Social Current Awarded DOJ Cooperative Agreement to Bridge Gap Between Law Enforcement, Community
Washington, D.C. – Social Current, formerly the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities and Council on Accreditation, announced today a cooperative agreement with the Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) for Fostering Resilience and Hope: Bridging the Gap Between Law Enforcement and The Community. The agreement will support a three-year demonstration initiative that will infuse hope theory to assist law enforcement officers with addressing trauma and adversity in order to repair and rebuild relationships within the community. Social Current will receive $1 million to oversee technical assistance to two sites with the full grant totaling $4 million. Selected sites will be announced at a later date.
“The Department of Justice is committed to advancing work that promotes civil rights, increases access to justice, supports crime victims, protects the public from crime and evolving threats, and builds trust between law enforcement and the community,” commented Stacy Phillips, Victim Justice Program Specialist for the Office for Victims of Crime for the Department of Justice. “This program furthers the Department of Justice’s mission by advancing law enforcement policies and practices that promote justice and healing for all victims.”
“The award of this cooperative agreement reflects recognition of our expertise in helping support organizations in their equity, diversity, inclusion (EDI), and racial justice journeys, as well as our work in engaging victim-centered organizations in multidisciplinary, national scope technical assistance projects to accelerate innovation and knowledge,” commented Jody Levison-Johnson, president and CEO of Social Current. “The work of Social Current is to facilitate collaboration and innovation and advance policy and practice excellence within organizations and across systems. We believe this initiative will play a significant role by creating a learning community and building a body of knowledge around resilience and community engagement.”
“Building hope is about honoring, trusting, respecting, valuing, and amplifying opportunities within communities,” noted Dr. Chan Hellman, a respected expert in hope science and training and founder of Chan Hellman LLC. “We believe that hope may provide a simple shared language that can be useful to the community as they work to move past awareness status into actionable goals and pathways aimed to dismantle systemic oppression and racism.”
The initiative will include training, capacity development, advocacy, and outreach with a goal of repairing and rebuilding trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve and enhancing law enforcement officers’ ability to effectively engage with community members. Additionally, the effort is geared to increasing the likelihood that the community will assist in investigations to make communities safer and hold those responsible accountable. The goal is to increase the likelihood that crime victims will report their victimizations to the police, reducing the likelihood of re-victimization, and helping to build safer communities, where all residents thrive.
The program builds on a previous initiative known as the Healing Justice Alliance Initiative, which explored demonstrated strategies for implementing a trauma-informed and collaborative approach to build trust between communities of color and law enforcement agencies. Informed by young men of color who are survivors of violence, the project’s outcomes improved lives, by pointing to ways to manage trauma, and focusing on changing community conditions that produce trauma.
Romero Davis, senior program manager for Practice Excellence at Social Current will head the technical assistance team. He also serves as senior program manager for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and Engagement at Social Current. Romero is a mentor; an award-winning leadership, professional development, and life coach; published author; and an advocate of safe communities and families. Romero has been active nationally working with agencies in areas such as poly-victimization; trauma in families; equity, diversity, and inclusion; juvenile justice; and domestic violence. Romero previously served as program manager for agencies focused on sexual assault and domestic violence.
Romero will be joined by Social Current colleagues Undraye Howard, Amy Templeman, Karen Johnson, Kelly Martin, Rehana Absar and Phyllis Richards who bring a range of expertise and experience to the team. They will be joined by a talented team with diverse expertise that includes Dr. Chan Hellman and T/Cpl Meghann Holloway.
Key elements of the technical assistance will include:
- Working with demonstration sites to develop a train-the-trainer curriculum to foster a law enforcement culture rooted in Hope Theory;
- Development of a detailed plan for implementation and dissemination agency wide;
- Development of a strategic plan for the agency that incorporates tangible goals and objectives for implementing a hope-centered agency framework and practice that responds to the needs of officers;
- Development of new or expanded policies and best practices that operationalize a common language of hope tailored for law enforcement that promote safety, well-being, and community-oriented policing practices that can be adopted by other communities across the nation;
- Creation and implementation of a cohesive and actionable plan to respond to and reduce traumatic stress throughout the agency;
- Development of a diverse community advisory council that will be charged with helping law enforcement implement a hope-centered approach by creating and maintaining community relationships and coordinated outreach; and
- Documentation and dissemination of best practices and lessons learned informed by national research and local analysis that can serve as guide for system transformation.
Media Notes: For more information or to request an interview, please contact Jennifer Devlin at 703-966-3241 or firstname.lastname@example.org.