Restoring Peace Across the Country

In the past three months, UPI has presented introductory and advanced courses for over 267 brave peacemakers working in Los Angeles, Chicago, Stockton, and Sacramento.

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FernandoComment
2019 Gang Prevention & Intervention Conference

UPI helped convene the eighth annual Gang Prevention & Intervention Conference, organized by our partners Southern California Crossroads and St. Francis Medical Center.

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FernandoComment
Community Safety Partnership Launches in South Park

UPI spearheads efforts to create safe and healthy communities throughout Los Angeles through its leadership of the Community Safety Partnership initiative.

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FernandoComment
UPI Joins Partners at President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Event

UPI recently joined with partners in Oakland for a special gathering of President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance grantees and partners.

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FernandoComment
Surrounded: Killings Near School, and the Students Left Behind

A groundbreaking series by the LA Times highlights the vast physical and psychological trauma that thousands of students face when navigating safe paths to schools.

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FernandoComment
Urban Peace Institute Challenges Fullerton Police Department Use of CalGang Database

Judge Sherri Honer of the Orange County Superior Court refused to order the Fullerton Police Department to remove Ruben Lona from the CalGang database.

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FernandoComment
Transformation and Healing: Sandra's Story

Sandra Martinez is a recent graduate of the Urban Peace Academy, and like so many of our graduates, her story is remarkable. An organizer from an early age, Sandra has always been a leader dedicated to her community. As a child, Sandra and her twin ran away from an abusive home and joined a gang shortly after. That gang became their family.

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Caitlin KosecComment
Summer Night Lights Training

Summer brings long days, warm nights, and unfortunately, seasonal spikes in crime. UPI has been busy these past two months, proactively working to ensure the summer is peaceful for all families.

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FernandoComment
Urban Peace Academy Graduation

Recently, 25 brave peacemakers graduated from our Urban Peace Academy with the complex skills needed to reduce violence in Los Angeles’ most violent communities. Each participant completed 140-hours of intense coursework focusing on effective strategies for forming trust with both residents and officers to ensure neighborhood safety.

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FernandoComment
Latino Leadership Institute Celebration

Earlier this summer, alumni of UPI’s Latino Leadership Institute gathered to celebrate their accomplishments in creating a safe and healthy community. This community event provided an opportunity for over 40 Latino Leadership Institute alumni to reconnect and share their experiences with the whole family.

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FernandoComment
Urban Peace Institute Featured on PBS

PBS SoCal featured the Urban Peace Institute's continuing work to break the cycle of violence throughout Los Angeles. This story highlights our innovative Urban Peace Academy, which trains former gang members and community leaders to promote peace.

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FernandoComment
Orange County Gang Injunctions Withdrawn

The Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) withdrew its attempt to impose gang injunctions on two communities in the city of Placentia. After more than two years, the OCDA has been unable to prove that any of the 50 people they alleged were gang members were actually active gang members. As a result, the injunctions never became enforceable. Any reduction in crime in Placentia can only be attributed to other causes.

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FernandoComment
UPI Wins Successful Legal Challenge to California’s Gang Database

One year ago, UPI received an urgent call from Liz Blanchard, whose brother, Nelson Valle, was detained at the Otay Mesa Immigration Detention Facility as a result of gang allegations. Liz knew Nelson was living a peaceful life and was no longer a gang member.

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FernandoComment
Breaking the Cycle: Tina’s Graduation from the Urban Peace Academy

The odds of Tina becoming a peacemaker in her neighborhood were slim. Tina’s father was an active gang member. Her mother was only a teenager when she was born.  She watched her father battle drug addictions, holidays were rarely celebrated, and her home often had no electricity. However, Tina refused to become a victim of her surroundings.

 

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Life Off The Database: A Successful Appeal in Orange County

When Jose was a teenager, he admits that he made some poor choices that landed him in juvenile hall. While juvenile hall is intended to act as an early intervention, for Jose and thousands of young men of color, it can spark deepened gang involvement as a means of protection for survival in a harsh environment.  At 15, these mistakes also caused Jose to be labeled as a gang member on California’s gang database.

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FernandoComment
A New Way Forward: Benjamin’s Removal from the CalGang Database

Despite his transformation, Benjamin’s life and movements continued to be tracked through California’s gang database. The CalGang database includes information on over 100,000 residents, and has labeled children as young as two years old as gang members. This information is available across law enforcement agencies and has the potential to be shared with federal immigration officials.

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Fernando RejonComment
Success: Overhaul of California Gang Databases

The Urban Peace Institute (UPI) is proud to announce that Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed A.B. 90, a bill that mandates a massive overhaul to California’s shared gang database system.  For the past two years, UPI acted as a leading advocate for change to California’s gang databases, which unfairly labels over a 100,000 California residents, including children as young as two years old, as gang members.  

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Fernando RejonComment
UPI Applauds Recent Arrest Reductions in Los Angeles

The Urban Peace Institute believes modern policing calls for forming authentic relationships and trust with community. We applaud the City and LAPD for recently expanding the Community Safety Partnership model to Harvard Park.

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UPI team at the launch of the Community Safety Partnership in Harvard Park

The Urban Peace Institute will lead efforts to expand the Community Safety Partnership by first guiding a three-month community needs assessment effort to engage over 500 residents and stakeholders.The Urban Peace Institute will lead efforts to expand the Community Safety Partnership by first guiding a three-month community needs assessment effort to engage over 500 residents and stakeholders.

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Fernando RejonComment
Connie Rice, Advisory Board Chair, Addresses The Latest Urban Peace Academy cohort

The Urban Peace Academy recently launched a new training session to promote effective violence reduction and community policing strategies. This 12-week training program is currently engaging 27 new participants in Los Angeles, who are learning proven public health approaches to improve safety in the region’s most underserved communities.

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Fernando RejonComment