Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $999,930)
The Detroit Association of Black Organizations’ (DABO) program STOP Ceasefire Youth Initiative will serve two middle schools, Paul Robeson Malcolm X Academy and Detroit Service Learning Academy residing in zip codes 48221 and 48219 respectively. The total number of students served is 1,200. This program will provide training on preventing violence; conduct a threat assessment and intervention team and two annual schoolwide violence prevention assemblies; implement an anonymous reporting system and small group interventions for students with significant behavioral problems, referred to as Harmony House. Harmony House will provide social-emotional learning using the evidence-based curriculum Positive Action, restorative justice circles, and diversion interventions. Between the years 2009 to 2015, 43% of children up to age 17 were victims of violent crime such as homicide, sexual assault, aggravated assault, and robbery (Stafford, 2016). In addition to the disproportionate amount of violence the children of Detroit experience, there is also a high level of children with adverse childhood experiences (ACES); 40% of Detroit children have experienced one or two ACES, reports the Kresge Foundation (Center for youth, 2019). The psychological impact these stressors have on children in turn impact their physical health, according to the Urban Child Institute. High levels of early stress have been linked to impaired behavioral and emotional development as well as numerous health consequences later in life, including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes (Nixon, 2012; The impact of, 2007). Research reports that early intervention can prevent the consequences associated with ACES (The impact of, 2007). The goal of this project is to reduce violence in schools. Objectives include development of an evidence-based school safety plan; providing school personnel with education on Social Emotional Learning, Trauma Informed Practice Training and Restorative Justice, how to respond to mental health crisis trainings; training all stakeholders to use the anonymous reporting system; strengthening student social emotional learning skills by 35% from initial baseline as measured by the increase in scores on DESSA Assessment instrument, 240 youth are employed in the summer annually, and 120 youth are exposed to physical and mental well-being activities in 3 years. This project will benefit the entire service area due to the causal sequences associated with violence. It will particularly benefit the young male members of the Harmony House since they are most disproportionately affected by this issue and will also receive the greatest amount of intervention.