Pivot to Peace

YouthBuild Louisville’s Pivot2Peace program method entails analyzing community violence clusters and information transmission dynamics.   We use paraprofessional health workers who are culturally sensitive, credible messengers to interrupt transmission and change community norms around the use of violence. This is accomplished by hiring members of the community who have had similar life experiences to those at the highest risk of committing acts of violence. Staff are trained as community health workers and receive extensive education and coaching in evidence-based methods of mediation, persuasion, behavior change, and norm change — all of which are essential for limiting the spread of outbreaks of violence.

What we do:

  • Detect and interrupt (i.e., prevent) potentially violent situations,
  • Identify and change the thinking and behavior of the highest risk transmitters (i.e., those most likely to engage in violence), and
  • Change group norms that support and perpetuate the use of violence.

Detect and interrupt

Trained violence interrupters and outreach workers prevent shootings by identifying and mediating potentially lethal conflicts in the catchment area, and following up to ensure that the conflict does not reignite. Interrupters and other staff work separate from law enforcement and must remain independent in order to maintain the credibility needed to work those at highest risk.

Prevent Retaliations 

  • Whenever a shooting happens, trained workers immediately work in the community and at the hospital to cool down emotions and prevent retaliations 
  • Working with the victims, friends and family of the victim, and anyone else who is connected with the event.

Mediate Ongoing Conflicts 

  • Workers identify ongoing conflicts by talking to key people in the community about ongoing disputes, recent arrests, recent prison releases, and other situations and use mediation techniques to resolve them peacefully.

Keep Conflicts ‘Cool’ 

  • Workers follow up with conflicts for as long as needed, sometimes for months, to ensure that the conflict does not become violent.

Identify and change the thinking and behavior of the highest risk transmitters 

Trained outreach workers implement a culturally-appropriate and trauma-informed approach to reduce the risk of those most likely to commit violence and to promote health equity. Outreach workers meet those at highest risk where they are at, talking to them about the costs of using violence, and helping them to obtain the social services they need – such as job training and drug treatment.

Access Highest Risk 

  • Workers utilize their trust with high-risk individuals to establish contact, develop relationships, begin to work with the people most likely to be involved in violence.

Change Behaviors 

  • Workers engage with high-risk individuals to convince them to reject the use of violence by discussing the cost and consequences of violence and teaching alternative responses to situations.

Case Management 

  • Workers develop a caseload of clients who they work with intensively 
  • Seeing clients several times a week and assisting with their needs such as drug treatment, employment, leaving gangs.

Change group norms that support and perpetuate the use of violence.

Workers engage leaders in the community as well as community residents, local business owners, faith leaders, service providers, and the high risk, conveying the message that the residents, groups, and the community do not support the use of violence.

Respond to Every Shooting in Catchment 

  • Whenever a shooting occurs within the Cure Violence catchment area, workers organize a response where dozens of community members voice their objection to the shooting

Organize Community 

  • Workers coordinate with new, existing, and establish block clubs, tenant councils, and neighborhood associations within the catchment area to assist in preventing violence.

Spread Positive Norms 

  • Program distributes materials and hosts events within the catchment area to convey the message that violence is not acceptable.