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Mini-Grants To Support Pittsburgh Organizations' Violence Intervention Programs

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Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA

The City of Pittsburgh’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative selected 16 local community groups and projects supporting violence reduction and intervention for a mini-grant program. The program funds up to $3,000 for each organization’s community outreach efforts.

The Larimer Consensus Group is one of the recipients of the funding. Manager of community engagement Malik Morris said the organization will use the funding to train 17-to-22-year-olds in the community to be conflict resolution ambassadors.

“They'll be able to identify things happening on the playgrounds, and on the basketball court and at the Village Green amongst young people that they may be able to intervene and try to de-escalate these situations,” Morris said.

Morris has worked with gang violence reduction in the past, and applauds the city’s efforts in gang violence intervention. But he said violence in communities extends beyond organized crime.

“What we're dealing with is that not all kids are in gangs. So some of the violence that's taking place is not gang related,” he said.

The mini-grant program is a response to the recent uptick in violence in Pittsburgh communities. Police officials announced a firearms tracking unit last month to decrease the number of illegal firearms coming into the region.

“Community organizations know how to effectively approach violence reduction and prevention on a community level in their neighborhoods, and we know that $3,000 can go a long way to uplift and further these kinds of activities and initiatives,” said Mayor’s Office Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief Equity Officer Majestic Lane.

More grant opportunities through My Brother’s Keeper will be announced later in the summer.

Margaret Fleming is a newsroom production assistant from Chicago, IL. She's a rising junior studying journalism at Northwestern University and covers sports at the student radio station, WNUR. Margaret can be reached at mfleming@wesa.fm.