Urban Peace Institute's South Park Regional School Safety Collaborative Program
UPI seeks to expand its programming to South Los Angeles’ South Park community to create improved health and safety. With funding, UPI will create the South Park Regional School Safety Collaborative Program to establish safe routes to schools for students. In addition, UPI will also expand our Leadership Institute that provides seven months of training and support to 35 South Los Angeles Latino and Black residents in leading community safety solutions.
Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.
What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?
Expand existing project, program, or initiative
What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?
UPI is an organization dedicated to the safety of its community members. As UPI’s programming has expanded, we’ve adapted to accommodate the needs of the unique neighborhoods we serve. UPI seeks to expand its programming to create improved health and safety in South Los Angeles’ South Park community. As we continue our efforts and programming in South Los Angeles, UPI has identified a need to expand its Leadership Institute and Regional School Safety Collaborative to South Park. Residents have continually raised safety concerns regarding student travel to and from 49th Street Elementary due to rising gun violence, as well as ongoing drug use and a growing unhoused population crisis within the area. Moreover, residents have expressed built environment challenges that makes pedestrian and bicycle travel to school extremely difficult. This includes unaddressed cracked and broken sidewalks, faded or no crosswalks, poor street lighting and a lack of traffic lights and stop signs.
Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.
UPI provides extensive programming in South Los Angeles to reduce violence. UPI will convene a Leadership Institute that provides training and support to 35 South Los Angeles Latino and Black residents in leading community safety solutions. Currently, UPI convenes two Regional School Safety Collaboratives in Watts and Harvard Park, which unite 50 diverse stakeholders to create safe routes to and from schools for over 10,000 South Los Angeles families. While UPI creates safe routes to school with two established Regional School Safety Collaboratives, there is no complimentary programming centered in South Park to address the unique violence and built environment challenges within this underserved neighborhood. Families have reported being intimidated by violent behavior among individuals attending facilities neighboring local schools and desire a formalized Safe Route to School for young students surrounding South Park and 49th Street Elementary. UPI will create a new Regional School Safety Collaborative to design a Safe Routes to Schools effort with over 20 diverse stakeholders including residents, school leaders, law enforcement, and gang intervention workers. UPI will also increase the number of South Park residents enrolled in its comprehensive Leadership Institute. Leadership Institute and South Park School Safety Collaborative members will conduct community walkability assessments and receive training on how to use 3-1-1 tools to address built environment issues.
Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.
Historically, communities in South Los Angeles have been overlooked, experiencing decades of public disinvestment and structural racism. Funding from this grant will ensure that children will no longer experience intimidation or violence as they walk to school within South Park. UPI will uplift community leaders and build relationships between residents, officers, and gang intervention workers to ensure neighborhood safety. This work has never been more important, as recent events highlight the need to bridge the gap between law enforcement and communities of color. Funding will also ensure South Los Angeles residents will be empowered to create safety in their communities. UPI’s new South Park Regional School Safety Collaborative will bring together parents, youth, residents of color, school leaders, law enforcement officers, and gang intervention leaders to create a Safe Routes to Schools effort, as well as to reduce violence in the surrounding South Park neighborhood.
What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?
UPI will increase the number of South Park residents enrolled in its Leadership Institute by 50%. UPI will also increase the number of South Park residents participating in its comprehensive program by 5 additional residents, for a total of 15 South Park residents served in its 2022-23 cohort. These resident leaders will prove key in providing guidance and support. UPI will convene over 50 stakeholders working to reduce violence through the new South Park Regional School Safety Collaborative during biweekly meetings throughout the school year. These meetings will convene school leaders, parents, students, community leaders, Community Safety Partnership Bureau officers, and gang intervention partners to create a Safe Routes to School plan. Throughout efforts, UPI expects violent crime will be reduced by 5% over the 1-year grant period. Residents will also regularly report their feelings of safety during peak school travel times, so UPI can measure the outcomes of our initiatives.
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?
Direct Impact: 65
Indirect Impact: 600
Describe the specific role of the partner organization(s) in the project, program, or initiative.
Resilient provides youth development and community intervention services to underprivileged residents most impacted by violence to strengthen persol resilience, develop leadership, and community restoration. Resilient staff are trained peacemakers who work to interrupt the devastating cycle of gun and gang violence. These peacemakers provide mentoring, supportive services, and incident response services within South Park. Through this collaboration, a Resilient peacemaker would be stationed during peak school travel times to ensure safety is maintained for families. This peacemaker will be crucial in establishing and co-creating safety with law enforcement. Resilient would also serve as a leading member of the Regiol School Safety Collaborative.