Uniting to Prevent Targeted Violence program to launch in Gettysburg on February 18, 2023

Non-partisan, grassroots initiative aims to build a targeted violence prevention framework in south-central Pennsylvania

[Gettysburg, PA] – November 15, 2022 – Four community organizations in south-central Pennsylvania are teaming up with the national non–profit Urban Rural Action to launch Uniting to Prevent Targeted Violence, an 18-month program to build new relationships across divides, implement projects that reduce risks of targeted violence, and raise community members’ awareness of targeted violence.

Urban Rural Action is administering a public application process to form a cohort of 28 Pennsylvania Uniters  in four south-central PA counties: Adams, Dauphin, Franklin, and York. The cohort will intentionally include people with different political views, racial identities, and age ranges.

The Uniters in each county will design and implement a targeted violence prevention project with one of the four community partners: CONTACT Helpline, Just for Today Recovery & Veteran’s Support Services, Mediation Services of Adams County, and Suicide Prevention of York. The projects will address risk factors for targeted violence identified by the group, and  advance a goal of the partner organization. A budget of $10,000 will support each project.

“We are excited to advance locally-led efforts that address risk factors for radicalization to violence,” said Logan Grubb, the Hummelstown-based chief of staff for United to Prevent Targeted Violence. “This program will achieve meaningful impact due to UR Action’s trusting local relationships, credibility across the ideological spectrum, and application of learning from years of strengthening community resilience.”

UR Action defines targeted violence as intentional physical violence against a pre-identified target based on their perceived identity or affiliation, whereby the act is intended to intimidate or coerce or generate publicity about the perpetrator’s grievance. Examples include hate-fueled mass killings and premeditated violence against political adversaries.

“Working together to prevent targeted violence takes what I have devoted my adult life to, using mediation to help people learn to be active listeners, to the next level,” said Patti Robinson of Mediation Services of Adams County. “Where we can use the skills of the community to heal deep pain that is turned against another.”

UPTV will kick off in Gettysburg on February 18, 2023 and run through August 2024. During each phase, the cohort of Uniters will gather in person for relationship-building, dialogue, analysis of targeted violence, and the implementation of a targeted violence prevention project that you will design with other community members and us!

“We are very divided in Pennsylvania and across our country,” said Chad Collie, the Adams County Program Coordinator for UPTV. “It’s up to us whether or not we stay that way. This program is an opportunity for us to overcome some of our divisions and help address a problem that impacts everyone.”

Interested community members can apply by December 16, 2022 through a two-step process on the UR Action website.

Media Contact: Logan Grubb, UPTV Chief of Staff, UR Action, logan@uraction.org