Minneapolis, White House initiative members discuss violence prevention, intervention efforts

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Thursday, local and national leaders discussed violence prevention and intervention efforts in Minneapolis.

The group included Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey; Sasha Cotton, director of the Minneapolis Office of Violence Prevention; and members of the White House Community Violence Intervention Collaborative (CVIC).

“We believe that violence is both preventable, that we can treat it, and that we can work to address it once it’s already happened,” said Sasha Cotton, with the Minneapolis Office of Violence Control.

Community leaders are focused on interrupting the cycle of violence in Minneapolis.

The recent spike in violence is what brought White House leaders to the table today.

Aqeela Sherrills, a White House CVIC advisor, told the group that “Minneapolis is unique in that it has lots of infrastructure in terms of you know, committed like kind of city staff, community-based organizations who are working together to address violence in communities.”

RELATED: Leader of Minneapolis Office of Violence Prevention believes programs are making a difference

White Hosue officials are teaming up with city leaders to invest in violence prevention efforts that are already in motion, with the Community Violence Intervention Collaborative. Community leaders call it an ‘ecosystem approach.’ It involves working with police, community programs, and establishing local and national partnerships.

“We are trying to get at those root causes that push people in a direction to think that violence is an acceptable way to solve their problems,” Cotton said.

RELATED: City approves millions more for ‘violence interrupters’ amid questions of transparency, accountability

Mayor Fryer told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, “There is no one singular cause of crime in Minneapolis and in this country. Similarly, there is no one single solution. As everyone around this table has stated it has to be an ecosystem.”

According to the city of Minneapolis, the CVIC is a cohort of 16 cities throughout the country whose mayors, community violence intervention experts, law enforcement officials and philanthropic leaders are using American Rescue Plan funding or other public funding to help invest in community violence intervention efforts and programs.