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Pincus Family Foundation partners with Tulane University to launch violence prevention scholarship program

July 17, 2019 8:00 AM
        

 

Keith Brannon
kbrannon@tulane.edu
504-862-8789

The Pincus Family Foundation Violence Prevention Scholarship at Tulane will focus on the lives of children throughout New Orleans, with an emphasis on Central City. Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano.

 

The Pincus Family Foundation has awarded a $550,000 grant to Tulane University to create a new, interdisciplinary program that will train future leaders in community-focused violence prevention in New Orleans.

The Pincus Family Foundation Violence Prevention Scholarship at Tulane University will bring faculty from the Tulane Violence Prevention Institute (VPI) and its network of community partners together to launch a two-year graduate training program. While based within the Master’s in Public Health program, it will integrate faculty from across all schools at Tulane, particularly the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, the School of Medicine and the School of Social Work, consistent with the diverse representation of faculty in the VPI. 

Scholars will be immersed in an innovative new training initiative focused on building skills to effectively integrate with community organizations and co-develop programs designed to mitigate the effects of violence and, in the long-term, prevent the intergenerational transmission of violence and its health impacts. The initiative will focus on the lives of children throughout New Orleans, with an emphasis on Central City, and places throughout the city where children are most affected by violence.      

“The goal of the scholarship program is to provide enhanced training in the core skills needed for effective academic-community partnerships that address the far-reaching impact of violence on children and their families,” said Catherine Taylor, VPI director and professor of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences. “Exposure to violence, both within the home and in the community, leaves biological, behavioral, cognitive and socio-emotional scars that alter the life course trajectory and health of youth within and across generations.”

The Pincus Family Foundation was formed in 2005 by Philadelphia philanthropists David and Gerry Pincus who dedicated themselves to learning first-hand about the challenges children face worldwide and helping to address those challenges. The Foundation supports organizations and programs promoting children’s health, education, safety, nutrition, recreation and the arts locally and worldwide. 

"A year ago, I read 'The 28,' an article from The Children of Central City, a series in The Times-Picayune about the devastating effect chronic exposure to violence has on children. Having spent four years living in New Orleans as a student of Tulane University, I felt compelled to find a way to give back to the city that had given so much to me,” said Pincus Family Foundation Trustee Leslie Pincus-Elliott, who graduated from Tulane’s Newcomb College in 1990 and is the daughter of the foundation’s founders David and Gerry Pincus. "The Pincus Family Foundation is thrilled to be in partnership with Tulane’s Violence Prevention Institute. It is our hope that the creation of this interdisciplinary program will develop tools to stem, reduce and one-day eliminate violence in communities throughout New Orleans and others like it."      

Pincus Family Foundation Violence Prevention Scholars will learn about the systemic causes of violence within families and communities and how trauma exposure affects children throughout their lives. Scholars will work with Tulane faculty and community partners to gain extensive training in collaborative, skill-building practices to ensure sustainable impact.      

“The health of children, particularly those growing up in neighborhoods plagued by violence, is rooted not only in their individual-level experiences but also in those of their families and communities,” said Dr. Stacy Drury, Remigio Gonzalez, MD Endowed Professor of Child Psychiatry. “The impact of negative experiences differs based on the developmental window in which the exposure occurs, such that younger children may be particularly vulnerable to the impact of violence. With this perspective in mind, our program will target a range of violence prevention efforts that originate through partnerships with community organizations focused on preventing violence across the lifespan.”

Starting this summer, organizers will begin designing the program elements and lining up as many as 10 community partner organizations focused on violence related issues and child wellbeing. The first cohort of six scholars will begin in Fall 2020. Scholars will be mentored by VPI faculty members and will participate in new courses including a violence prevention studio seminar, which will include not only VPI faculty and scholars but also site champions from community organizations. By year two of the scholarship, scholars will be working directly with the community organizations engaged in violence prevention work.

“We want our scholars to graduate feeling prepared to collaborate with communities and existing organizations to promote child well-being in a way that centers around each community’s unique needs and is rooted in cultural humility, evidence-based practice, sustainability and rigorous evaluation,” Taylor said.

The gift is part of Only the Audacious, The campaign for an ever bolder Tulane. Through the collective power of donors, alumni and supporters, the campaign fuels pioneering research, transformative teaching, increased opportunity and diversity, and building an environment for excellence. For more information, visit https://audacious.tulane.edu.