PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Three organizations donating to the Nonviolence Institute are hoping to inspire others to give.
Brown University, the Rhode Island Foundation and the Partnership for Rhode Island announced their joint contribution of $500,000 to the nonprofit on Thursday.
Nonviolence Institute Executive Director Cedric Huntley told 12 News earlier this month his group has been devastated by the recent shootings.
“We fight against violence every single day,” he said.
There have been eight shooting deaths in Providence this year, including three that occurred within four days. Earlier this month, nine people were injured in what may have been the largest shooting in the city’s history.
Governor Dan McKee said the contribution will help make Rhode Island’s communities safer.
“The gun violence epidemic is one of the most pressing public health issues facing our nation,” McKee said. “The Nonviolence Institute plays a crucial and impactful role in engaging community members to help prevent violence and provide support to victims.”
The Nonviolence Institute includes a street outreach team, which works throughout Providence, Pawtucket and Central Falls, to understand the dynamics of violence, mediate emerging conflicts and support young people in making nonviolent choices.
“The Nonviolence Institute knows these neighborhoods, their residents and how to defuse the problems that lead to deadly violence,” R.I. Foundation President and CEO Neil Steinberg said. “By supporting them, we’re investing in the future of families in our community.”
Brown University President Christina Paxson said while policy and legislation proposals are important to reduce firearm abuse, the human side of public health also plays a major role in the ability to make an impact.
“Gun violence is one of the most urgent public health crises we face today,” she said. “Our collective ability to successfully reduce deaths and injuries will take collaboration across communities.”
Last week, Sen. Tiara Mack and Rep. Jose Batista announced legislation that would increase the Nonviolence Institute’s annual funding allocation from $200,000 to $1 million.
“There is no more important investment than ensuring all Rhode Islanders live free of fear and abound with opportunities,” said Tom Giordano, executive director of the Partnership for Rhode Island.
Central Falls and Pawtucket also announced a partnership with the Nonviolence Institute on Thursday to launch a seven-week summer program.
Anyone interested in donating to the Nonviolence Institute can do so online.