Oakland Ceasefire is an evidence-based approach to reducing community violence. Driven by a community-police partnership that includes clergy, street outreach, service providers, and law enforcement, the program uses data to understand who is at the highest risk of shooting or being killed. Oakland Ceasefire has been instrumental in a local shift towards community policing and violence reduction strategies — built on a collaborative impact model — that have yielded incredible successes in Oakland, cutting both homicides and nonfatal shootings in half since 2012.
Typically, data and analysis show that those most at risk of gun violence are members of gangs and street groups who have already had extensive involvement in the criminal justice system and represent a small fraction of a city’s overall population — typically less than 1%. In other words, the most dangerous violence is concentrated among a very small number of residents.
Oakland Ceasefire’s strategy relies on direct communication and calls from the community, local law enforcement, faith leaders, and others to stop the violence. The strategy is enhanced through tightly coordinated, disciplined, community-level efforts that rely on street outreach and other forms of community leadership. Trusted members of the community, such as clergy, will often employ night walks to promote the program, build a culture of peace and healing, and reduce violence and killings without sending more people to prison. Additionally, Oakland Ceasefire’s model relies on intensive services and support provided by faith-based organizations and coordinated by Oakland Unite. This includes paid job training, substance abuse counseling, educational and legal support, in addition to crisis response to shootings and violence, among other services.
The Hellman Collaborative Change Initiative grant will help Oakland Ceasefire continue to scale its important, life-changing work across Oakland and expand it around the globe. With police brutality and systemic racism at the forefront of the national conversation, their work to build bridges between law enforcement and communities could not come at a more important time.
“This work isn’t magic, it’s just the hard work of finding common ground between groups of people who have very little overlap in their frames of reference. It’s consistently finding methods for both parties to be humanized in practical, consistent ways.” Rev. Ben McBride, Co-Director of PICO California
For more information, contact:
Rev. George C.L. Cummings
Senior Minister, Imani Community Church
Regional Executive Director, Faith in Action East Bay
(510) 531-5411 | email@example.com