Violence Prevention Initiative

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The Violence Prevention Initiative (VPI)

The Violence Prevention Initiative (VPI)

Welcome to the Violence Prevention Initiative website!

The Medical College of Wisconsin Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program invests in VPI to prevent child violence, to influence and motivate teens in peacemaking, and to develop community capacity to end violence in Milwaukee. Four community partner agencies, two dozen other community and academic organizations, youth leaders, parents, and neighborhood residents collaborate in evidence-based programs to achieve these aims. On our website, you will find a calendar of violence prevention community events, other opportunities for engagement and action, newsletters, research and evaluation reports, and presentations. We encourage you to sign up for our email list serve and to contact our staff with questions or suggestions. Join us in transforming Milwaukee to a healthier, violence-free city!


 John Meurer, MD, MBA

John Meurer, MD, MBA
VPI Principal Investigator and
Professor and Director of the Institute for Health and Society
Medical College of Wisconsin


The Violence Prevention Initiative (VPI) is focused on reducing youth violence in Milwaukee neighborhoods. The work of the VPI is completed by community and academic partners, who together are implementing the initiative based on best-practice and evidence-based models. The approach of the VPI includes positive youth and family development programming aimed at preventing violence before it occurs, as well as building greater capacity throughout the community to prevent future violence.

Read about the current VPI Partnership Teams:

Holton Youth and Family Center Collaborative

UNCOM Violence Prevention Initiative

Ripple Effect Milwaukee: Spreading Peace and Building Communities (REM)

Safe Schools Healthy Students Lindsay Heights Initiative


Learn more about the VPI and its work, by visiting our resources section.

Stay informed by reading our newsletter.

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VPI Events

VPI Host Faith Matters: Building Community Through Faith-Based Collaboration and Violence Prevention Summit October 15, 2014.

The Violence Prevention Initiative (VPI) hosted the Faith Matters: Building Community Through Faith-Based Collaboration and Violence Prevention Summit October 15, 2014. The Summit's goal of bringing together the diverse faith-based community and organizations that serve the community was a success with an audience of over 120 participants. Summit presenters addressed topics dealing with recognizing grief and the need of caregivers to maintain a healthy balance in serving the community, violence from the victim's perspective, and building strong collaboration to build strong communities.

Bishop Talbert Swan

The Keynote speaker for the Summit was Bishop Talbert Swan, Pastor of the Spring of Hope Church of God in Christ of Springfield, Massachusetts. Bishop Swan also serves as the President of the Springfield NAACP. Bishop Swan inspired and invigorated the participants with a stirring message of how change and healing in the community can only be achieved through collaboration. The VPI is excited in furthering the efforts of the Faith Matters Summit and is taking steps facilitate collaborative efforts to empower churches and community partnerships.

Closing Unity Prayer at the Faith Matters Summit

Cure Violence Promise Story

Cure Violence, formerly CeaseFire, approaches violence in an entirely new way: as a disease that can be stopped using the same science-based strategies used to fight infectious diseases, like cholera or AIDS. Featured in the award-winning documentary The Interrupters and a Global Journal Top 100 NGO, Cure Violence is leading a movement to approach violence in a new way and make it a thing of the past.


Be a Bridge Music Video

The Bridge Project is a campaign to inspire Milwaukeeans to unite for violence prevention. Bridges have long been symbols of making connections; not just connecting two masses of land, but also connecting people. The launch of the Bridge Project is meant to do just that, connect people of goodwill -- youth and adults - who are working on activities all across Milwaukee to build bridges of peace.

Be a Bridge

Milwaukeeans are encouraged to serve as bridges to non-violence in their community. Stories of Milwaukee bridge-building can be submitted on the Bridge Project Milwaukee Web site throughout the year.

Organizations and communities are encouraged to organize bridge projects through the year. Bridge projects can be promoted and documented on the Bridge Project Milwaukee Web site throughout the year.

Bridge Project awards will be presented at the end of the year to outstanding Milwaukee bridge builders. Bridge builders can be nominated on the Bridge Project Milwaukee Web site.


Milwaukee Youths Can Help Prevent Gun Violence

People march in April as part of The Bridge Project, a movement to stop violence in Milwaukee.

Violence Prevention Initiative Calendar

VPI Calendar 

November/December  2014

November 7 - Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault Meeting

November 8 - Milwaukee Police Band in Concert at the Pabst Theater @ 7:30 p.m.

November 18- Community Meeting with Ashanti Hamilton @ Agape Community Center 6:30 p.m., 6100 N. 42nd St., Milwaukee

December 10 - 2nd Annual Summit to Prevent Gun Violence Be a Changer Maker, UW-Milwaukee


Keep Informed By...

Youth Leadership

Join the VPI Youth Leadership Council! An exciting opportunity for leadership development and training.  We are currently accepting applications for our Youth Leadership Council, which works cooperatively to provide planning and guidance related to the VPI's implementation priorities and objectives.  

Contact Us

We would like to hear from you and are interested in your thoughts and ideas.  Please complete the online form if you need any additional information.
© 2014 Medical College of Wisconsin
Page Updated 11/26/2014