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Ceasefire: Treating Violence through Public Health

This is Andy Angelos - a community organizer and entrepreneur from Chicago. I will be covering the progress of the Ceasefire team throughout the day. Ceasefire is a national public health strategy designed to reduce urban violence such as shootings and killings. Many feel powerless in the fight to help reverse violence in urban communities. As a result - the Ceasefire team will be focused on maximizing assistance from supporters outside of affected urban communities. For more background information on Ceasefire's effort - check out introductory posts from yesterday.


Currently, Ceasefire hires and trains a team of "interrupters" to approach violence in a similar fashion to disease under the guidance of epidemiologist Dr. Gary Slutkin. This model targets people at risk in violent communities by influencing perception to halt the spread - much like a vaccine works to stop the spread of infectious disease. The challenge of UX4Good will be for the team help people outside of Ceasefire communities - family members, friends, significant others, community leaders, etc - shift behaviors and attitudes toward violence.


Design constraints for the Ceasefire team include:


Solutions should directly impact those at highest risk

Solutions don't require in-person interactions between Ceasefire and community members (current model)

Solution must be something other than financial contributions


Dr. Slutkin suggested additional challenges facing the organization such as the need for an "Obama-sized" communication campaign to combat urban violence. His staff of 20-30 members is consumed with the operational responsibilities without the time to produce a large scale campaign. Current communication efforts sometimes encounter the same fate as Sisyphus.


You'll be able to follow along with Ceasefire throughout the day by follwing me on Twitter @andyangelos or the hashtags #ceasefire and #ux4good.

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Taken on January 29, 2011