A Committed Anti-Violence Movement
The Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Movement (JCACM) is an organization dedicated to reducing violence, and the impact violence has on young men and women in Jersey City. After violence occurs, Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Movement will dispatch community case managers to provide support and offer resources for traumatized individuals and groups.
The anti-violence and trauma management programs that Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Movement offers helps the community grieve and heal, diffusing reactive retaliation and disrupting the cycle of violence.
Some of the core programs that Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Movement offers include:
- Peer Mentoring.
- Family Support Services.
- Anti-Violence Prevention.
- Intervention & Mediation.
Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Movement offerings as part of the #JCUNITY Empowerment Program include:
- Life Skills.
- Conflict Resolution.
- Occupy the Corners.
- Monthly Empowerment Workshops.
Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Movement also partners with the Jersey City Trauma Recovery Center, located in Greenville to provide victims and their families a range of additional services like psychotherapy and counseling, emergency housing, food, and money for utilities and transportation.
HealthierJC + Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Movement
For the Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Movement, building a Culture of Health means being concerned about and taking steps to improve the overall well-being of Jersey City residents. In summary, Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Movement wants people to live their best life, and they offer Jersey City residents a set of life tools to accomplish that.
The Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Movement program closely aligns with the HealthierJC mission to expand access to quality mental health education, establish violence as a health issue, and build safe homes for a safe community. In awarding the mini-grant, HealthierJC acknowledged the contribution of Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Movement in advancing a Culture of Health in Jersey City.
Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Movement emphasized how the Partnership for a HealthierJC mini-grant allowed them to sustain their organization during the pandemic. As a small non-profit, the funding enabled them to pivot and provide resources to more specifically address the needs of Jersey City communities dealing with the trauma of violence magnified by the onset of Covid.
Breaking the Cycle of Violence
Post-covid, the Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Movement (JCACM) used the HealthierJC mini-grant for their annual Unity Walk and the Occupy the Corners initiative. These events sought to:
- Educate people about health, wellness, healing, and safety.
- Spread awareness about the existence and pervasiveness of trauma in our communities.
Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Movement conducted a total of five events with the HealthierJC mini-grant funds – 4 events were held in Ward F, and 1 event across Wards A, B, and F. As a result, Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Movement was able to help 300+ individuals who were victims and survivors of violence, and in need of direct services and/or referrals. They were also able to sign-up more than 60 individuals who expressed interest in their conflict resolution and mediation workshops, and 48 ultimately completed the program.
Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Movement (JCACM) began hosting the Unity Walk in June 2015, and the fifth annual Unity Walk in 2020 started at the intersection of McAdoo Avenue and Martin Luther King Drive. Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Movement walked 2.5 miles in solidarity with residents, government, and law enforcement, pledging to fight against violence, injustice, and inequality. They walked through the most troubled areas of Jersey City – chanting affirmations and playing drums, while incorporating youth performances and interactive crowd activities along the journey.
The walk ended at Lincoln Park, where Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Movement had assembled live musical performances, speakers, sports, child activities, and a community resource fair. The resource fair provided information on support groups, employment and training opportunities, cultural and recreational activities, city services, and upcoming workshops on conflict, resolution, and mediation.
Recognizing that many Jersey City residents were struggling during the pandemic, Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Movement gave out clothes, shoes, toiletries, and cosmetics for people who were in need. They also provided a full free lunch menu including hot dogs, hamburgers, corn on the cob, fruit, chips, and beverages for the community to enjoy.
Occupy the Corners
This initiative took place on Friday nights in designated “hot spots” across Jersey City. As the name suggests, Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Movement staff physically stood on corners and interacted with community members of all ages. To put residents at ease, Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Movement offered beverages and snacks to all who stopped by. Additionally, social activities like chess, connect four, Jenga, and arts & crafts were provided to promote conversation and engagement.
Their goal was to talk candidly with residents living in high-risk neighborhoods about public safety, trauma associated with violence, and the healing that is necessary for victims and survivors. During these corner encounters, JCACM distributed brochures and flyers about trauma response and community organizations that could provide social support services.
A story that captures the impact of The Corners project begins when Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Movement met a young man while occupying a corner on Wilkinson Avenue, a known “hot spot” where his friend had been fatally shot. This young man was very emotional – crying and yelling – painfully vowing to pursue retaliatory justice for his friend. Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Movement formed a “Healing Circle”, and began to play the drums while allowing him a chance to process his emotions and feel supported in that moment. His healing began that very day! Three years later that same young man completely turned his life around. He enrolled and completed his studies at Hudson County Community College, accepted employment at the non-profit where he was interning, and was soon able to help his mom out financially. This young man began this upward life journey on a corner in a healing circle while experiencing deep emotional trauma!
Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Movement is committed to providing continued support services and resources to victims and survivors of violence.
Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Movement is also working to implement job training and employment programs that can disrupt the cycle of oppression that can entice young adults to pursue criminal endeavors. Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Movement will continue to seek out and work with at-risk youth, ages 16 to 21 living in the Greenville section of Jersey City, who are often exposed to gun violence and intimidation.
Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Movement looks forward to collaborating with community organizations and the Partnership for a HealthierJC to implement these initiatives.