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City of West Palm Beach launches effort to prevent and reduce youth violence and to improve outcomes of young African American men and boys.
West Palm Beach, FL (February 11, 2019) – The City of West Palm Beach Mayor’s Village Initiative (MVI), will launch a new, powerful action plan on Tuesday, February 12, 2019.  This comprehensive plan addresses the five pillars: Workforce Development, Prevention/Intervention, Education, Health, and Reentry; and incorporates national and local strategic collaborations and partnerships.  “We are excited about developing a plan that will guide our work with African American males in our most distressed communities.” said Kevin Jones, who heads up the MVI. The specific focus of MVI is to acknowledge and combat challenges that young African-American boys and men face in the Historic Northwest, Coleman Park and Pleasant City areas of West Palm Beach. The “village” consists of government agencies, businesses, concerned citizens, the faith community, non-profits, philanthropists, local law enforcement, and schools.
This two-part event will begin at 10:00 a.m. with a press conference at the Northwest Community Engagement Space, located at 600 4th St., West Palm Beach.  

The official launch of the action plan will take place from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Pleasant City Gymnasium, located at 500 22nd St, West Palm Beach. MVI’s mission is to create a safe and secure environment for West Palm Beach youth, particularly African-American boys and young men.  Attendees will receive an in-depth overview of the action plan, insight into the current programs and initiatives of MVI, future goals and planning, and moreover, how they can get involved in bringing the plan to reality.  The event is free to attend, and light refreshments will be served.
In 2014, City of West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio made a commitment to create an initiative that would work on reducing violent related deaths and improving the outcomes of African American boys and young men in the most distressed area of the city. It is then the Mayor's Village Initiative was birthed. The City acts as an umbrella and pulls vast resources together to guide the initiative.  Over the years, through the Mayor's Village Initiative, the focus has been primarily in Workforce Development and Prevention/Intervention programs.  In 2018, the Mayor’s Village Initiative partnered with Cities United (citiesunited.org) to expand their vision and develop a plan of action for African American boys and young men in the North End of the city.  The plan has expanded into three additional areas:  Education, Health, and Reentry. 
Cities United supports a growing, national network of more than 120 mayors committed to working with their communities to create solutions to cut the homicide rate of young Black men and boys in half by the year 2025. 
The Mayor’s Village Initiative together with Cities United is committed to restoring hope to the community and building pathways to justice, employment, education, and increased opportunities for residents.
For more information, or to learn more about the Mayor’s Village Initiative, call 561-822-1413 or email kljones@wpb.org
The Mayor’s Village Initiative was developed as a result of the high violent crime rates almost exclusive to young African American men in the North End of the City of West Palm Beach, specifically in the neighborhoods of the Historic Northwest, Coleman Park and Pleasant City. Comprised of City of West Palm Beach staff, community leaders, community members and local organizations, the Mayor’s Village Initiative is a collaborative multidisciplinary strategy to prevent and reduce youth violence and improve outcomes for African American boys and young men in the three target neighborhoods.