Cities across the country are experiencing a historic spike in homicides and other violence, and the problem is greatest in our racially segregated, high-poverty neighborhoods, including South Los Angeles. Nationwide, Black men make up 6% of the population but over 50% of gun homicide victims. Black women, Latinos, and Native Americans are also disproportionately impacted by this dangerous trend. Community violence has devastating consequences for the well-being of our communities and families, including intergenerational trauma. Is anything being done?
Yes. L.A. CADA is pleased to be part of one local solution: L.A. County’s Trauma Prevention Initiative or TPI-CAP. This new program works to build community capacity to prevent violence and trauma in the Westmont West-Athens and Willowbrook Community Action for Peace (CAPs) in South Los Angeles.
The CAPs consist of community residents, agencies, and local stakeholders invested in developing community-driven public safety solutions. Our CAP members prioritize strategies that build local leadership capacity and promote dialogue and healing. Community engagement in trauma prevention also promotes positive community identity and develops priorities to guide violence prevention work.
L.A. CADA’s Trauma Prevention Initiative program is directed by Charles McWells, the agency’s long-time advocate for underserved communities in Los Angeles. He says, “Whether providing back-to-school supplies for children in local housing projects, advocating for cleanup of homeless encampments, coordinating Parks-After-Dark events, or developing Safe Passage routes for youth walking to and from school, L.A. CADA’s TPI-CAP program has launched an array of initiatives designed to mitigate violence and resulting trauma in South L.A.”