D.A. Bragg Announces New Funding Opportunity For Summer Youth Gun Violence Prevention

June 2, 2022

Also Announces Upcoming Gun Buyback During Gun Violence Prevention Month

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Jr., today announced today a new funding opportunity for Manhattan community-based organizations to work to prevent youth gun violence. The Office will award $20,000 to up to 10 community-based organizations to pay young New Yorkers stipends to either participate in meaningful programming, or to enhance and beautify public spaces that are known locations for gun violence. Funding will be awarded to community-based organizations that employ a credible messenger model or a similar approach that has a demonstrated track record of engaging young people at risk for gun violence. Applicants with programs based in neighborhoods most affected by gun violence – including East Harlem, Central and West Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood, and the Lower East Side – will be prioritized. The solicitation, which was released today, is available here.

“As we head into the summer – when gun violence spikes each year – it’s more important than ever to incentivize our young people to stay away from gun violence,” said District Attorney Bragg. “These awards will help community-based organizations in our hardest hit neighborhoods offer teens and young adults a chance to engage in meaningful programming, or to give back by improving their block – both of which are proven ways to prevent violence. As the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to plague our communities, disrupting services and eliminating much-needed jobs, these awards can provide a lifeline to our young people and our neighborhoods. Enduring public safety is achieved by integrating at-risk New Yorkers into positive, stabilizing and supportive social networks in their own communities – and these awards will do just that.”

Congressman Adriano Espaillat (NY-13) said: “Every day, 30 Americans are killed by someone using a gun, and that number increases to over 100 when suicides and accidents are factored in. We have witnessed the impact of gun violence on our youth, our families, our communities – and it will take each of us working collaboratively at all levels of government to address the gun violence epidemic in communities here in New York City and around the nation. I commend Manhattan District Attorney Bragg on today’s initiative to support community-based organizations in their efforts to address gun violence and prevention among youth across our city. Gun violence affects everyone, and during Gun Violence Awareness Month, we must work together to end gun violence and keep our communities safe.”

Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine said:
“We must take a precision approach to addressing gun violence, attacking both the source and the root causes of violent outcomes at the community and neighborhood level. D.A. Bragg’s Gun Violence Prevention funding will deliver critical public safety resources to trusted community organizations and will be a strong step towards stopping violence before it happens. Fighting gun violence will take all of us, and I applaud D.A. Bragg’s leadership today.”

New York State Senator Cordell Cleare said: “Gun violence is traumatizing our families and our communities. These violence prevention grants to support and expand safety initiatives, protect families and neighborhoods, and begin to disrupt gun violence are an important step in tackling the gun violence epidemic, addressing underlying conditions, and reducing violence in our communities. I applaud the investments being made today by DA Alvin Bragg and appreciate the proactive steps he is taking to change and save lives.”

New York State Senator Robert Jackson said: “We must all do everything we can to end this senseless gun violence. I commend Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for his leadership on gun violence prevention and this initiative to connect our community partners with the resources they need to save lives. These grants invest in the futures of our young people to help break cycles of violence and bring hope to our communities.”

Derek A. Perkinson, Crisis Director and NYS Field Director, National Action Network said: “The National Action Network stands behind this important investment in our community and to the benefit of the people of NYC. The curbing of gun violence is vital towards building our city to its fullest potential. We applaud D.A. Bragg for his leadership in the fight against gun violence. I thank District Attorney Bragg for this investment in our youth, which is an investment in the future of All of New York City.”

CUNY ISLG Executive Director Michael Jacobson said: “Grassroots organizations are a critical part of bringing peace, safety, and joy to our NYC neighborhoods. CUNY ISLG has partnered with a variety of grassroots organizations through the Criminal Justice Investment Initiative, assisting them in their efforts to build capacity and deliver services. We are pleased to continue this work with DANY and community-based partners to support meaningful programs and connections to opportunity for youth and young adults.”

The Manhattan D.A.’s Office is providing these awards through its Criminal Justice Investment Initiative (“CJII”), which was created using millions seized in the Office’s investigations against major banks and is administered by the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance.

Community-based organizations will receive $20,000 to fund two types of gun violence prevention stipends for New Yorkers aged 15 to 26 years old:

  • Youth and young adult engagement stipends: Community-based organizations will pay stipends to young people who are at risk for gun violence to participate in meaningful, research-driven programming. Awardees must demonstrate the ability to work with the Manhattan D.A.’s Office to identify and successfully engage young people who are at the highest risk of committing or experiencing gun violence. Programming may include cognitive behavioral therapy, restorative justice, civic engagement, community enhancement projects, job trainings, education, or more.
  • Youth and young adult neighborhood enhancement stipends: Research shows that physical enhancements to violence “hot spots” can lead to a reduction in gun violence. Applicants may propose to pay young people to complete a space enhancement project that improves the design, functionality, or aesthetics of a public space where violence has occurred in the recent past. For example, proposals could include planting a garden in an empty lot or painting a mural encouraging peace on a corner known for violence. Such programming also allows participants to use their creative skills to improve their own neighborhood — fostering a stronger sense of community.

Awards will be made to organizations that specifically focus on gun violence prevention and have the capacity to quickly engage with individuals who are at risk for picking up a gun or being a victim of gun violence. Funding will be awarded to community-based organizations that employ a credible messenger model or a similar approach that has a demonstrated track record of engaging young people. The Office will require award recipients to provide a final report that includes aggregate data but will not collect or ask for identifiable information about individual participants or individuals referred for programming.

Up to 10 organizations will receive awards for stipends and programming taking place from August 1, 2022, through October 30, 2022.

Gun Violence Prevention Month

June is Gun Violence Prevention Month. The D.A.’s Office will host a gun buyback on June 25th at Soul Saving Station on West 124th Street in partnership with the Oyate Group Bronx Rising and the NYPD. Anyone can turn a gun in, no questions asked, and receive $500.

In partnership with the Thrive Collective and other community organizations, the Office also host an Art of Healing Festival on June 18th at P.S. 7 on East 120th Street to honor victims of gun violence and explore creative arts as a means to heal.

Additionally, the Office will host an interfaith clergy breakfast on June 9th focusing on partnering with faith communities to deter gun violence.

The Community Partnerships Unit will welcome two Gun Violence Prevention Fellows this summer, both of whom have been directly impacted by Gun Violence. Fellows learn about the Office’s current prevention strategies and offer policy proposals to the District Attorney and Executive Team at the end of their Fellowship.

In partnership with the Crime Strategies Unit, the Community Partnership Unit offers Gun Violence Prevention Conversations/Prevention Presentations for the Community. To request a presentation, visit http://bit.ly/EducationRequest, or call 212-335-9082.