The Forum is not a program that disburses and monitors funds to grantees. It is not a conference, or a series of conferences, designed to bring together participants temporarily around a single issue. The Forum is a network, a community of loosely affiliated individuals and organizations with diverse backgrounds and expertise but whom share a common purpose and long-term goal: the prevention of youth and gang violence in the United States. The Forum’s administrative structure reflects its comprehensive approach and inclusive focus. The work of the Forum is driven by five institutions that, taken together, represent the membership of the network as a whole:
- A Forum Steering Committee (FSC), convened by the White House, meets quarterly to provide Administration leadership with the opportunity to review the progress and set strategic direction for the Forum as a whole.
- A Forum Coordination Team (FCT) meets on a monthly basis to coordinate the work of the Forum and implement the Action Plan. FCT members include every federal agency participating in the Forum. The FCT is led and supported by the Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs (OJP).
- Working Groups including both local and federal representation meet as needed in order to advance specific goals and strategies as set out in the Forum’s Action Plan. Current working groups advance activities to address a range of issues identified by the Forum localities as requiring special emphasis, including training and technical assistance; business, philanthropic and faith-based outreach, and youth and family engagement.
- Ongoing consultation and collaboration with Forum localities is an essential component of the Forum. Through monthly conference calls with local leaders and the activities of dedicated Federal personnel serving as local site coordinators, federal members of the Forum are in regular contact with participating localities, offering them opportunities for feedback and input on the ongoing work and direction of the Forum. For instance, most if not all of the Forum’s Working Groups were established in response to needs voiced by its local members.
- Outreach and engagement to establish public/private partnerships is another core component of the Forum. Working groups are already partnering with certain core constituencies, but the Forum is constantly search for new members and collaborators.
“By linking cities and federal agencies to one another, the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention is sending a powerful message… ‘You are not alone. We are all in this together.’”
– Senior Advisor to the President, Valerie Jarrett