know about Queens organization invited to lead federal response to gun violence — Queens Daily Eagle
By Jacob Kaye
When K. Bain founded his anti-violence and racial justice organization in Queens more than a decade ago, he knew it would expand beyond the world district and then beyond the corners of New York City.
He was proven right last month, when Community Capacity Development, a nonprofit organization that aims to “uproot systemic challenges facing marginalized communities of color” through interrupting violence, the reach of youth, business programming, community building and other programs, was selected to join an anti-violence intervention. group led by the White House.
“This was my big, furry, bold goal when I started [Community Capacity Development]”, Bain recently told the Eagle. “When you have a goal like that, it has to happen that the federal government gets involved.”
“I had all of this written down on paper,” he added.
When the White House called, seeking Bain’s expertise, he said he wasn’t surprised.
“I wasn’t like, ‘Wow, the president is calling and saying he wants to have a conversation with us,’” Bain said. “I was saying, ‘Yeah, this is just in time.'”
Community Capacity Development, which has its headquarters in central Jamaica, a program at Queensbridge Houses, and most recently a location in Woodside, recently joined the national Community Violence Intervention Collaborative. The program, launched by the administration of President Joe Biden in June 2021, aims to create a peer learning network focused on community-based public safety strategies.
CCD is now one of five programs across the country tasked with leading the program, providing training and technical assistance to help communities take stock of their current public safety programming, and improve and expand it to help reduce violence. navy.
Collaboration services 17 jurisdictions: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Baton Rouge, Chicago, Detroit, King County, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami, Minneapolis, Newark, Philadelphia, Rapid City, St. Louis, St. Paul and Washington DC
The collaboration, which has been fueled by a $300 million investment with funding from the American Rescue Plan, also includes a host of mayors and law enforcement officials, and 64 community violence intervention programs.
Bain founded CCD in 2010, when he was working in the office of then-Councilman Jumaane Williams.
The now public defender was seeking funding to start a violence cure pilot, with the intention of bringing the programming to the entire city.
“Back then, it was a citywide thought process: how do we bring New York City together?” Baine said.
The organization first began its work in Jamaica. His work focuses on violence disruption – sending credible messengers into neighborhoods to defuse conflict as it happens.
In 2016, Bain opened 696 Queensbridge, named for the six blocks and 96 buildings that make up the largest public housing complex in the United States. In the first 365 days after the founding of the Queensbridge location, there was not a single shooting on the grounds of the public housing complex.
Bain was also at the center of the 2017 founding of the city’s Crisis Management System, which sends credible messengers to neighborhoods with disproportionately high rates of gun violence and connects residents to city services.
CMS was expanded by 20 additional police precincts in 2020 and was featured in Mayor Eric Adams’ Plan to End Gun Violence. Adams has frequently praised the work of violence breakers, saying in June that “the uniqueness of CMS is that they can say they’re not part of the city.” [government].”
In February, Adams invited Biden to visit New York City to speak about gun violence. Along with other New York elected officials, Biden took a trip to One Police Plaza. Later that day, the mayor took the president to PS 111 in Long Island City, where Community Capacity Development had opened an outpost.
“It’s about intervention and prevention, and prevention is the long-term things that we need to do,” Adams said in February. “I asked him to go out on the ground with us to meet the crisis management teams, the ordinary people who are doing the hard work in line with the police department.”
It was the first time Bain had met Biden and it was the start of the federal CCD partnership.
At the core of CCD’s work is “human justice,” says Bain. He operates under the belief that violence in the black and brown communities CCD serves is caused by poverty, poor education, and more broadly, systemic racism.
“Essentially, we are an organization against poverty, racism and violence,” Bain said.
Since being appointed to the Community Violence Intervention Collaborative, Bain and his partners have begun making monthly trips to the nation’s capital to meet with the group. In addition to Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and US National Policy Council Director Susan Rice attend the meetings.
“It feels good to not only be included in the conversation, but to be asked to lead and be an innovator on so much that’s happening at the federal level,” Bain said. “It’s an exciting time.”