newsuva establishes working group to address gun violence community safety

UVA establishes working group to address gun violence, community safety

Crystal Graham
uva central grounds
(© Bram –

The University of Virginia and the President’s Council on UVA-Community Partnerships have established a new working group that will collaborate with the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County to identify gun violence reduction solutions, leverage existing resources and services and recommend activities that will have the greatest potential impact on reducing gun violence and enhancing community safety.

UVA President Jim Ryan announced the formation of the new working group during a virtual town hall held to discuss the University’s response to the recent increase in gun violence in the Charlottesville area.

In addition to previously reported immediate safety enhancements, the new working group will focus on short- and medium-term measures that create tangible impact in the areas of mental and behavioral health, youth programming and agency coordination. The group will continue to meet for as long as it produces actionable ideas and identifies pathways for implementation.

The Community Safety Working Group will be the sixth working group under the President’s Council on UVA-Community Partnerships. Established in 2019, the President’s Council examines how the University can partner with the community to address areas of importance while strengthening its relationship with the surrounding community.

“We have to address the challenge of gun violence and community safety using all of our available resources and centering those most impacted to identify solutions,” said President’s Council co-chairs Cristine Nardi and Harold Folley of the new working group. “The President’s Council exists to bring UVA and the community together to address priority community issues. We look forward to this collaboration with city and county partners, and to supporting this new working group to bring actionable recommendations forward that lead us towards a community where all are safe.”

Facilitated by UVA’s Equity Center and co-chaired by UVA and community representatives, the working group will include representation from the City of Charlottesville, Albemarle County, UVA, nonprofit organizations and other groups from across the community.

Other working groups include Affordable Housing, Local Economy, Pipelines and Pathways, Early Childhood Education, and Public Health. Each includes a combination of community and University leaders.

Over the past three years, the working groups have strived to provide robust recommendations around affordable housing, early childhood education, job pipelines and pathways within the University and intentional strategies to increase University procurement relationships with local and minority-owned businesses.

Find more information, including working group progress updates, at the President’s Council for UVA-Community Partnerships website.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.