Established in 2007, the California Violence Prevention Network brought together 13 California cities to develop a framework for reducing youth and gang violence through comprehensive community-wide action plans. Now as state-wide nonprofit organization, the Network continues to grow and establish itself as a leading provider of training and technical assistance to communities working to reduce youth and gang violence while building safe communities for everyone. The network has hosted three major conferences over the past 5 years focusing on developing comprehensive violence prevention plans, strengthening police and community relations, and most recently a Summit in San Jose highlighting state and national policies impacting local efforts and key topical areas including establishing regional violence prevention efforts, dealing with immigration policy, and new approaches to restorative justice and juvenile diversion.
It was at this summit that a major revitalization of California Cities Violence Prevention was rooted. Attendees at the summit included traditional violence prevention city teams from up and down the state, but the summit also drew a much broader audience including individuals, nonprofits, county agencies, and regional partners looking to improve their regional approach to violence prevention.
At the end of the day three things were clear; first there was a strong interest by attendees for more training opportunities in the future. What they took away from the summit was relevant to their current needs, but there was a clear desire to touch on other program and process topics. Second, non-network attendees saw value in being a part of an organization like the CCVPN but the current structure and name prevented them from membership. Thus was born the name change of the Network to the California Violence Prevention Network and the third take away from the summit, a new membership criteria to allow individuals, nonprofits, state, local and national organizations, educational institutions, and others to join the Network.
A Membership Committee is currently developing new membership criteria for approval by the Board of Directors. We hope to have the new guidelines in place by the next CVPN Conference scheduled for April 11 2019.