MPI’s Rodney Phillips Profiled in Chicago Sun-Times Ahead of CVI Leadership Academy Graduation

Rodney “Hot Rod” Phillips gets photographed in front of a mural at the Metropolitan Peace Academy for a feature in the Chicago Sun-Times. (Photo courtesy of Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times)

Congratulations are in order for Metropolitan Peace Initiatives (MPI) Associate Director of Crisis Prevention & Response Unit (CPRU) Rodney “Hot Rod” Phillips who was recently profiled in the Chicago Sun-Times ahead of his graduation from the inaugural cohort of the Chicago Crime Lab‘s Community Violence Intervention Leadership Academy (CVILA).

The feature detailed Phillips’ upbringing in the streets and the complex journey he took toward redemption. It’s all led him to becoming a powerful figure within the field of CVI.

“I can’t believe it, coming from pissy hallways in Stateway Gardens, putting my mother through a lot of trouble as a youth. To walk across the stage and graduate, I don’t even know how I will feel. I might be emotional,” Phillips told the Sun-Times.

CVILA is aimed at training the next generation of CVI leaders to effectively run their organizations and aid in the reduction of gun violence. The six-month education program brought together 31 leaders from 21 cities across the country, including several leaders from Communities Partnering 4 Peace (CP4P).

The new White House Office of Violence Prevention will host the graduation ceremony on Friday, February 9, 2024 in Washington, D.C.

Phillips will be joined by fellow CP4P leaders, including Institute for Nonviolence Chicago (INVC) Director of CVI Samuel Castro, UCAN Vice President of Violence Intervention and Prevention Services Edwin Galletti, and former YMCA of Metro Chicago Executive Director Jaunita Pye.

Upon graduation, Phillips will continue his work with MPI and the CPRU. He also serves as co-host of MPI’s podcast “Streets, Beatz & Peace.”

Read the full article here.