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Having a team of people with different experiences, roles, and ways of thinking is essential to preventing youth violence. A diverse team working together can help provide the insights, information, resources, and access you’ll need to accomplish your goals.

The first step is to figure out if a team already exists, in which case, you can join them. But if a team doesn’t exist, you’ll want to create one. Think about who is committed to violence prevention and making neighborhoods safer. Talk with them about what you have in mind. And, make sure to talk with youth in the community. They will probably have a different viewpoint than the adults, and that perspective can be vital to your work!

As you look at your team, think about who might be missing. Someone from the schools? Community members? Youth? If they aren’t part of the team now, perhaps they’ve never been asked to join the discussion. Think about who could add a valuable perspective and set of experiences and consider asking that person or organization to join.

“That sense of community and connection makes you feel like you are contributing to a larger conversation regionally and that type of collaboration is really rare.

–Rebecca, Program Director (Portland)

In the box below, you can enter your team’s name and add team members. When you add a new participant, use the drop-down menu labeled “Organization Type” to select each identified participant’s area of expertise in the community. The “Organization Type” might also give you ideas for other groups to approach.

Working Together

Learn more from communities about how they came together to work on youth violence prevention.

Transcript with Audio Descriptor


Consider starting one! You can begin by asking the following questions:

• Is anyone in the community currently working on youth violence prevention? Are they interested in a more coordinated effort?

• What organizations work on related areas like youth development, health, and school-based intervention? Are they willing to work in a larger group?

Additionally, check out the above for a list of organizations to consider (for example, someone from education or housing). Different organizations will have people with different knowledge and skills.

Health departments are leaders in promoting health and are essential to any youth violence prevention effort. But, one group cannot do it alone. The health department can bring together partners, provide valuable data, and lead and support community efforts to reach a common goal.

Youth represent an important voice in the community and can be valuable team members. Youth can offer helpful input on the community’s youth violence problem and strengths. They can provide information on how prevention approaches can reach their peers. In addition, serving on your team also offers young people the opportunity to strengthen their skills and become the next generation of youth violence prevention leaders.

• create a youth advisory board to provide leadership and insight

• develop surveys to collect feedback and opinions from youth

• invite youth to serve--and become actively involved --on your team

• establish youth ambassadors to inform young people about your group’s activities

• provide professional development opportunities for youth so they can become better prevention advocates

Either option can work. If you are working with a team already in place, now is a good time to review your members and see if there are any important groups missing. You can then review and clarify your team’s purpose statement if needed. The Purpose section can help. If you find that you need to start a new team, you might find it helpful to visit the Purpose section first. Having a clear purpose can help when it comes to asking people to join your team. After you develop a purpose, you can then come back to this section to think about different people who might join you in this work.

The rest of Our Team will help you assess your team’s strengths and potential areas for improvement (Capacity). The next section, Our Community will show you how to focus resources by identifying a shared team purpose and the places where you’ll implement your violence prevention strategies. You’ll also learn about using data to strengthen your efforts.