Lifelines, Oakland Community Organizations, Oakland, California.
How might we make Oakland safer from gun violence and homicide?
Project Dates: Sept 2006-June 2010
Services: Stakeholder Engagement, Ethnographic Research, Political Research, Coalition Building, Strategic Planning, Leadership Development, Training and Facilitation, Program and Service Design, Event Planning and Mobilization, Staff Coaching, Communication and Web Design.
145 people were murdered in Oakland in 2006. Mostly men, these were the lives of sons, brothers, nephews, fathers, cousins. The community was devastated. And angry. And wanted to do something about it. Oakland Community Organizations, a powerful coalition of over 200 congregations in Oakland, was ready to take their violence prevention work to the next level.
Implement the best-practice principles of the national violence prevention model Ceasefire. The goal of Ceasefire is to focus on the people actively involved in violent circles, in order to interrupt shootings before they happen. Key tactics include: connecting young people to real job opportunities beyond drug dealing, connecting young people to supportive social services that can help them make different choices, and connecting young people to former violent offenders who have changed their lives and could help mediate conflicts and disputes.
- Conducted hundreds of relationship building 1-1's and group meetings with Oakland community stakeholders to build ownership and momentum for a city-wide campaign called Lifelines.
- Trained and supported campaign leaders to conduct research with key political actors and to organize large-scale public demonstrations to win support for the Lifelines Strategy.
- Results: the City of Oakland leveraged its $20million dollar investment in existing violence prevention programming to amplify the new Lifelines initiative, putting street outreach workers in the field and conducting targeted community interventions with young people caught in cycles of violence. In 2014, Oakland reported a 30% decrease in violent crime as a result of this strategy.
- This strategy was replicated by sister-organizations across the United States and became LiveFree, a signature campaign of the PICO National Network.