live / 2020
Nonviolence Ambassadors of LA
We will train 100 former gang members from across all neighborhoods of LA as Ambassadors of Nonviolence. The participants will be equipped with profound breath and meditation practices to heal themselves from trauma as well as with novel strategies to improve communication and conflict resolution skills. Graduates will be empowered to train community members in nonviolence practice and will host a Peace Innovation Summit in 2021 to promote entrepreneurial solutions to the socio-economic challenges in their communities.
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- South LA
- City of Los Angeles
In what stage of innovation is this project?Expand existing program
What is the need you’re responding to?
In 2018, there were over 25,000 violent crimes reported in LA. Such high violence, leads to degradation of public health and public safety. The City of LA employs former gang members, as Community Intervention Workers (CIW) and they play a vital role in reducing violence by supporting victims of violence to heal and prevent retaliation. These individuals have to deal with both the unhealed trauma of the past and ongoing stress of their job. In 2019, we piloted our Nonviolence Ambassador Training Program in the Harvard Park neighborhood in South LA. The program provided the CIW with breath&meditation tools to improve self-care, mental health and wellbeing. We taught over 200 participants in that community and are now interested in scaling the impact of our program across all neighborhoods of LA. We believe that by training the CIW from different neighborhoods and empowering them to teach others would help bring the benefits of the program to their communities. www.cities4peace.org
Why is this project important to the work of your organization?
Since 1997, the International Association for Human Values (IAHV) has been addressing society’s sensitive and critical issues such as violence prevention, health, poverty, education, and sustainable development across the globe through its unique researched and evidence based programs. IAHV has been successfully offering programs in schools, prisons, and refugee camps. Through our Prison program, over 800,000 inmates in 60 countries have been taught to reduce stress and improve overall well being. We also train youth in high schools across the US and returning veterans through specific programs www.skyschools.org; www.pwht.org. Our project in LA would be leveraging our experience in training at risk youth and incarcerated prison inmates to bring the transformational tools to communities that are facing the challenges of violence. By empowering former incarcerated individuals to become trainers of peace and nonviolence, we are also reducing recidivism rates and crime in neighborhoods.
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?
- Direct impact
- Indirect impact
Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.
The program will train 100 CIWs, who respond to gang related violence everyday, and connect with dozens of victims of violence on a daily basis. During the certification program, each graduate will be required to train at least 100 people in their community in the practice of nonviolence. So at least 10000 people will be directly impacted. Each of these 10k individuals will bring the learnings to their own family - at least 4 people in family makes this about 40,000 people. In addition, the peace summit will develop solutions to socio-economic challenges of communities thereby affecting a much higher number of people in the community.
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.
The success of this project will be in the empowerment and holistic development of enthusiastic individuals in promoting peace in their communities. Furthermore, these empowered individuals training at least 100 community members would be a sign that they see the value of the transformational tools for the community. Another measure of success will be the Community participation in Peace Innovation Summit in 2021 to take ownership of creating entrepreneurial solutions to the challenges in the community.
We will measure the outcomes of our program through pre and post session surveys to assess improvements in resilience, mental health & wellbeing, and relationship building.
The specific metrics to be measured will be designed through participatory evaluation (with input from participants) however, they could include potential reduction measurement of stress related variables viz; reduction of blood pressure, anxiety, tension, improved sleep and immune function, as well as professional metrics of improvement in professional effectiveness and efficiency, ability for problem solving and decision making, de-escalation of conflict situations, increase in ability to improve social connectedness and building trusted relationship.
Which of the live metrics will your submission impact?
- Resilient communities
- Mental illness
- Crime rates
Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?
- LA is the best place to CREATE
- LA is the best place to PLAY
- LA is the healthiest place to CONNECT
Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?
- Access to the LA2050 community
- Host public events or gatherings
- Communications support
- Office space for meetings, events, or for staff
- Capacity, including staff
- Strategy assistance and implementation