Summit of the Americas Side Event: Promoting an Integrated City-Led Approach to Violence Prevention: Sharing Lessons and Good Practices

Front row L to R: Mayor Zoch of Moravia, Costa Rica; Kelsey Mullen, Strong Cities Network; Brette Steele, McCain Institute for International Leadership, Mayor Garcetti of Los Angeles, United States; Under Secretary Zeya, U.S. Department of State; Joumana Silyan-Saba, Civil + Human Rights & Equity Department, City of Los Angeles; and Enrique Roig, U.S. Department of State

Back row L to R: Mayor López of Bogotá, Colombia; Capri Maddox, Civil + Human Rights & Equity Department, City of Los Angeles; Mayor Kelly of Chattanooga, United States; Mayor Sarceño of Puerto Barrios, Guatemala; Mayor Gramajo of Villa Nueva, Guatemala; and Mayor Hancock of Denver, United States

5 July 2022

On 8 June, the Strong Cities Network, in cooperation with the City of Los Angeles, the Violence, Inequality and Power Lab at the University of San Diego, and the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University, co-hosted an important side event on the margins of the 9th Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles. The event on Promoting an Integrated City-Led Approach to Violence Prevention: Sharing Lessons and Good Practices Across the Americas brought together mayors, local practitioners and researchers from across the Western Hemisphere with relevant experience and interest in locally-led violence prevention efforts that contribute to strengthening social cohesion and resilience, safeguarding local democracy, and promoting more inclusive and equitable societies. The event featured opening remarks from US Department of State Under Secretary Uzra Zeya and Mayor Eric Garcetti of the City of LA, a panel discussion with the mayors of Denver and Chattanooga in the United States, Puerto Barrios and Villa Nueva in Guatemala, Moravia in Costa Rica, and Bogota in Colombia, and a dynamic roundtable discussion.

The discussions highlighted four themes that the co-hosts will work to promote though relevant local, national, regional and global channels, emphasising the importance of:

  • Safeguarding democratic principles and processes, including inclusion and representation, and reinforcing safe societies;
  • Integrating mental and emotional health support, including addressing intergenerational trauma, which will strengthen violence prevention programming at the local level;
  • Considering violence in its multidimensional and interconnected forms by investing in analysis and practice that better understands the landscape of violence, and build capacity to collaborate around integrated prevention strategies; and
  • Leveraging international partnerships and networks to advance integrated city-led efforts to minimise violence and safeguard local democracy.

The co-hosts will promote these themes and continue to drive forward the lessons learned and good practices discussed during the event with a forthcoming written piece as well as follow-on activities.
Read more about the side event through Twitter @Strong_Cities here.

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