CeaseFire Illinois, founded and led by Dr. Gary Slutkin, a former World Health Organization epidemiologist, is an organization and philosophy that can predict where in neighborhoods gang-related violence will most likely occur, and who is most at-risk. A team of highly-skilled counselors (including many former gang members) is then dispatched to prevent violence often moments before it occurs. Their mission: identify people having violent thoughts, then counsel them out of their anger. And, when a shooting occurs, CeaseFire's team of local church members, prominent neighborhood individuals, neighborhood associations and others work directly with individuals in the neighborhood to respond to the violence.
This door-to-door, street-by-street violence prevention program has helped reduce the number of shootings and homicides by up to 85 percent in some neighborhoods over a 4-5 year period.
Anne Belec, president and chief executive officer of Volvo Cars of North America, was first introduced to the CeaseFire program last year, when Dr. Slutkin was honored for his work in the 4th Annual Volvo for life Awards, the largest-ever national search for and celebration of everyday heroes, with Volvo Cars of North America providing $1 million annually in awards and contributions. Dr. Slutkin was a winner in the Safety category and received a $50,000 charitable contribution.
"CeaseFire has achieved incredible results in such a short time period," said Belec. "I believe with some of the nation's best business minds together in one room, and with the attention of our nation's First Lady, we're certainly on the right track to take CeaseFire to the next level."
Belec personally invited business leaders to attend the Leadership Summit.
Source: Volvo Cars of North America