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

VPI and Community Partners Participate in 43rd Annual Juneteenth Celebration

The Violence Prevention Initiative (VPI) and several of its community partners participated in the 43rd Annual Juneteenth Celebration June19th, 2014.
Juneteenth is a celebration of the news of the Emancipation Proclamation reaching the enslaved Africans in Galveston Texas in 1865, the last group the in the U.S. to be set free. Milwaukee's Juneteenth Parade and Celebration is one of the largest in the country, with an annual participation of approx. 20,000 attendees

VPI Program Manager Kerry Solum at the VPI Booth!

The VPI and community partner, Safe and Sound, hosted the Youth Voices stage and the youth march at the celebration. The Youth Voices stage showcased local youth singing, dancing, and performing poetry to promote peace and provide positive non-violent messaging. VPI staff also hosted a booth to dispense information about the Initiative and our partners, promoted our VPI Facebook page and gave away brochures with free summer family events in Milwaukee. The day showcased the community coming together in celebration of Milwaukee's rich cultural heritage.

VPI Staff Participate in "unlucky 13" Campaign Addressing Human Trafficking

On June 24, VPI Program Coordinators John Rakowski and Elizabeth Heimerl attended a "Flash Mob" and press conference aimed at calling attention to human sex trafficking in Milwaukee. The event, organized by the Human Trafficking Task Force of Greater Milwaukee (HTTFGM), highlighted the new campaign, "Unlucky 13", which is hoping to bring education and awareness to the city.

The HTTFGM teamed up with Milwaukee County, the City of Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Health Department, Clear Channel and Serve Marketing, to spread the message. The campaign will feature the image of "13" with a child's face superimposed, and will appear on 60 bus shelters and billboards throughout the city. Thirteen is the average age of a child who is trafficked for sex.

Milwaukee Youths Can Help Prevent Gun Violence

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

Please click the title link regarding this article regarding youth and gun violence.   

VPI Calendar 

July-August  2014


July 3 - "United We Stand" Video World Premiere 4:30 p.m. @ Running Rebels Community Organization 1300a W. Fond du Lac Ave. 53205

July 8 - COA Youth & Family Centers Summer Skyline Concert series begins July 8.

July 10 - Milwaukee Public Schools Job Fair/Interview Day 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. @ North Division H.S. 1011 W. Center St. 53206

July 10 - Introduction to Trauma Informed Care Training 9 a.m - 3 p.m.@ SaintA 8901 W. Capitol Dr. 53222

July 12 - United Front To Stop Gun Violence Community Meeting with State Senator Nikiya Harris-Dodd 10:30a.m. @ Sherman Perk 4924 Roosevelt Dr. 53216

July 16 - Bryant & Stratton Summer Career 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. @ Grand Avenue Mall 275 W. Wisconsin Ave. 53203



August 16 - STOP Back to School Bash

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 07/11/2014