Washington DC

The Problem

In 2023, Washington, D.C. saw its highest homicide rate in over two decades, with 274 recorded homicides, ranking it fifth among major U.S. cities. This surge in violent crime drew national attention, marking the deadliest year since 1997, with a 35 percent increase in homicides, reaching 40 per 100,000 residents. In response, both the D.C. attorney general’s office and the mayor’s office have implemented “Violence Interrupter” initiatives. These programs deploy community-based individuals rather than solely relying on law enforcement to de-escalate violent situations.

Our Work

Recognizing the importance of fortifying these efforts, Cities4Peace acknowledges the necessity of enhancing the effectiveness of violence interrupters. One proposed strategy involves empowering these individuals through comprehensive training programs by equipping them with the skills to serve as mentors and educators within their communities, including techniques for promoting better mental health, violence interrupters can foster positive change. Through this approach, they not only support the broader community but also enhance their own well-being to be able to sustain their peace work. Here are few projects conducted by Cities4Peace in training the Trainers.

Bridges to Better NHT Project : Creating Ambassadors of Peace

Bridges to Better : Training Ambassadors of Peace

Cities4Peace, in collaboration with National Housing Trust, Neighborhood Associates, and Telesis Corp, embarked on a transformative journey with 22 resident community leaders in Wards 7 and 8, Washington DC. Through the ‘Ambassadors of Peace’ Certification program, these leaders underwent a 10-week training, becoming catalysts for positive change in their neighborhoods. This ongoing project will continue in 2024

Empowering Roving Leaders: Department of Parks and Recreation Washington D.C.

Empowering Roving Leaders: Department of Parks and Recreation, Washington DC

Cities4Peace trained and empowered 45 Violence Interrupters from the DPR Roving Leaders program. By utilizing recreation and leisure activities, these leaders play a crucial role in redirecting antisocial behaviors among youth in Washington DC.

Resilience Training for Community Leaders and Violence interrupters, Washington D.C.

Resilience training for Community Leaders and Violence Interruptors, Washington DC

Approximately 60 community leaders, members, and violence interrupters were trained, including key government officials. The program aimed at building resilience in the community. Key participants included members from Mute the Violence DC, M.A.D., Father Factor, 100 Fathers, Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement, and the DC Mayor’s office of Community Relations

Inner Peace Outer Resilience: Empowering DC Department of Human Services Staff

Cities4Peace empowered the Department of Human Services (DHS) in Washington DC with resilience-building sessions and SKY Mindful Leadership Workshops. With 17 wellness sessions and 2 SKY Mindful Leadership courses, attendees experienced healing, reduced trauma, and enhanced resilience. A total of 406 DHS employees experienced healing, reduced trauma, and enhanced resilience, contributing to a healthier, more empowered workforce.

FIT DC, Washington DC

Cities4Peace partnered with FIT DC, engaging 15,504 individuals in wellness and fitness initiatives. Virtual programs saw 8,979 registrations, with 128 programs conducted, totaling 320 hours. The impact on community well-being was substantial.



Cities4Peace is an Initiative of the International Association for Human Values