Racialized Gang Violence Prevention Initiative (RGVPI)

The Commission has reported and responded to the incidence of gang-related hate violence since the 1990’s. In 2007 the Commission began a coordinated effort to develop new models to reduce interethnic tensions, address root causes of community violence, and support gang violence reduction in general. The RGVPI utilized a multi-strategy public health approach that included:

1. Civic organizing for collaborative engagement of community organizations, residents, government, and other local stakeholders;

2. Intergroup community-building across ethnic/cultural lines;

3. Liaison with community-based gang intervention practitioners; and,

4. Youth/young adult development, mentoring and employment.

The RGVPI team helped launch two place-based projects which produced significant and sustainable outcomes: Pasadena-Altadena Vision 20/20 (with Pasadena City Councilmember Jacquie Robinson and the Flintridge Center), and Harbor Gateway GRACE/Gang Reduction and Community Engagement (with Toberman Neighborhood Center and Boys & Girls Club of South Bay). Team members provided technical assistance and strategic support for local initiatives in Pacoima, Monrovia-Duarte, Santa Clarita and South Los Angeles. The team also provided planning, training, and technical support to the County Chief Executive Office’s Regional Gang Violence Reduction Initiative, the Community and Senior Services Department’s countywide Youth/Young Adult Re-entry planning, and the Probation Department’s Adult Re-entry efforts for the AB 109 State Parole Realignment.

Gang Reduction and Community Engagement Project (GRACE Project)—The intent of the GRACE Project was to improve human relations and reduce gang violence in the 204th Street neighborhood of Los Angeles’ Harbor Gateway community and the Tortilla Flats community of unincorporated Carson. GRACE staff members also worked directly with community residents to support their efforts to improve their neighborhoods and quality of life. Gang interventionists and a community organizer were on daily “Safe Passages” patrol to make sure students of all ages can travel safely between school bus stops and their homes. The interventionists also engaged known gang members to keep the peace on the streets and often respond to acts of violence, thus preventing retaliation and other hate action. The GRACE Project was a partnership between the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission, Toberman Neighborhood Center, and the Boys and Girls Club of the South Bay.