executives’ Alliance to Expand Opportunities for Boys and Men of Color — The Executives’ Alliance is a philanthropic network of nearly 40 national, regional and community foundations working together to invest in pathways to opportunities that enable America's young men of color to reach their full potential in school, work and life.
  • The Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research — an organization that brings public health perspectives and expertise to the complex policy issues related to gun violence prevention through research, policy analysis and public discourse.
  • Justice Policy Network — an organization that recruits and trains a diverse group of individuals interested in pursuing and/or advancing careers in the government sector specializing in smart justice reform, which looks at the root causes of crime and the need for comprehensive approaches.
  • Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence — a national law center focused on providing comprehensive legal expertise in support of gun violence prevention and the promotion of smart gun laws.
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and HIV-Affected Hate Violence in 2014 — a report from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs that documents multiyear trends in anti-LGBTQ and HIV-affected hate violence and provides a list of recommended actions for policymakers, government programs and private and public funders.
  • Lost Youth: A County-by-County Analysis of 2013 California Homicide Victims Ages 10 to 24, Violence Policy Center, November 2015 — a study that ranks California’s counties by their homicide victimization rates for young people ages 10 to 24 and provides detailed figures related to gender, race and ethnicity, weapons, victim-to-offender relationships, circumstances and locations.
  • National Council on Crime & Delinquency — an organization that promotes just and equitable social systems for individuals, families and communities through research, public policy and practice.
  • National Network of Hospital-based Violence Prevention Programs — a network of programs that facilitates the sharing of knowledge, development of best practices, collaboration on research and efforts to effect policy change related to hospital-based violence prevention.
  • One Day of Gun Violence — “The CNN Guns Project”
  • — This online archive provides great examples of what works in public education campaigns regarding violence prevention issues such as gun control, investing in youth development, community-based action and more.
  • Reporting on Violence: A Handbook for Journalists — Cal Wellness funded Berkeley Media Studies Group for this guide to reporting on violence with an eye for addressing root causes.
  • Violence Prevention: A Long-term Commitment To Keep Youth Safe — This cover story from the Foundation’s Grantee magazine provides an overview of Cal Wellness’ violence prevention work, which includes gun control, public education, community action and investing in grassroots leadership.
  • Women Against Gun Violence — policy advocacy and public awareness resources related to preventing gun violence in Southern California, including a speakers’ bureau that offers presentations for parents, teens, school districts and policymakers.

Featured News

Reflections series & Grantee magazine

Evaluations and Lessons Learned

“PBS NewsHour” Violence Prevention Segments

Funded by Cal Wellness, the below “PBS NewsHour” specials were produced to inform policymakers, opinion leaders and the general public about promising violence prevention programs and strategies in California and nationwide.

Lifesaving Training Changes Outlook for Young Men in Oakland
September 25, 2014

This profile of Oakland’s EMS Corps (Emergency Medical Services Corps) shows the impact of giving young men a mission and responsibility. The program provides an intensive five-month emergency medical technician certification course for men between the ages 18 and 26 who have experienced disadvantages in their youth.

Giving Traumatized Kids a Head Start in Healing
July 24, 2014

Studies show that preschool children are expelled at significantly higher rates than those in kindergarten through 12th grade. This program focuses on Trauma Smart, an innovative program that incorporates evidence-based trauma therapy into Head Start classrooms.

Special Arts Academy Helps Chicago Teens Transcend Tough Streets
June 11, 2014

The hope at Little Black Pearl Academy is that art can offer students, who may be distracted or even traumatized by the violence that surrounds them, a way to return to learning.

Former Inmate Speaks Out Against U.S. ‘Commitment’ to Mass Incarceration
April 2, 2014

Michael Santos, a former felon, tries to change prisoners’ view of their future, and change the way the criminal justice system works.

Teaching Students How to Combat Traumas of Poverty on the Yoga Mat
March 3, 2014

Victor Carrion, a professor who heads Stanford’s Early Life Stress Research Program, leads a mindfulness program in Cesar Chavez Academy, a school in a low-income, high-crime neighborhood East Palo Alto, where 50 percent of students are homeless.  

To Curb Conflict, Colorado High School Replaces Punishment with Conversation
February 20, 2014

By implementing restorative justice – getting students to participate in talk circles rather than using suspensions – Hinkley High School reduced the number of physical altercations by 89 percent.

Where Tragedy Turned to Transformation: Newtown Families Make Promise for Change
December 12, 2013

Hari Sreenivasan returned to Newtown, one year after the tragedy, and spoke with parents who were trying to make something meaningful out of their children’s deaths by starting the Sandy Hook Promise.

Gang ‘Killing Fields’ Become Site of Safe Parties for Families in Los Angeles
July 23, 2013

The Summer Night Lights program brings cops, teens and neighbors together to discourage gang membership and violence in Los Angeles. 

Gun Safety Advocates Support ‘Smart’ Technology to Prevent Accidental Deaths
October 17, 2013

A new handgun, manufactured by the German company Armatix, will not fire unless the shooter is wearing a special wristwatch that uses a radio frequency.  It is seen as a way to keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have them, including children and people who are suicidal.

San Quentin Prisoners Learn to Find Peace and Power Through Personal Exploration
July 24, 2013

San Quentin may look like an unusual place to see innovative programs to decrease violence, but citizen-supported efforts are doing just that.  Psychologist Jacque Verduin created GRIP, Guiding Rage into Power, a year-long program to help inmates address the root causes of their violent behavior and to transform themselves into peacemakers.

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