Violence Prevention Initiative

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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

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



National Youth Violence Prevention Week April 7th-13th, 2014

National Youth Violence Prevention (NYVP) Week is an opportunity for to bring awareness to the issue of youth violence in our communities while fostering positive collaboration amongst youth, educators, community agencies, and the greater public on effective ways to reduce youth violence. It is the Violence Prevention Initiative's (VPI) goal to promote and highlight positive youth development activities in the community focused on violence prevention during NYVP week and throughout the month of April.


The Violence Prevention Initiative and their partners begin the Week's local efforts with the Student Summit hosted by Milwaukee Public Schools Saturday April 5th, 2014 at North Division High School -1011 W. Center St. 53206 8a.m.-2p.m. The Student Summit will galvanize high school students by providing them with information and pathways to career goals. The summit will include workshops, music and discussions on key issues that are relevant to the lives of students in Milwaukee Public Schools. For more information please contact Monica at


April 12, 2014 the Bridge Project is coming to Milwaukee to prevent violence and develop community unity! The Bridge Project is a campaign to inspire Milwaukeeans to unite for violence prevention. The Bridge Project will kick off April 12th! On April 12th

Milwaukeeans will descend on the James E. Groppi Unity Bridge (16th Street Viaduct) to march for a safer Milwaukee.  We need you to join the March and pledge to prevent violence in the Milwaukee community! To register for the event, make a donation, or request additional information, email


Denim Day April 23rd, 2014

For the past 15 years, Peace Over Violence has run the Denim Day in L.A. and USA campaign on a Wednesday in April in honor of Sexual Violence Awareness Month. The campaign was originally triggered by a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court where a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans she must have helped her rapist remove her jeans, thereby implying consent. The following day, the women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim.


Peace Over Violence developed the Denim Day campaign in response to this case and the activism surrounding it. Since then, wearing jeans on Denim Day has become a symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual assault. In this rape prevention education campaign we ask community members, elected officials, businesses and students to make a social statement with their fashion by wearing jeans on this day as a visible means of protest against the misconceptions that surround sexual assault. This year's Denim Day will be held on April 23, 2014 and will focus on educating the community at large on the legal definition of consent. Click here to learn more of local efforts with Denim Day Milwaukee.















VPI Calendar 



April 2014


April 5th - Milwaukee Public Schools Host the Student Summit @ North Division H.S. 1011 W. Center St. 8a.m.-2p.m.

April 10th - UNCOM Executive Director Tony Shields guest panelist on 4th Street Forum 12p.m. @ UW-Milwaukee Fireside Lounge.

April 10th - Dept. of Corrections Host Crime Victims/Survivors Walk & Resource Fair @ Mary Ryan Boys & Girls Club 10a.m.-1p.m.

April 12th - The Bridge Project march & rally 10a.m. @ James E. Groppi Unity Bridge.

April 21st - VPI & Boys and Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee Host My Alternative Youth Summit For Community Change for more info contact Jamar Wills (414) 447-5323 or

April 24th - Hillside Talk Campaign & The Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee Host free informational meeting on Internet Safety for Children @ Hillside Resource Center 1452 N. 7th St. 10a.m.-12p.m.

April 26th - MICAH Host 53206 Initiative Job Fair @ Way of the Cross Missionary Baptist Church 1401 W. Hadley St. 8a.m.-12:30p.m.


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 04/04/2014