A Place for Pitt–Johnstown in the Cure Violence: Johnstown Campaign

Students sitting on chairs talking at Pitt-Johnstown

Abstract

Johnstown is a city that has historically struggled with poverty, drugs, and violence, and the struggles have increased in recent years. In response to the marked increase in gun deaths and drug overdoses, a community organization called Hope 4 Johnstown, representing more than a dozen community groups, police, and schools, formed with the intent to bring the Cure Violence program to Johnstown. Cure Violence is an evidence-based program that addresses violence as a public health crisis and helps stem the spread of violence to build stronger, healthier communities.

The Pitt Seed grant will provide the funds to pay for an initial assessment of Cure Violence for the city of Johnstown, and thus serve as the seed for further grants. It will also fund research on attitudes regarding violence, the connections to opioids, and assessments of community needs to determine how to sustain the community of Johnstown for the long-term. We will develop non-violence messaging with assistance from Marketing faculty and undergrads. Lastly, we will promote norm change in young people, with educational programs for students in the Greater Johnstown School District.

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Principal Investigator

Christine Dahlin-Schuster
Biology

Select Collaborators

Jeremiah Coldsmith
Justice Administration & Criminology and Sociology

Jill Henning
Biology

Stephanie Jimenez
Psychology

Ross Kleinstuber
Justice Administration & Criminology and Sociology

Gerald Zahorachak
Education Department

Goal Area