The University of Virginia and the President’s Council on UVA-Community Partnerships on Tuesday announced a new working group that will collaborate with the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County to identify gun violence reduction solutions, leverage existing resources and services, and recommend activities that will have the greatest potential impact on reducing gun violence and enhancing community safety.
UVA President Jim Ryan announced the formation of the new working group during a virtual town hall held to discuss the University’s response to the recent increase in gun violence in the greater Charlottesville area.
In addition to previously reported immediate safety enhancements, the new working group will focus on short- and medium-term measures that create tangible impact in the areas of mental and behavioral health, youth programming and agency coordination. The group will continue to meet for as long as it produces actionable ideas and identifies pathways for implementation.
The Community Safety Working Group will be the sixth working group under the President’s Council on UVA-Community Partnerships. Established in 2019, the President’s Council examines how the University can partner with the community to address areas of importance while strengthening its relationship with the surrounding community. Other working groups include Affordable Housing, Local Economy, Pipelines and Pathways, Early Childhood Education, and Public Health. Each includes a combination of community and University leaders.
Over the past three years, the working groups have strived to provide robust recommendations around affordable housing, early childhood education, job pipelines and pathways within the University, and intentional strategies to increase University procurement relationships with local and minority-owned businesses. The working group focused on public health will have its report finalized soon.
“We have to address the challenge of gun violence and community safety using all of our available resources, and centering those most impacted to identify solutions,” President’s Council co-chairs Cristine Nardi and Harold Folley said of the new working group. “The President’s Council exists to bring UVA and the community together to address priority community issues. We look forward to this collaboration with city and county partners, and to supporting this new working group to bring actionable recommendations forward that lead us towards a community where all are safe.”
Facilitated by UVA’s Equity Center and co-chaired by UVA and community representatives, the working group will include representation from the City of Charlottesville, Albemarle County, UVA, nonprofit organizations and other groups from across the community.
Find more information, including working group progress updates, at the President’s Council for UVA-Community Partnerships website.