The VPI Development Phase

In April 2008, the MCW Consortium launched a 20-month development process for the Violence Prevention Initiative that included two key phases:

  • Phase I: focused on infrastructure and stakeholder development and included establishing a steering committee, recruiting stakeholders for the initiative, conducting an environmental scan and developing a community vision statement.
  • Phase II: focused on implementation planning and outcome identification and included developing action plans, outcome measures, community resources and assets to support 4-5 key performance areas.
 Steering Committee

Anthony Acevedo, Riverside High School
Elaine Banton, Milwaukee Public Schools
Chaparis Blackmon, Marquette University
David Bowen, Urban Underground
Karen Brasel, MCW Department of Surgery
Douglas Campbell, MCW Senior Vice President and MCW Consortium member
Richard Cox, Neighborhood House
Lindsey Draper, Disproportionate Minority Contact Coordinator for the Office of Justice Assistance
Janet Fitch, New Moon Productions
Sheldon Fountain Jr., Washington High School
Stephen Hargarten, MCW Department of Emergency Medicine and the Injury Research Center
Tasha Jenkins, Fighting Back Milwaukee and MCW Consortium Member
Patricia Kirby, Milwaukee Public Schools
Ka Lovang, Hmong American Women’s Association
Cheryl Maurana, MCW Senior Associate Dean for Public and Community Health and MCW Consortium Member
Marlene Melzer-Lange, MCW Department of Pediatrics/Emergency Medicine
Carmen Ortiz, Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee
Terry Perry, Office of Violence Prevention for the City of Milwaukee
Carmen Pitre, Sojourner Family Peace Center
Marcus Tatum, Bryant and Stratton College
Hillary Wynn, St. Charles Youth and Family Services


Based on community stakeholder interview data and evidence from the literature, the VPI Steering Committee determined that the VPI will focus on:

  • violence prevention programs for youth ages 0-11 years
  • developing leadership capacity to prevent violence among youth ages 12-17 years; and
  • building and strengthening community capacity and resources to prevent youth violence.
 Key Findings

What we have learned about community capacity building and partnerships:

  1. Capitalize on community capital
  2. Strengthen community capacity
  3. Broad-based participation is important
  4. Enhance and build upon current local initiatives
  5. Consider angle of vision
  6. Youth participation and leadership is critical
 Development Phase Accomplishments (April 2008– January 2010)

1. Created VPI Infrastructure

  • Established VPI Community Office and recruited faculty and administrative staff to support the VPI

  • Established Web site, newsletter, and listservs to increase communication across VPI stakeholders

2. Developed VPI Steering Committee

  • Established a 21-member Steering Committee with representation from academic and broader community to identify VPI priorities and develop an implementation plan

3. Identified Successful Local, National and International Models

  • Reviewed the academic literature, collected data on violence statistics, and compiled information on local and national violence prevention initiatives

4. Launched VPI Community Events

  • Hosted four community events, with over 250 participants, to provide information on the VPI, report on progress, and solicit community input and participation in workgroups

5. Conducted Community and Youth Assessments to Identify Existing Assets & Programs

  • Conducted interviews with 62 community stakeholders to document existing efforts and identify agency collaboration and service area gaps
  • Conducted 18 youth interviews to better understand the youth perspective on violence and what is needed to prevent violence
  • Conducted 8 youth focus groups to better understand the youth perspective on violence and what is needed to prevent violence
  • Mapped community assets and needs across ten high-risk zip codes, including demographic and census data, parks, schools, churches, community providers, and social service agencies
  • Created and distributed Community Assessment Report with findings from the community interviews as well as mapping of zip code areas

6. Convened Organizations to Encourage Exchange of Information

  • Conducted 20 community education workshops on violence prevention
  • Hosted 57 community initiatives to help establish the VPI office as a community resource.

7. Defined VPI Focus, Principles, and Strategies

Contact Us

VPI Community Office
1801 N. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr.
Milwaukee, WI 53212

(414) 955-2699
(414) 955-0114 (fax)
Contact Us Form

VPI Site Map

Medical College of Wisconsin
8701 Watertown Plank Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226
(414) 955-8296
Directions & Maps
© 2015

Page Updated 01/09/2015