ON-Lion Letter
The Milwaukee Public Schools system and The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee have partnered in support of bringing the Violence-Free Zone (VFZ) initiative to MPS schools.  VFZ is a project of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Neighborhood Enterprise (CNE), to which the Bradley Foundation provides substantial support.
 
The VFZ model employs trusted neighborhood leaders to mediate conflict, promote strong moral character, provide employment assistance, and help transform young people from destructive gang warriors into purposeful community builders.  It is already significantly reducing youth violence in more than 20 schools nationwide -- with sites in Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas, the District of Columbia, and Prince George’s County, Md.
 
In early June, as it approved MPS's entire fiscal-year 2008 budget, the Milwaukee school board allotted $750,000 to bring the initiative to some of its schools.  Earlier in the year, Bradley awarded NCE $250,000 for VFZs at city schools.  Support may also be forthcoming from other philanthropies.
 
In January, Bradley president and chief executive officer Michael Grebe addressed the inaugural White House Office of Faith-Based Initiatives’ “Compassion in Action Roundtable," which focused on strategies for reducing youth violence and highlighted CNE's VFZ work.
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