MPI Presents CP4P Model to CVI Community Leaders Across The Country

Metropolitan Peace Initiative’s Chief Policy Officer Kanu Iheukumere speaks at the Community Violence Intervention Immersive Lab on Wednesday, December 8. 2023.

Metropolitan Peace Initiatives‘ Chief Policy Officer Kanu Iheukumere recently spoke at the Community Violence Intervention Leadership Academy (CVILA). The event, known as the Community Violence Intervention Immersive Lab, hosted by UCAN Chicago, University of Chicago Crime Lab, and Heartland Alliance, was held December 11th – 15th and aimed to address the critical issue of gun violence. More than 50 community organizers from across the U.S., including CP4P’s very own leaders, are enrolled in CVILA’s inaugural cohort and were in attendance.

“Those closest to what’s happening should be doing the work,” said Iheukumere during his presentation “How Various Agencies Work Together to Create a CVI Community Strategy and Response to Community Violence.” He introduced Metropolitan Peace Initiatives as well as the Communities Partnering 4 Peace (CP4P) trauma-informed approach to CVI to the participants, placing humanity at the center of all strategies.

The afternoon also featured a distinguished panel. Joining Iheukumere were Jayeti Newbold, Director of Strategic Initiatives at READI; Toni Copeland, the Director of Student Supports & Violence Prevention at Chicago Public School; and Gregory Sain, Director of Community Safety & Relations at Chicago Public School’s Safe Passages. Each panelist brought a unique perspective contributing to a collaboration of insights and strategies to combat community violence.

“The purpose of the panel and the presentation was to provide a snapshot of the CVI architecture in the city of Chicago with the idea that it can be aspirational and seen as a template to apply nationwide in other cities,” said Iheukumere.

The event was a quick peek into what the week-long Immersive Lab hoped to accomplish. It served as a nexus for shared knowledge among agencies striving to make a significant impact on community safety, not just locally, but on a national and global scale.