Late Monday night, June 25, a press conference was scheduled for Tuesday to talk about the Cure Violence program as a response to the three homicides in Greensboro that day.
C.J. Brinson led the press conference at the Prestige Barber College on Phillips Avenue. He began by saying, “Our community is experiencing some trying times.”
He said, “We want to get ahead of the narrative of violence in the community. People ask, ‘How can black lives matter when black people are killing themselves?’”
Brinson noted that intra-racial was violence high in all communities. He said, “Hispanics kill Hispanics. Asians kill Asians. Whites kill whites, and unfortunately black people kill black people.”
He said the purpose of the press conference was to talk about some of the things he and others in the community had been working on to try and solve the problem of violence in the black community, and that they had focused on Cure Violence.
He said that Cure Violence was a proven model that had decreased crime in targeted areas. He said, “This is an evidence-based program that works.”
Brinson said that they were in the assessment process for implementing a Cure Violence program in Greensboro and that the city, county and local law enforcement had all been involved. Once the assessment was completed, he said it would be up to the city and county to fund it.
Brinson said, “We will be asking the Greensboro City Council and the Guilford County commissioners to fully fund a Cure Violence program for Greensboro.
City Councilmember Sharon Hightower said that there were two homicides in her council district on Monday. She said, “We have to work hard to get to the root of these issues.”
She said, “We’re going to Cure Violence. I support this initiative because it’s very important.”
The press conference was somewhat short on details, as one would expect since it was held in response to the three homicides and not as the result of extensive planning.
One thing that was mentioned was that while the police are good at responding to violence, what the Cure Violence program worked to do was prevent the violence from happening by training community members and putting them out in their own neighborhoods as “interveners.”
Hightower said after the press conference that Durham had implemented the program last year and saw a 50 percent reduction in homicides. The Cure Violence program has also reportedly been successful in some areas of Chicago that were experiencing a high rate of homicides.
Hightower said that the program would cost at least $400,000 to implement in Greensboro, but she noted that it didn’t all have to come from the city and county. Hightower said they also planned to contact foundations to try and raise funding for the program.
Hightower said that she would be pushing the City Council to fund the Cure Violence program.
Guilford County Commissioner Carolyn Coleman also attended the press conference.