Press Releases

2000 Releases

Community Youth Violence Prevention Center Established Through Harvard School of Public Health

For immediate release: September 28, 2000

Boston, MA - A major anti-violence community initiative has been funded through the Harvard Injury Control Research Center at the Harvard School of Public Health. The Harvard Youth Violence Prevention Center was established through a $5 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The five-year grant will support local, regional, and national youth violence prevention and research projects through a broad partnership of scientific organizations and non-profit institutions that work with a variety of educational and community groups to prevent youth violence.

"Lethal violence rates among adolescents in the United States are higher than in other developed nations," said David Hemenway, professor of health policy and director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center. "Despite success in reducing firearm violence in the mid-1990s in the United States, rates of lethal violence involving youth and general violence by girls have been rising, and appear to be rising again in Boston."

To address these trends, the Center will fund major projects to identify risk factors for youth suicide and for violence perpetrated by girls, to evaluate violence prevention programs in place in Boston public middle schools, and to evaluate police and hospital youth referral programs. The Center will also fund a wide variety of small research projects and provide seed money for new innovative pilot projects.

Harvard will work with the Educational Development Center in Newton, MA, and the New England Medical Center in partnership with the Boston mayor's office, Boston public schools, Northeast regional state health offices, community health centers, and numerous non-profit agencies.

"Boston has a long history of working to prevent adolescent violence. Despite our success, the work must continue," said Deborah Prothrow-Stith, Harvard School of Public Health professor of public health practice and former Massachusetts Commissioner of Public Health. "This grant presents a wonderful opportunity to increase the power of local neighborhoods through collaboration, research, training, and a renewed commitment to those most vulnerable to the impact of violence."

Prothrow-Stith and David Hemenway are Center co-directors. They join six core academic faculty, seven core community partners, and many other scientists and organizations to help curb youth violence through Center projects.

For further information, please contact:

Robin Herman
Office of Communications
Harvard School of Public Health
677 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
Phone: 617-432-4752